Centennial Cup

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Centennial Cup
Most recent season or competition:
2023 Centennial Cup
  • Manitoba Centennial Cup (1971–1995)
  • Royal Bank/RBC Cup (1996–2018)
  • National Jr. A Championship (2019)
SportIce hockey
Inaugural season1971
Most recent
Brooks Bandits (3rd)
Most titlesVernon Vipers (6)
TV partner(s)TSN
Official websiteCentennial Cup Website

The Centennial Cup is an annual ice hockey tournament organized by Hockey Canada and the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL), which determines the national champion of junior A ice hockey. It is a ten-team round robin featuring the winners of all nine CJHL member leagues as well as a pre-selected host city.

The championship has also been 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. It is currently branded as the Centennial Cup after Tim Hortons, the title sponsor of the 2022 national junior 'A' championship, withdrew its sponsorship for the 2023 season in response to the Hockey Canada sexual assault scandal.[1]


The Manitoba Centennial Trophy was presented to the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) by the Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association (MAHA) 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.[citation needed] Earl Dawson and Bill Addison were the named initial trustees of the trophy, both of whom were past presidents of the MAHA.[2] The tournament subsequently became known as the Centennial 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. For the 1996 tournament, the trophy gained a sponsor and became the Royal Bank Cup. 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 2013 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.[3] 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).[4]

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.[5] In December 2019, Tim Hortons was unveiled by Hockey Canada as the presenting sponsor for the Centennial Cup.[6] The 2020 and 2021 tournaments were later cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the only times the championship has not been played since 1970.[7]


Starting in 1990, the tournament used a five-team round-robin followed by a playoff. The format for qualification of the participating teams was based on 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

Ahead of the 2022 Centennial Cup, the tournament's format was changed to include the winners of the nine member leagues of the CJHL: the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL), Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL), Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL), Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL), Quebec Junior Hockey League (LHJQ) and Maritime Junior A Hockey League (MHL) plus a host city pre-determined by the CJHL.[8]

Champions by era[edit]

Manitoba Centennial Trophy history (1971–1995)[edit]

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.[9]

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 from this era was awarded to the Calgary Canucks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League in 1995.

Note: Champions are in bold.

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, Prince Edward Island
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, Prince Edward Island
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

Royal Bank Cup history (1996–2018)[edit]

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.

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

National Junior A Championship history (2019)[edit]

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

Year Champion Runner-up Score Location
2019 Brooks Bandits Prince George Spruce Kings 4–3 Brooks, Alberta

Centennial Cup history (2020–present)[edit]

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

Year Champion Runner-up Score Location
2020 Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic[a] Portage la Prairie, Manitoba
2021 Penticton, British Columbia
2022 Brooks Bandits Pickering Panthers 4–1 Estevan, Saskatchewan
2023 Brooks Bandits Battlefords North Stars 4–0 Portage la Prairie, Manitoba
2024 Oakville, Ontario
2025 Okotoks, Alberta[11]
  1. ^ Hockey Canada and the CJHL cancelled the 2020 and 2021 Centennial Cups in response to the coronavirus pandemic[7][10]

Most championships by province[edit]

Winners of the Centennial Cup (1971–1995), Royal Bank Cup (1996–2018), and National Junior A Championship (2019) 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 to 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.[citation needed]

Rank Province Champions Hosts
1 British Columbia 14 6
2 Ontario 11 13
3 Saskatchewan 10 10[a]
4 Alberta 10 6[a]
5 Manitoba 3 5
6 Prince Edward Island 1 5
7 Nova Scotia 1 4
  1. ^ a b The province of Saskatchewan has hosted ten 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[edit]

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 four 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), and the Brooks Bandits in 2022 and 2023 and since there was no champion in 2020 & 2021, they technically won 3 consecutive championships, winning in 2019 as well.

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.

Team Province League Champions
Vernon Lakers/Vipers British Columbia BCHL 6 (1990, 1991, 1996, 1999, 2009, 2010)
Brooks Bandits Alberta AJHL 4 (2013, 2019, 2022, 2023)
Prince Albert Raiders Saskatchewan SJHL 4 (1977, 1979, 1981, 1982)
Aurora Tigers Ontario OPJHL 2 (2004, 2007)
Guelph CMC's/Platers Ontario SOJHL/OPJHL 2 (1972, 1978)
Humboldt Broncos Saskatchewan SJHL 2 (2003, 2008)
Penticton Knights/Vees British Columbia BCJHL/BCHL 2 (1986, 2012)
Portage Terriers Manitoba MJHL 2 (1973, 2015)
Red Deer Rustlers Alberta AJHL 2 (1971, 1980)
Thunder Bay Flyers Ontario USHL 2 (1989, 1992)
Weyburn Red Wings Saskatchewan SJHL 2 (1984, 2005)
Burnaby Express British Columbia BCHL 1 (2006)
Calgary Canucks Alberta AJHL 1 (1995)
Camrose Kodiaks Alberta AJHL 1 (2001)
Chilliwack Chiefs British Columbia BCHL 1 (2018)
Cobourg Cougars Ontario OJHL 1 (2017)
Fort McMurray Oil Barons Alberta AJHL 1 (2000)
Halifax Oland Exports Nova Scotia MJAHL 1 (2002)
Kelowna Spartans British Columbia BCHL 1 (1993)
North York Rangers Ontario OPJHL 1 (1983)
Notre Dame Hounds Saskatchewan SJHL 1 (1988)
Olds Grizzlys Alberta AJHL 1 (1994)
Orillia Travelways Ontario OPJHL 1 (1985)
Pembroke Lumber Kings Ontario CCHL 1 (2011)
Richmond Sockeyes British Columbia BCJHL 1 (1987)
Rockland Nationals Ontario CJHL 1 (1976)
Selkirk Steelers Manitoba MJHL 1 (1974)
South Surrey Eagles British Columbia BCHL 1 (1998)
Spruce Grove Mets Alberta AJHL 1 (1975)
Summerside Western Capitals Prince Edward Island MJAHL 1 (1997)
West Kelowna Warriors British Columbia BCHL 1 (2016)
Yorkton Terriers Saskatchewan SJHL 1 (2014)

Roland Mercier Trophy[edit]

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

Game scoring records[edit]

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:


  1. ^ "Tim Hortons, Scotiabank pull Hockey Canada sponsorship for men's programs in 2022-23". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved 2023-05-23.
  2. ^ "Centennial Cup trustees". Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg, Manitoba. April 24, 1971. p. 64.icon of an open green padlock
  3. ^ "404 | Missing page for Hockey Canada". {{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)
  4. ^ "Gamesheet: Pickering at Toronto - Sat, Feb 10, 2007". pointstreak.com.
  6. ^ "Hockey Canada announce expanded marketing partnership". Hockey Canada. 12 December 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Hockey Canada statement in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)". Hockey Canada. March 12, 2020.
  8. ^ "All 9 CJHL member-league champions to compete in 2022 Centennial Cup". www.cjhlhockey.com. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  9. ^ "National Champions History". vernonjrahockey.ca.
  10. ^ "Hockey Canada statement on spring 2021 national championships". Hockey Canada. February 5, 2021.
  11. ^ "HOSTS ANNOUNCED FOR 2024 AND 2025 CENTENNIAL CUPS". www.cjhlhockey.com.

External links[edit]