|Most recent season or competition:|
2020 Centennial Cup
|Brooks Bandits (2nd) |
|Most titles||Vernon Vipers (6)|
|Official website||Centennial Cup Website|
The Centennial Cup, also known as the Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons for marketing purposes, 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.
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.
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. 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. The tournament was then dubbed the Centennial Cup. For the 1996 tournament, the trophy gained a sponsor and became the Royal Bank 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. 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 2014 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. 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).
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. In December 2019, Tim Hortons was unveiled by Hockey Canada as the presenting sponsor for the Centennial Cup. The 2020 tournament was later cancelled in response to the coronavius pandemic, the first time the championship has not been played since 1970.
Since 1990, tournament structure has used a five-team round-robin followed by a playoff. The current format for qualification of the participating teams are the four regional champions and the host team.
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.
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.
Note: Champions 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|
|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|
|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|
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.
|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|
In 2018, the championship was renamed the National Junior A Championship after the Royal Bank of Canada dropped their sponsorship of the event.
|2019||Brooks Bandits||Prince George Spruce Kings||4–3||Brooks, Alberta|
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.
|2020||Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic[a]||Portage la Prairie, Manitoba|
|2021||TBD||TBD||TBD||Penticton, British Columbia|
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 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.
|6||Prince Edward Island||1||5|
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 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 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.
|Vernon Lakers/Vipers||British Columbia||BCHL||6 (1990, 1991, 1996, 1999, 2009, 2010)|
|Prince Albert Raiders||Saskatchewan||SJHL||4 (1977, 1979, 1981, 1982)|
|Aurora Tigers||Ontario||OPJHL||2 (2004, 2007)|
|Brooks Bandits||Alberta||AJHL||2 (2013, 2019)|
|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)|
The Roland Mercier Trophy is awarded to the Most Valuable Player of the National Junior A Championship.
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.
Categories: Ice hockey tournaments in Canada | Canadian ice hockey trophies and awards | Canadian Junior Hockey League national championships | Recurring sporting events established in 1970 | 1970 establishments in Canada | Hockey Canada | Tim Hortons