Centennial Cup

The Centennial Cup, is an annual ice hockey competition that determines the Canadian Junior A champion. It is played under the supervision of Hockey Canada and the Canadian Junior Hockey League.

Centennial Cup
Most recent season or competition:
2019 National Junior A Championship
SportIce hockey
Inaugural season1971
Most recent
champion(s)
Brooks Bandits (2nd)
Most titlesVernon Vipers (6)
TV partner(s)TSN
Sponsor(s)Hockey Canada
Canadian Junior Hockey League
Related
competitions
ANAVET Cup
Doyle Cup
Dudley Hewitt Cup
Fred Page Cup
Official websiteNJAC Website

Known as the National Junior A Championship in 2019, it was formerly known as the Royal Bank Cup from 1996 to 2018 and the Manitoba Centennial Cup from 1971 to 1995.

Timeline

  • 1971-1995: Manitoba Centennial Cup
  • 1995-2018: Royal Bank Cup
  • 2019: National Junior A Championship
  • 2020-Present: Centennial Cup

History

The Manitoba Centennial Trophy was presented to the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) by the Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association to commemorate their centennial year of 1970. At that time, the CAHA reconfigured their junior tiers, creating two separate classifications Major junior and Junior A. The major junior teams were grouped into the three regional leagues that made up the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League (CMJHL), while the Junior A tier included the remaining junior teams in the provincial/regional leagues that later formed the Canadian Junior Hockey League. It was determined that the Memorial Cup, which had served as the CAHA's national championship tournament, would become the new championship trophy for the CMJHL while the Manitoba Centennial Trophy served as the trophy for the champions of the new Junior A division. The tournament was then dubbed the Centennial Cup. For the 1996 tournament, the trophy gained a sponsor and became the Royal Bank Cup.

From 1971 to 1978 and from 1982 to 1984, the Centennial Cup pitted the Abbott Cup champion (Western Canada) versus the Dudley Hewitt Cup champion (Eastern Canada). A three-team tournament format, splitting Eastern Canada into two regions, was introduced in 1979 and used until 1981. The Centennial Cup permanently moved back to the tournament format in 1986, with the addition of a predetermined host team to the field. It later expanded to a five-team tournament in 1990 when the Abbott Cup series was discontinued in favour of allowing both the ANAVET and Doyle Cup winners to advance to the national championship. The ANAVET and Doyle Cups were temporarily replaced by the Western Canada Cup, which determined the two Western seeds for the Royal Bank Cup, from 2013 to 2017. During this time, the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League won the 2014 Royal Bank Cup, where they had gained entry into the tournament as the Western Canada Cup runner-up making them the first team in Centennial Cup/Royal Bank Cup history to win the national championship without being the host or a regional champion.

Overtime is common as the Junior A championships with the longest game in the tournament's history started on May 12, 2007, at 2007 Royal Bank Cup between the Camrose Kodiaks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League and the host Prince George Spruce Kings of the British Columbia Hockey League. The Spruce Kings won the game 3–2 6:01 into the fifth overtime period.[1] The game lasted 146:01, just short of the CJAHL record set by the Toronto Jr. Canadiens and the Pickering Panthers in the 2007 Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League playoffs (154:32).[2]

After the 2018 Royal Bank Cup, Royal Bank of Canada ended their sponsorship agreement with the Canadian Junior Hockey League. After going by the name National Junior A Championship in 2019, the CJHL and Hockey Canada reverted the title back to its original name - the Centennial Cup - for its 50th anniversary in 2020.

Format

Since 1990, tournament structure has used a five-team round-robin followed by a playoff. The current format for qualification of the participating teams are the four regional champions and the host team.

Fred Page Cup: Eastern Champion
Dudley Hewitt Cup: Central Champion
ANAVET Cup: Western Champion
Doyle Cup: Pacific Champion
Host team: Predetermined by Canadian Junior Hockey League

Manitoba Centennial Trophy history (1971–1995)

The Red Deer Rustlers of the Alberta Junior Hockey League defeated the Charlottetown Islanders of the Island Junior Hockey League in 1971 to claim the inaugural Canadian Junior A championship and Manitoba Centennial Trophy.

The 1972 Centennial Cup gained national attention when the Guelph CMC's of the Southern Ontario Junior A Hockey League were in the final game of a four-game sweep of the Red Deer Rustlers and their leading scorer Paul Fendley lost his helmet during a body check and struck his head on the ice, knocking him into a coma. The National Hockey League prospect regained consciousness and died two days later from head trauma.[3]

The 1990 Centennial Cup marked the only year that the national championship was decided between two teams from the same province or league. The host Vernon Lakers defeated the New Westminster Royals 6–5 in overtime to win the national championship. Both teams were members of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League.

The final Centennial Cup was awarded to the Calgary Canucks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League in 1995.

Manitoba Centennial Trophy winners

Note: Champions in bold.

YearEastern FinalistWestern FinalistScores (best-of-7)Primary location
1971Charlottetown IslandersRed Deer Rustlers2–4 (3–6, 3–7, 6–4, 4–7, 7–2, 4–7)Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
1972Guelph CMC'sRed Deer Rustlers4–0 (4–2, 3–2, 3–1, 3–0)Guelph, Ontario
1973Pembroke Lumber KingsPortage Terriers1–4 (5–6 OT, 2–4, 1–3, 6–4, 2–4)Portage la Prairie, Manitoba
1974Smiths Falls BearsSelkirk Steelers3–4 (4–5, 4–7, 3–0, 1–2, 6–4, 5–4 OT, 0–1 OT)Nepean, Ontario
1975Guelph Biltmore Mad HattersSpruce Grove Mets2–4 (4–2, 3–2, 1–4, 2–5, 3–6, 4–6)Edmonton, Alberta
1976Rockland NationalsSpruce Grove Mets4–1 (9–4, 7–1, 5–3, 3–4, 7–3)Rockland, Ontario
1977Pembroke Lumber KingsPrince Albert Raiders0–4 (4–6, 4–5, 3–6, 3–4)Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
1978Guelph PlatersPrince Albert Raiders4–0 (7–2, 6–2, 6–3, 8–2)Guelph, Ontario
YearChampionRunner-upScoreLocation
1979Prince Albert RaidersSherwood-Parkdale Metros5–4 OTPrince Albert, Saskatchewan
1980Red Deer RustlersNorth York Rangers3–2North York, Ontario
1981Prince Albert RaidersBelleville Bulls6–2Halifax, Nova Scotia
YearEastern FinalistWestern FinalistScores (best-of-7)Primary location
1982Guelph PlatersPrince Albert Raiders0–4 (4–9, 3–7, 3–6, 4–8)Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
1983North York RangersAbbotsford Flyers4–0 (9–6, 8–5, 10–3, 10–2)North York, Ontario
1984Orillia TravelwaysWeyburn Red Wings3–4 (6–5, 4–6, 4–7, 2–1, 8–5, 4–5, 0–3)Weyburn, Saskatchewan
YearChampionRunner-upScoreLocation
1985Orillia TravelwaysPenticton Knights4–2Orillia, Ontario
1986Penticton KnightsCole Harbour Colts7–4Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia
1987Richmond SockeyesHumboldt Broncos5–2Humboldt, Saskatchewan
1988Notre Dame HoundsHalifax Lions3–2Pembroke, Ontario
1989Thunder Bay FlyersSummerside Western Capitals4–1Summerside, Prince Edward Island
1990Vernon LakersNew Westminster Royals6–5 OTVernon, British Columbia
1991Vernon LakersSudbury Cubs8–4Sudbury, Ontario
1992Thunder Bay FlyersWinkler Flyers10–1Winnipeg, Manitoba
1993Kelowna SpartansChateauguay Elites7–2Amherst, Nova Scotia
1994Olds GrizzlysKelowna Spartans5–4 OTOlds, Alberta
1995Calgary CanucksGloucester Rangers5–4 OTGloucester, Ontario

Royal Bank Cup history (1996–2018)

Every tournament in the Royal Bank Cup era was played as a round-robin tournament between five teams. In May 1996, the inaugural Royal Bank Cup was held in Melfort, Saskatchewan. The first winner of the Royal Bank Cup was the Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Hockey League.

Royal Bank Cup winners

YearChampionRunner-upScoreLocation
1996Vernon VipersMelfort Mustangs2–0Melfort, Saskatchewan
1997Summerside Western CapitalsSouth Surrey Eagles4–3Summerside, Prince Edward Island
1998South Surrey EaglesWeyburn Red Wings4–1Nanaimo, British Columbia
1999Vernon VipersCharlottetown Abbies9–3Yorkton, Saskatchewan
2000Fort McMurray Oil BaronsRayside-Balfour Sabrecats2–1Fort McMurray, Alberta
2001Camrose KodiaksFlin Flon Bombers5–0Flin Flon, Manitoba
2002Halifax Oland ExportsOCN Blizzard3–1Halifax, Nova Scotia
2003Humboldt BroncosCamrose Kodiaks3–1Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
2004Aurora TigersKindersley Klippers7–1Grande Prairie, Alberta
2005Weyburn Red WingsCamrose Kodiaks3–2Weyburn, Saskatchewan
2006Burnaby ExpressYorkton Terriers8–2Brampton, Ontario
2007Aurora TigersPrince George Spruce Kings3–1Prince George, British Columbia
2008Humboldt BroncosCamrose Kodiaks1–0Cornwall, Ontario
2009Vernon VipersHumboldt Broncos2–0Victoria, British Columbia
2010Vernon VipersDauphin Kings8–1Dauphin, Manitoba
2011Pembroke Lumber KingsVernon Vipers2–0Camrose, Alberta
2012Penticton VeesWoodstock Slammers4–3Humboldt, Saskatchewan
2013Brooks BanditsSummerside Western Capitals3–1Summerside, Prince Edward Island
2014Yorkton TerriersCarleton Place Canadians4–3 OTVernon, British Columbia
2015Portage TerriersCarleton Place Canadians5–2Portage la Prairie, Manitoba
2016West Kelowna WarriorsLloydminster Bobcats4–0Lloydminster, Saskatchewan
2017Cobourg CougarsBrooks Bandits3–2 OTCobourg, Ontario
2018Chilliwack ChiefsWellington Dukes4–2Chilliwack, British Columbia

National Junior A Championship history (2019)

In 2018, the championship was renamed the National Junior A Championship after the Royal Bank of Canada dropped their sponsorship of the event.

National Junior A Championship winners

YearChampionRunner-upScoreLocation
2019Brooks BanditsPrince George Spruce Kings4–3Brooks, Alberta

Centennial Cup history (2019–present)

With the national championship returning to Manitoba for its 50th anniversary in 2020, Hockey Canada and the Canadian Junior Hockey League announced that the championship would be returning to its original name - the Centennial Cup.

Centennial Cup winners

YearChampionRunner-upScoreLocation
2020Portage la Prairie, Manitoba

Most championships by province

Winners of the Centennial Cup (1971–1995), Royal Bank Cup (1996–2018) and National Junior A Championship (2019–present) by province.

The Pembroke Lumber Kings won the 2011 Royal Bank Cup, and became the first Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) team to win the National Junior A Championship since the 1976 champion Rockland Nationals. In 2015, the Portage Terriers broke a 41-year-old drought for the Manitoba Junior Hockey League, being the first team win the Junior A championship since the 1974 Selkirk Steelers. The Maritimes provinces have only won two championships. To date, no teams from the Quebec Junior Hockey League, Superior International Junior Hockey League, or the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League have won the Junior A championship.

RankProvinceChampionsHosts
1British Columbia146
2Ontario1113
3Saskatchewan1010[lower-alpha 1]
4Alberta96[lower-alpha 1]
5Manitoba35
6Prince Edward Island15
7Nova Scotia14
  1. The province of Saskatchewan has hosted tens times as of 2016, but the SJHL has hosted nine as the 2016 RBC Cup was hosted by the Lloydminster Bobcats, members of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, who played their games in an arena on the Saskatchewan side of their biprovincial border city.

Most championships by team

Winners of the Centennial Cup (1971–1995), Royal Bank Cup (1996–2018) and National Junior A Championship (2019–present) by team.

There has been a consecutive national champion on three occasions: the Prince Albert Raiders won in 1981 and 1982, while the Vernon Lakers/Vipers won in 1990 and 1991 (as the Lakers), and again in 2009 and 2010 (as the Vipers).

The Prince Albert Raiders also hold a record for appearing in the championship final three consecutive times, in 1977, 1978 and 1979. The Raiders also reached the national finals five times in six years (1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982), while winning a total of four championships (1977, 1979, 1981, 1982) during that span. The Raiders moved up to Major Junior Western Hockey League after their 1982 Junior A championship, where they soon won the Memorial Cup for the major junior national championship in 1985.

TeamProvinceLeagueChampions
Vernon Lakers/VipersBritish ColumbiaBCHL6 (1990, 1991, 1996, 1999, 2009, 2010)
Prince Albert RaidersSaskatchewanSJHL4 (1977, 1979, 1981, 1982)
Aurora TigersOntarioOPJHL2 (2004, 2007)
Brooks BanditsAlbertaAJHL2 (2013, 2019)
Guelph CMC's/PlatersOntarioSOJHL/OPJHL2 (1972, 1978)
Humboldt BroncosSaskatchewanSJHL2 (2003, 2008)
Penticton Knights/VeesBritish ColumbiaBCJHL/BCHL2 (1986, 2012)
Portage TerriersManitobaMJHL2 (1973, 2015)
Red Deer RustlersAlbertaAJHL2 (1971, 1980)
Thunder Bay FlyersOntarioUSHL2 (1989, 1992)
Weyburn Red WingsSaskatchewanSJHL2 (1984, 2005)
Burnaby ExpressBritish ColumbiaBCHL1 (2006)
Calgary CanucksAlbertaAJHL1 (1995)
Camrose KodiaksAlbertaAJHL1 (2001)
Chilliwack ChiefsBritish ColumbiaBCHL1 (2018)
Cobourg CougarsOntarioOJHL1 (2017)
Fort McMurray Oil BaronsAlbertaAJHL1 (2000)
Halifax Oland ExportsNova ScotiaMJAHL1 (2002)
Kelowna SpartansBritish ColumbiaBCHL1 (1993)
North York RangersOntarioOPJHL1 (1983)
Notre Dame HoundsSaskatchewanSJHL1 (1988)
Olds GrizzlysAlbertaAJHL1 (1994)
Orillia TravelwaysOntarioOPJHL1 (1985)
Pembroke Lumber KingsOntarioCCHL1 (2011)
Richmond SockeyesBritish ColumbiaBCJHL1 (1987)
Rockland NationalsOntarioCJHL1 (1976)
Selkirk SteelersManitobaMJHL1 (1974)
South Surrey EaglesBritish ColumbiaBCHL1 (1998)
Spruce Grove MetsAlbertaAJHL1 (1975)
Summerside Western CapitalsPrince Edward IslandMJAHL1 (1997)
West Kelowna WarriorsBritish ColumbiaBCHL1 (2016)
Yorkton TerriersSaskatchewanSJHL1 (2014)

Roland Mercier Trophy

The Roland Mercier Trophy is awarded to the Most Valuable Player of the National Junior A Championship.

Game scoring records

Records included in this section took place in either Royal Bank Cup and Manitoba Centennial Cup tournament games and Manitoba Centennial Cup National Final Series games only.

  • Most Goals by Both Teams:
  • Fewest Goals by Both Teams:
  • Most Goals by Single Team:
  • Largest Spread in a Game:
  • Biggest Shutout Victory:
  • Longest Overtime Game:

References

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