Pacific Junior Hockey League

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Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL)
PJHL logo from 2011.jpg
The PJHL logo since 2012
Sport Ice hockey
Founded 1965
Commissioner George Richards
Inaugural season 1965-66
No. of teams 10
Country  Canada
Headquarters Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada
Continent North America
Most recent champion(s) Aldergrove Kodiaks (2nd title)
Most titles Richmond Sockeyes (6)
Related competitions Cyclone Taylor Cup (Provincial Championship)
Keystone Cup (Western Canadian Championship)
Official website PJHL.net

The Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL) is a Canadian junior ice hockey league which operates in the Lower mainland of British Columbia. Although the PJHL has included American teams in the past, the league's ten franchises all currently reside in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Several National Hockey League stars began their junior hockey careers in the PJHL, but the main focus of the league is player development and education with strong ties to the local hockey community. The PJHL Championship is awarded annually to the league playoff champion and the winner moves on to compete against the champions of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League and the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League for the British Columbia Provincial Title, the Cyclone Taylor Cup. The winner of the Cyclone Taylor Cup moves on to compete for the Western Canada Junior "B" Crown, the Keystone Cup.

History[edit]

The origins of the Pacific Junior Hockey League date back to 1965 when teams from Chilliwack, Burnaby, Grandview and Coquitlam created a Juvenile/Junior league for local players who wanted to continue to play competitive hockey. One year later the West Coast Junior Hockey League was officially formed with six teams, including the Grandview Steelers who continue today as the league's oldest franchise.

The first ever League Championship was won in 1967 by the Richmond Juniors, but the formative years of the WCJHL were dominated by the Nor Wes Caps who claimed the West Coast Junior Championship four times in the first seven seasons. The Caps were among a group of teams that chose to leave the league in the mid 1970s, to form a junior A circuit, and new franchises quickly jumped in to replace them. It was during this time that several WCJHL mainstays, including the North Shore Flames and Seattle's Northwest Americans joined the league. Two strong teams, the Burnaby Blazers and Richmond Rebels, won Championships in the late 70's, but both teams eventually had to be relocated.

The Northwest Americans won their first Championship in 1976, but really became the WCJHL's dominant franchise in 1980, when they won the first of three straight League Championships. The Americans won a total of five titles between 1976 and 1986. The WCJHL's next dynasty team was the North Shore Flames, who also won three Championships in a row from 1983-1985. In fact from 1980 to 1986 the Americans and Flames were the only teams to claim the WCJHL title. By the late 80's the Burnaby Bluehawks and White Rock Whalers had etched their name's on the Championship trophy, but neither franchise could make a go of it and relocated to other cities. The late 80's also saw the Port Coquitlam Buckeroos admitted to the league, and the Mission Pilots relocated to Abbotsford where they quickly claimed the WCJHL crown.

The Richmond Sockeyes joined the league in 1990, and before the start of the 1992-93 season the Flames relocated from the North Shore Winter Club to Maple Ridge. Also in 1992, the WCJHL underwent a name change and emerged as the Pacific International Junior Hockey League. The league appeared to be thriving, with eight teams in strong markets, but by the mid 90's the WCJHL had shrunk to six franchises, with just five of them located in the lower-mainland. The PIJHL, after three seasons as a six team circuit, added the Delta Ice Hawks in 1997. The Northwest Americans exited the league at the end of the 98-99 season and, apart from a two year experiment with the Washington Totems, brought about the end to the 'International' era of PIJHL history.

In 2002 a franchise was relocated to North Delta and the modern look of lower-mainland junior hockey began to take shape. Following the 2005-06 season, the Hope Icebreakers and Port Coquiltam Buckaroos relocated to their current homes of Mission and Port Moody. Those moves, followed a year later by expansion franchises in Squamish and Aldergrove, grew the league to ten teams and allowed the PIJHL to convert to the current two conference system. The relocation of the Squamish franchise to North Vancouver and a minor adjustment to the name of the league (PIJHL to PJHL) has the league moving forward with the same franchise locations and alignment for the third straight season.

Since 2000, the league has seen more stability and parity, with the majority of its current franchises having been located in their current cities for many years. Still, while the league Championship has been won by five different clubs during this era, the bulk of the titles have been claimed by three very successful franchises. The Richmond Sockeyes have won five PJHL Championships since 2000, followed closely by Abbotsford and Delta, with four and three respectively. The Pacific Junior Hockey League, as a whole, has won seven of the last eleven Cyclone Taylor Cups (BC Champion) and three of the past five Keystone Cups (National Champion).

List of teams[edit]

Notes
  1. An asterisk (*) denotes a franchise move. See the respective team articles for more information.

Champions[edit]

Year Winning team Coach Losing team Coach Games
1967 Richmond Juniors
1968 Grandview Steelers
1969 Nor Wes Caps
1970 Chilliwack Jets
1971 Nor Wes Caps
1972 Nor Wes Caps
1973 Nor Wes Caps
1974 Point Grey Blades
1975 Burnaby Blazers
1976 Northwest Americans
1977 Richmond Rebels
1978 Richmond Rebels
1979 Burnaby Blazers
1980 Northwest Americans
1981 Northwest Americans
1982 Northwest Americans
1983 North Shore Flames
1984 North Shore Flames
1985 North Shore Flames
1986 Northwest Americans
1987 Burnaby Bluehawks White Rock Whalers
1988 White Rock Whalers North Shore Flames 3-2
1989 Abbotsford Pilots
1990 Burnaby Bluehawks
1991 Coquitlam Warriors
1992 Richmond Sockeyes Abbotsford Pilots 3-1
1993 Coquitlam Warriors Richmond Sockeyes 3-0
1994 Grandview Steelers Richmond Sockeyes 3-0
1995 Port Coquitlam Buckeroos
1996 Ridge Meadows Flames Richmond Sockeyes 4-1
1997 Port Coquitlam Buckeroos
1998 Ridge Meadows Flames Delta Ice Hawks 3-1
1999 Abbotsford Pilots
2000 Abbotsford Pilots Grandview Steelers 4–0
2001 Delta Ice Hawks Port Coquitlam Buckeroos 4–1
2002 Abbotsford Pilots Delta Ice Hawks 4–0
2003 Richmond Sockeyes Abbotsford Pilots 4–3
2004 Richmond Sockeyes Delta Ice Hawks 4–1
2005 Abbotsford Pilots Jim Cowden Delta Ice Hawks 4–3
2006 Delta Ice Hawks Shane Kuss Abbotsford Pilots Jim Cowden 4–2
2007 Abbotsford Pilots Jim Cowden Grandview Steelers Aldo Bruno 4–2
2008 Grandview Steelers Aldo Bruno Abbotsford Pilots Jim Cowden 4–1
2009 Richmond Sockeyes Judd Lambert Abbotsford Pilots Jim Cowden 4–1
2010 Aldergrove Kodiaks Rick Harkins Delta Ice Hawks Jim Camazzola 4–2
2011 Richmond Sockeyes Judd Lambert Abbotsford Pilots Jim Cowden 4–0
2012 Delta Ice Hawks Dave McLellan Abbotsford Pilots Jim Cowden 4–2
2013 Richmond Sockeyes Aaron Wilbur Aldergrove Kodiaks Ron Johnson 4-0
2014 Aldergrove Kodiaks Brad Rihela Richmond Sockeyes Judd Lambert 4-3

Defunct or Relocated Teams[edit]

  • Hastings Express
  • Hope Icebreakers
  • Kerrisdale Centennials
  • Ladner Rebels
  • Maple Ridge Monarchs
  • Mission Pilots
  • Newton Rangers
  • New Westmister Royals
  • Nor'Wes Caps
  • North Delta Flyers
  • North Shore Junior Canadians
  • North Shore Griffins
  • North Shore Winter Club Flames
  • Northwest Americans
  • Point Grey Blades
  • Port Coquitlam Buckeroos
  • Portland Junior Buckeroos
  • Queen's Park Pirates
  • Richmond Juniors
  • Richmond Junior Islanders
  • Richmond Junior Rebels
  • Riley Park Rangers
  • Seattle Totems
  • Seafair Seahorses
  • Seafair Islanders
  • Squamish Eagles
  • Squamish Wolf Pack
  • Surrey Stampeders
  • Surrey Saints
  • University of British Columbia Braves
  • Vancouver Hornets
  • Vancouver Junior Canucks
  • Washington Totems
  • White Rock Rangers
  • White Rock Whalers

NHL alumni[edit]


External links[edit]