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In memoriam: Brad Handley

Brad Handley passed away Friday in Alberta after a courageous battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was 45. He leaves his wife, Corrie, and son, Beckett. The following story appeared on the Battalion website on Oct. 7, 2004.

BRAMPTON, Ont. — Even in his third season as the Battalion’s head trainer, Brad Handley doesn’t leave for an Ontario Hockey League road game without consulting his trusty checklist.

“I’ve had my own checklist for about eight years now, and I add and delete things from it here and there,” Handley said Thursday. “That’s my Bible for road trips. If I don’t go right down that list, everything falls apart for me. I go down the list item by item and pack it as I go. I don’t even let anybody even grab anything until I get to that particular item.”

Handley was busy preparing for the club’s departure for its longest road trip, in terms of distance, of the season. The Troops left Thursday evening for Sault Ste. Marie to meet the Greyhounds on Friday night. The club visits the Saginaw Spirit on Saturday night.

“This is one of our few overnight trips, and that presents a bit of a challenge in that we have to make sure all the gear is dry,” said Handley, who is assisted by Phil Voutier. “We’re also packing and unpacking gear and hauling it around hotels, rinks and buses more than we normally do. We try to approach the game the way we would any other. The only issue that arises is ‘bus legs’, and that’s why we’ll have a good practice before we leave and a skate tomorrow morning. We’ll give them a lot of water and try to keep them as active as possible.”

The Battalion, which takes a won-lost-tied record of 3-2-0 on the road, is looking to snap a two-game losing skid. The Troops will meet a Greyhounds squad that earned its first victory in five games this season Wednesday night with a 1-0 home-ice win over the Sarnia Sting.

Battalion assistant coach Kelly Harper said the Troops need to focus on having a quick start Friday night. “We have to be aware of the fact that we’re going against a hungry team. We have to come out flying, and we can’t afford to come out and get badly outshot early and have to rely on our goaltending. And a lot of that comes out of how we practise.

”We need to be sharp and really intense. We need to play at a high tempo in Sault Ste. Marie, and that will get us off to a good start. We can’t afford too many down weekends in our conference because it’s so tight.”

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