The annual Royal Bank Cup tournament is held to determine Canada’s Junior A champion. The tournament features a five-team round robin and a playoff. Participating teams include regional champions, the Western runner-up, and the host team.
It’s more than just a cliché. Whenever playoffs roll around in any league, countless players, coaches and fans can often be heard uttering that anything can happen. That has certainly been the case this year in the Canadian Junior Hockey League.
Details of its longterm future still need to be sorted out for a Manitoba Junior Hockey League franchise. But members of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN) Blizzard are focussed on their immediate future, which possibly includes winning a league championship and perhaps even qualifying for the national Junior A tournament.
It’s been more than a decade since a squad from the Quebec Junior Hockey League participated in the national Junior A championships. The Terrebonne Cobras are hoping they are the ones that break that drought. And they just might have what it takes to do so. The Cobras registered their best regular season mark in franchise history, winning 44 of their 49 contests.
Stefano Durante has already enjoyed a rather successful junior hockey career. But the 20-year-old Cobourg Cougars goalie is still seeking some accolades prior to concluding his junior days this May.
A not-so-funny thing happened to the Penticton Vees last year en route to their anticipated appearance at the national championships. After posting one of their best regular seasons ever in the British Columbia Hockey League, the Vees were expected to move on and advance to the Canadian tourney, which was held in Lloydminster.
Paul Dyck has had his share of successes since taking over the Steinbach Pistons’ head coaching and managerial duties in 2012. Dyck led the Pistons to a Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) championship in 2013. And his squad advanced to the league finals in each of the past two seasons.
If the Powassan Voodoos keep winning more than their share of hockey games they just might find themselves challenging for a national title soon.
Members of the Wenatchee Wild are hoping to make a bit of history this season. The Wild, based in the state of Washington, is the lone American entry in the British Columbia Hockey League.
A mid-season trade from a year ago has proven to be a win-win situation for both Ryan Casselman and the Cobourg Cougars. After playing about a season and a half with the Central Canada Hockey League’s Pembroke Lumber Kings, Casselman admits he was homesick and requested a trade to a club closer to his home in Napanee, Ont.
Though their accomplishments do not include a national title, the Carleton Place Canadians have enjoyed far more success in recent years than any other Canadian Junior Hockey League franchise.
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