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National Junior A Championship

  (Redirected from Royal Bank Cup)

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.

National Junior A Championship
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2019 National Junior A Hockey Championship
SportIce hockey
Inaugural season1971
Most recent
British Columbia Chilliwack Chiefs (1st)
Most titlesBritish Columbia Vernon Vipers (6)
TV partner(s)TSN
Sponsor(s)Hockey Canada
Canadian Junior Hockey League
Doyle Cup
Dudley Hewitt Cup
Fred Page Cup
Official websiteRoyal 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

National Junior A Championship Round Robins
Year Champion Runner-Up Score Location
2019   Brooks, Alberta
2020   Portage la Prairie, Manitoba

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.[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]

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.

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 Royal Bank Cup.

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

Royal Bank Cup winnersEdit

Royal Bank Cup Round Robins
Year Champion Runner-Up Score Location
1996   Vernon Vipers   Melfort Mustangs 2–0   Melfort, Saskatchewan
1997   Summerside Western Capitals   South Surrey Eagles 4–3   Summerside, Prince Edward Island
1998   South Surrey Eagles   Weyburn Red Wings 4–1   Nanaimo, British Columbia
1999   Vernon Vipers   Charlottetown Abbies 9–3   Yorkton, Saskatchewan
2000   Fort McMurray Oil Barons   Rayside-Balfour Sabrecats 2–1   Fort McMurray, Alberta
2001   Camrose Kodiaks   Flin Flon Bombers 5–0   Flin Flon, Manitoba
2002   Halifax Oland Exports   OCN Blizzard 3–1   Halifax, Nova Scotia
2003   Humboldt Broncos   Camrose Kodiaks 3–1   Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
2004   Aurora Tigers   Kindersley Klippers 7–1   Grande Prairie, Alberta
2005   Weyburn Red Wings   Camrose Kodiaks 3–2   Weyburn, Saskatchewan
2006   Burnaby Express   Yorkton Terriers 8–2   Brampton, Ontario
2007   Aurora Tigers   Prince George Spruce Kings 3–1   Prince George, British Columbia
2008   Humboldt Broncos   Camrose Kodiaks 1–0   Cornwall, Ontario
2009   Vernon Vipers   Humboldt Broncos 2–0   Victoria, British Columbia
2010   Vernon Vipers   Dauphin Kings 8–1   Dauphin, Manitoba
2011   Pembroke Lumber Kings   Vernon Vipers 2–0   Camrose, Alberta
2012   Penticton Vees   Woodstock Slammers 4–3   Humboldt, Saskatchewan
2013   Brooks Bandits   Summerside Western Capitals 3–1   Summerside, Prince Edward Island
2014   Yorkton Terriers   Carleton Place Canadians 4–3 OT   Vernon, British Columbia
2015   Portage Terriers   Carleton Place Canadians 5–2   Portage la Prairie, Manitoba
2016   West Kelowna Warriors   Lloydminster Bobcats 4–0   Lloydminster, Saskatchewan
2017   Cobourg Cougars   Brooks Bandits 3–2 OT   Cobourg, Ontario
2018   Chilliwack Chiefs   Wellington Dukes 4–2   Chilliwack, British Columbia

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.[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.

Manitoba Centennial Trophy winnersEdit

Centennial Cup Final/Round Robin
Year Eastern Finalist Western Finalist Scores (Best of 7) Primary Location
1971   Charlottetown Islanders   Red Deer Rustlers 2-4 (3-6, 3-7, 6-4, 4-7, 7-2, 4-7)   Charlottetown, PEI
1972   Guelph CMC's   Red Deer Rustlers 4-0 (4-2, 3-2, 3-1, 3-0)   Guelph, Ontario
1973   Pembroke Lumber Kings   Portage Terriers 1-4 (5-6 OT, 2-4, 1-3, 6-4, 2-4)   Portage la Prairie, Manitoba
1974   Smiths Falls Bears   Selkirk Steelers 3-4 (4-5, 4-7, 3-0, 1-2, 6-4, 5-4 OT, 0-1 OT)   Nepean, Ontario
1975   Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters   Spruce Grove Mets 2-4 (4-2, 3-2, 1-4, 2-5, 3-6, 4-6)   Edmonton, Alberta
1976   Rockland Nationals   Spruce Grove Mets 4-1 (9-4, 7-1, 5-3, 3-4, 7-3)   Rockland, Ontario
1977   Pembroke Lumber Kings   Prince Albert Raiders 0-4 (4-6, 4-5, 3-6, 3-4)   Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
1978   Guelph Platers   Prince Albert Raiders 4–0 (7-2, 6-2, 6-3, 8-2)   Guelph, Ontario
Year Champion Runner-Up Score Location
1979   Prince Albert Raiders   Sherwood-Parkdale Metros 5–4 OT   Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
1980   Red Deer Rustlers   North York Rangers 3–2   North York, Ontario
1981   Prince Albert Raiders   Belleville Bulls 6–2   Halifax, Nova Scotia
Year Eastern Finalist Western Finalist Scores (Best of 7) Primary Location
1982   Guelph Platers   Prince Albert Raiders 0–4 (4-9, 3-7, 3-6, 4-8)   Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
1983   North York Rangers   Abbotsford Flyers 4–0 (9-6, 8-5, 10-3, 10-2)   North York, Ontario
1984   Orillia Travelways   Weyburn Red Wings 3–4 (6-5, 4-6, 4-7, 2-1, 8-5, 4-5, 0-3)   Weyburn, Saskatchewan
Year Champion Runner-Up Score Location
1985   Orillia Travelways   Penticton Knights 4–2   Orillia, Ontario
1986   Penticton Knights   Cole Harbour Colts 7–4   Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia
1987   Richmond Sockeyes   Humboldt Broncos 5–2   Humboldt, Saskatchewan
1988   Notre Dame Hounds   Halifax Lions 3–2   Pembroke, Ontario
1989   Thunder Bay Flyers   Summerside Western Capitals 4–1   Summerside, PEI
1990   Vernon Lakers   New Westminster Royals 6–5 OT   Vernon, British Columbia
1991   Vernon Lakers   Sudbury Cubs 8–4   Sudbury, Ontario
1992   Thunder Bay Flyers   Winkler Flyers 10–1   Winnipeg, Manitoba
1993   Kelowna Spartans   Chateauguay Elites 7–2   Amherst, Nova Scotia
1994   Olds Grizzlys   Kelowna Spartans 5–4 OT   Olds, Alberta
1995   Calgary Canucks   Gloucester Rangers 5–4 OT   Gloucester, Ontario

Most championships by provinceEdit

Winners of the Centennial Cup (1971–1995) and Royal Bank Cup (1996–) by province.

Rank Province Champions Hosts
1   British Columbia 14 6
2   Ontario 11 13
3   Saskatchewan 10 10
4   Alberta 8 5
5   Manitoba 3 5
6   Prince Edward Island 1 5
7   Nova Scotia 1 4
8   New Brunswick 0 0
8   Newfoundland and Labrador 0 0
8   Quebec 0 0

*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

Roland Mercier TrophyEdit

The Roland Mercier Trophy is awarded to the Most Valuable Player of the Royal Bank Cup Championship.

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:
  • Largest Spread in a Game:
  • Biggest Shutout Victory:
  • Longest Overtime Game:


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Gamesheet: Pickering at Toronto - Sat, Feb 10, 2007".
  3. ^ "Shaw Communications".