Western Canada Junior Hockey League (1948–1956)

The Western Canada Junior Hockey League was a junior ice hockey based in Alberta and Saskatchewan from 1948 until 1956. It was formed by teams which sought a higher level of competition and more formal organization. Its teams were eligible for the Memorial Cup as the national junior champion of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association, and were runners-up in five seasons as the Abbott Cup junior champion of Western Canada.

Photo of the trophy
The Abbott Cup was the championship trophy for junior ice hockey in Western Canada.

HistoryEdit

The Western Canada Junior Hockey League (WCJHL) formed in 1948 after junior ice hockey teams from Alberta and Saskatchewan wanted to form a league with a higher level of competition with more formal organization by a dedicated league governor rather than a provincial governing body. All four teams from the Southern Alberta Junior Hockey League combined with two teams from the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League to become a six-team league. The remaining junior teams in Saskatchewan reorganized as the South Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League for the 1948–49 season.[1] Earlier in 1948, the stronger junior teams based in Saskatchewan and Manitoba proposed an inter-provincial league. Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association president Jimmy Dunn was opposed to the idea since he felt it would have a negative effect on junior hockey in Winnipeg.[2]

The WCJHL operated under the joint jurisdiction of the Alberta Amateur Hockey Association and the Saskatchewan Amateur Hockey Association, and participated in the playoffs for the Memorial Cup as organized by the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA). Teams from the WCJHL won the Abbott Cup as the junior champions of Western Canada in five seasons, which included the Regina Pats in 1950, 1952, 1955, 1956, and the Edmonton Oil Kings in 1954. In each of these seasons, the WCJHL team was a runner-up to the Eastern Canada champion which won the Memorial Cup final as the national junior champion.[3]

The WCJHL and other junior teams in Western Canada addressed the imbalance in Memorial Cup competition in a meeting with CAHA president W. B. George in August 1954. The teams sought permission for any league champion to add three players in the inter-provincial playoffs for the Memorial Cup, and contended that the imbalance in competition caused lack of spectator interest and less prestige for the event.[4][5] At the next CAHA meeting in January 1955, the request for three additional players for the Abbott Cup representative was approved.[6]

The WCJHL folded in 1958 and the remaining four teams returned to their respective provincial junior leagues.[1]

GovernorsEdit

List of league governors:

TeamsEdit

List of teams that played in the WCJHL:[1]

Team name Seasons City
Bellevue Lions 1948–1949 Bellevue, Alberta
Crow's Nest Pass Lions 1949–1951 Bellevue, Alberta
Crow's Nest Pass Coalers 1951–1953 Bellevue, Alberta
Calgary Buffaloes 1948–1954 Calgary, Alberta
Edmonton Oil Kings 1951–1956 Edmonton, Alberta
Lethbridge Native Sons 1948–1956 Lethbridge, Alberta
Medicine Hat Tigers 1948–1956 Medicine Hat, Alberta
Moose Jaw Canucks 1948–1955 Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Regina Pats 1948–1956 Regina, Saskatchewan

StandingsEdit

1948–49 seasonEdit

Rank Team Games Wins Losses Ties Points GF GA
1 Calgary Buffaloes 32 20 9 3 52 188 123
2 Moose Jaw Canucks 26 17 8 1 52 139 94
3 Regina Pats 26 11 14 1 40 99 126
4 Lethbridge Native Sons 32 13 19 0 36 105 139
5 Medicine Hat Tigers 31 11 17 3 30 123 147
6 Bellevue Lions 32 14 18 0 30 166 185

1949–50 seasonEdit

Rank Team Games Wins Losses Ties Points GF GA
1 Lethbridge Native Sons 40 30 10 0 60 232 139
2 Moose Jaw Canucks 40 22 18 0 44 162 180
3 Regina Pats 40 19 20 1 39 182 182
4 Medicine Hat Tigers 40 17 21 2 36 174 194
5 Crow's Nest Pass Lions 40 16 24 0 32 191 221
6 Calgary Buffaloes 40 14 25 1 29 139 160

1950–51 seasonEdit

Rank Team Games Wins Losses Ties Points GF GA
1 Lethbridge Native Sons 40 29 10 1 59 226 130
2 Regina Pats 40 26 12 2 54 207 126
3 Crow's Nest Pass Lions 40 18 20 2 38 175 197
4 Medicine Hat Tigers 40 18 21 1 37 150 218
5 Moose Jaw Canucks 40 16 22 2 34 147 160
6 Calgary Buffaloes 40 8 30 2 18 119 192

1951–52 seasonEdit

Rank Team Games Wins Losses Ties Points GF GA
1 Regina Pats 44 30 11 3 63 229 127
2 Edmonton Oil Kings 44 29 14 1 59 234 160
3 Lethbridge Native Sons 44 27 15 2 56 232 168
4 Calgary Buffaloes 44 21 19 4 46 181 146
5 Moose Jaw Canucks 44 21 23 0 42 178 171
6 Crow's Nest Pass Coalers 44 18 25 1 37 219 289
7 Medicine Hat Tigers 44 11 30 3 25 171 247

1952–53 seasonEdit

Rank Team Games Wins Losses Ties Points GF GA
1 Edmonton Oil Kings 36 28 6 2 58 218 97
2 Regina Pats 36 23 11 2 48 165 135
3 Lethbridge Native Sons 36 19 12 5 43 214 166
4 Calgary Buffaloes 36 15 17 4 34 171 182
5 Moose Jaw Canucks 36 13 23 0 26 164 209
6 Medicine Hat Tigers 36 12 22 2 26 158 207
7 Crow's Nest Pass Coalers 36 8 27 1 17 145 239

1953–54 seasonEdit

Rank Team Games Wins Losses Ties Points GF GA
1 Edmonton Oil Kings 36 33 3 0 55 263 84
2 Regina Pats 36 23 13 0 39 182 119
3 Lethbridge Native Sons 36 19 17 0 30 183 171
4 Moose Jaw Canucks 36 17 19 0 29 166 191
5 Medicine Hat Tigers 36 13 23 0 22 144 187
6 Calgary Buffaloes 36 3 33 0 5 121 307

1954–55 seasonEdit

Rank Team Games Wins Losses Ties Points GF GA
1 Regina Pats 40 30 10 0 60 220 116
2 Lethbridge Native Sons 40 25 15 0 50 169 163
3 Edmonton Oil Kings 40 23 16 1 47 173 115
4 Medicine Hat Tigers 40 16 23 1 33 163 167
5 Moose Jaw Canucks 40 5 35 0 10 100 264

1955–56 seasonEdit

Rank Team Games Wins Losses Ties Points GF GA
1 Regina Pats 36 24 11 1 49 181 132
2 Edmonton Oil Kings 36 17 19 0 34 150 143
3 Lethbridge Native Sons 48 24 24 0 32 223 233
4 Medicine Hat Tigers 48 18 29 1 29 173 219

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Western Canada Junior Hockey League history and statistics". Hockey Database. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  2. ^ "Junior Bosses Confer On New Hockey Set-Up". Winnipeg Tribune. Winnipeg, Manitoba. April 13, 1948. p. 16. 
  3. ^ Lapp, Richard M.; Macaulay, Alec (1997). The Memorial Cup: Canada's National Junior Hockey Championship. Madeira Park, British Columbia: Harbour Publishing. pp. 89–106. ISBN 1-55017-170-4.
  4. ^ Hooper, Al (August 2, 1954). "Three Replacements Sought For West Champs". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. p. 13. 
  5. ^ "Western Junior Hockey Men Seeking Entirely New Deal". Lethbridge Herald. Lethbridge, Alberta. July 29, 1954. p. 7. 
  6. ^ "CAHA Hopes To Reduce Budget To 55 Thousand". Winnipeg Tribune. Winnipeg, Manitoba. January 10, 1955. p. 16. 
  7. ^ a b "22 Home Games For Juniors". Lethbridge Herald. Lethbridge, Alberta. September 17, 1951. p. 12. 
  8. ^ a b Pilling, Don (July 28, 1953). "Don Pilling". Lethbridge Herald. Lethbridge, Alberta. p. 7. 
  9. ^ "1948–49 Western Canada Junior Hockey League Standings". Hockey Database. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  10. ^ "1949–50 Western Canada Junior Hockey League Standings". Hockey Database. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  11. ^ "1950–51 Western Canada Junior Hockey League Standings". Hockey Database. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  12. ^ "1951–52 Western Canada Junior Hockey League Standings". Hockey Database. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  13. ^ "1952–53 Western Canada Junior Hockey League Standings". Hockey Database. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  14. ^ "1953–54 Western Canada Junior Hockey League Standings". Hockey Database. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  15. ^ "1954–55 Western Canada Junior Hockey League Standings". Hockey Database. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  16. ^ "1955–56 Western Canada Junior Hockey League Standings". Hockey Database. Retrieved December 16, 2020.