National Junior A Championship
The National Junior A Championship, 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.
|Current season, competition or edition:|
2019 National Junior A Hockey Championship
|Chilliwack Chiefs (1st)|
|Most titles||Vernon Vipers (6)|
Canadian Junior Hockey League
Dudley Hewitt Cup
Fred Page Cup
|Official website||Royal Bank Cup Website|
The forerunner to the National Junior A Championship was the Royal Bank Cup, which ran from 1996 to 2018, and the Manitoba Centennial Cup, which ran for 25 years from 1971 to 1995 inclusive.
The current tournament structure is a five-team round-robin followed by a playoff. 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
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, this time adding 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. This format was carried over when the Royal Bank Cup was created in 1996.
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.
National Junior A Championship historyEdit
National Junior A Championship winnersEdit
Royal Bank Cup historyEdit
In May 1996, the inaugural Royal Bank Cup was held in Melfort, Saskatchewan, continuing the fine tradition of a National Junior ‘A’ championship. Each league across Canada sends their championship club to a regional qualifier, playing for the right to represent the region at the Royal Bank Cup tournament. The first ever winner of the Royal Bank Cup was the Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Hockey League.
Since the first Royal Bank Cup tournament, every tournament has been played as a round robin tournament with a host city/team and four regional champions competing. By 2013, 18 Royal Bank Cups had been awarded. The winner of the Doyle Cup as Pacific Region champions has won a leading ten times. The winner of the ANAVET Cup as Western Region champions and the winner of the Dudley Hewitt Cup as Central Region champions have both won twice. The winner of the Fred Page Cup as Eastern Region champions has also won twice. Although four host teams have won the Royal Bank Cup, two of which won their region to compete in the event they were hosting (Fort McMurray Oil Barons in 2000, Halifax Oland Exports in 2002) while two played strictly as hosts and not regional champions (Summerside Western Capitals in 1997, Weyburn Red Wings in 2005). In 2014, the Anavet Cup and Doyle Cup were retired in favour of the Western Canada Cup. The Western Canada Cup tournament included the champions of the four western leagues and a predetermined host city. The top two teams from event gain birth into the Royal Bank Cup. When the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League won the 2014 Royal Bank Cup, they 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 with out being the host or a regional champion.
Overtime is a common theme as the Royal Bank Cup, the longest game in RBC Cup history started on May 12, 2007 at Royal Bank Cup 2007 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. 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).
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 national Junior A championship since the 1974 Selkirk Steelers. The Terriers also became the first team to win the Royal Bank Cup as the host team since the 2004-05 Weyburn Red Wings. Also in 2015, the Carleton Place Canadians of the CCHL became the first team in national Junior A history to lose back-to-back national titles.
In 2018, the championship was renamed the National Junior A Championship after RBC dropped their sponsorship of the event.
Royal Bank Cup winnersEdit
Manitoba Centennial Trophy historyEdit
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. It was in that year that the CAHA reconfigured their junior tier, 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" section 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 would become the new championship trophy for the CMJHL, with the Manitoba Centennial Trophy serving as the trophy for the champions of the new Junior "A" division.
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, often referred to as the "Centennial Cup". The final Centennial Cup was awarded to the Calgary Canucks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League in 1995.
The 1972 Centennial Cup was the focus of national attention. The Guelph CMC's of the Southern Ontario Junior A Hockey League were in the final game of a four game sweep in the National Final against the Red Deer Rustlers when 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.
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.
Manitoba Centennial Trophy winnersEdit
Most championships by provinceEdit
Winners of the Centennial Cup (1971–1995), Royal Bank Cup (1996–2018) and National Junior A Championship (2019–) by province.
|6||Prince Edward Island||1||5|
*Note: The province of Saskatchewan has hosted the tournament as indicated. However, the 2016 RBC Cup was hosted by the Lloydminster Bobcats, members of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, who play their games in an arena on the Saskatchewan side of their biprovincial border city.
Most championships by teamEdit
Winners of the Centennial Cup (1971–1995), Royal Bank Cup (1996–2018) and National Junior A Championship (2019–) 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 were a nearly unstoppable powerhouse in Junior A hockey at that time, reaching 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 after their 1982 Junior A championship, where they soon (1985) won the national championship at that level.
|Vernon Lakers/Vipers||British Columbia||6|
|Prince Albert Raiders||Saskatchewan||4|
|Penticton Knights/Vees||British Columbia||2|
|Red Deer Rustlers||Alberta||2|
|Thunder Bay Flyers||Ontario||2|
|Weyburn Red Wings||Saskatchewan||2|
|West Kelowna Warriors||British Columbia||1|
|Burnaby Express||British Columbia||1|
|Fort McMurray Oil Barons||Alberta||1|
|Halifax Oland Exports||Nova Scotia||1|
|Kelowna Spartans||British Columbia||1|
|North York Rangers||Ontario||1|
|Notre Dame Hounds||Saskatchewan||1|
|Pembroke Lumber Kings||Ontario||1|
|Richmond Sockeyes||British Columbia||1|
|South Surrey Eagles||British Columbia||1|
|Spruce Grove Mets||Alberta||1|
|Summerside Western Capitals||Prince Edward Island||1|
|Chilliwack Chiefs||British Columbia||1|
|Total for 32 Teams||48|
Roland Mercier TrophyEdit
The Roland Mercier Trophy is awarded to the Most Valuable Player of the National Junior A Championship.
- 1971–1974 Unknown
- 1975 Ron Lecuyer – Spruce Grove Mets (AJHL)
- 1976 Gerry Leroux – Rockland Nationals (CJHL)
- 1977 Barry Archibald – Prince Albert Raiders (SJHL)
- 1978 Terry Cullen – Guelph Platers (OPJHL)
- 1979 Dunston Carroll – Sherwood-Parkdale Metros (IJHL)
- 1980 Brent Sutter – Red Deer Rustlers (AJHL)
- 1981 James Patrick – Prince Albert Raiders (SJHL)
- 1982 Carl Van Camp – Prince Albert Raiders (SJHL)
- 1983 Dennis McCarroll – North York Rangers (OJHL)
- 1984 Ron Amyotte – Weyburn Red Wings (SJHL)
- 1985 Adam Lewis – Orillia Travelways (OJHL)
- 1986 Kevan Melrose – Penticton Knights (BCJHL)
- 1987 Frank Romeo – Richmond Sockeyes (BCJHL)
- 1988 Rod Brind'Amour – Notre Dame Hounds (SJHL)
- 1989 Todd Henderson – Thunder Bay Flyers (USHL)
- 1990 Marc Alain Duchaine – Longueuil Collège Français (QPJHL)
- 1991 Andrew Backen – Thunder Bay Flyers (USHL)
- 1992 Scott Longstaff – Vernon Lakers (BCHL)
- 1993 Steffon Walby – Kelowna Packers (BCHL)
- 1994 Tyler Graham – Olds Grizzlys (AJHL)
- 1995 Mitch Grant – Winnipeg South Blues (MJHL)
- 1996 Serge Bourgeois – Moncton Beavers (MJAHL)
- 1997 Matt Hartigan – Weyburn Red Wings (SJHL)
- 1998 Peter Wishloff – South Surrey Eagles (BCHL)
- 1999 Dennis Bassett – Yorkton Terriers (SJHL)
- 2000 Serge Dube – Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats (NOJHL)
- 2001 Darrell Stoddard – Camrose Kodiaks (AJHL)
- 2002 Jeff Tambellini – Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL)
- 2003 Craig Olynick – Humboldt Broncos (SJHL)
- 2004 Kevin Dziaduck – Kindersley Klippers (SJHL)
- 2005 Travis Friedley – Camrose Kodiaks (AJHL)
- 2006 David Wilson – Streetsville Derbys (OPJHL)
- 2007 Daniel Michalsky – Aurora Tigers (OPJHL)
- 2008 Darcy Findlay – Cornwall Colts (CJHL)
- 2009 Kyle Bigos – Vernon Vipers (BCHL)
- 2010 Shane Luke – Dauphin Kings (MJHL)
- 2011 Dalyn Flette – Camrose Kodiaks (AJHL)
- 2012 John Kleinhans – Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL)
- 2013 Cam Maclise – Brooks Bandits (AJHL)
- 2014 Mike Stiliadis - Dauphin Kings (MJHL)
- 2015 Brad Bowles - Portage Terriers (MJHL)
- 2016 Cale Makar - Brooks Bandits (AJHL)
- 2017 Cale Makar - Brooks Bandits (AJHL)
- 2018 Will Calverley - Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL)
Game scoring recordsEdit
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:
- Least Goals by Both Teams:
- Most Goals by Single Team:
- Orillia Travelways 11 – Aurora Tigers 3 (1985 Centennial Cup) (11)
- Vernon Lakers 11 – Nipawin Hawks 5 (1990 Centennial Cup) (11)
- Olds Grizzlys 11 – Chateauguay Elites 3 (1994 Centennial Cup) (11)
- Melfort Mustangs 11 – Vernon Vipers 3 (1996 Royal Bank Cup) (11)
- Brockville Braves 11 – Oakville Blades 2 (2010 Royal Bank Cup) (11)
- Largest Spread in a Game:
- Biggest Shutout Victory:
- Longest Overtime Game: