Western Canada Cup Scrapped
WINNIPEG, MB – The 2017 Western Canada Cup, won by the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, was the last.
The annual spring tournament, which brought together the champions of the four Western Canadian Junior “A’” leagues (plus a host team), which determined two teams from the West that would qualify for the RBC Cup tournament, has been abandoned after a five year experiment.
Starting again, next spring, the champions of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and the Manitoba Junior Hockey League will face each other for the ANAVET Cup. The winner will automatically qualify to play in the RBC Cup.
The Humboldt Broncos were the last team to win the Cup doing so back in 2012. The Manitoba champions, the Dauphin Kings and the Portage Terriers won the ANAVET Cup respectively in 2010 and 2011. The Selkirk Steelers won in 2007 and the Terriers won in 2005. The MJHL champions won the first ANAVET Cup in 1971 (St. Boniface Saints), but have only won 12 times since then.
Hockey Canada said that the Western Canada Cup was being scrapped because the host clubs made little or no profit on the event and there was a distinct lack of interest in the host sites.
“At the end of the day it wasn’t making enough money,” AJHL commissioner Ryan Bartoshyk told the Camrose Canadian. “You looked at previous scenarios, whether it was the Doyle Cup or the ANAVET Cup, there was the opportunity there for our individual teams to make more revenue, which they did.”
The MJHL champion Portage Terriers failed to make the Western Canada Cup finals this season, but they did finish second in 2015 and then went on to win the RBC Cup. The MJHL champions never won a Western Canada Cup tournament, but finished second twice (Dauphin 2014).
Scott Taylor, MyToba Sports
Photo by Tara Miller