With the MJHL playoffs well underway, many of you fans have inquired about who will play in the RBC Cup scheduled May 1-9 in Dauphin.
Dauphin Kings are guaranteed a spot, coming in as the host team. That’s not going to change.
The question many Manitoba fans are asking is this: “if the Kings go on to win both the Turnbull Trophy and ANAVET Cup (Manitoba-Saskatchewan winner) what happens then?”
We now have a answer: the ANAVET Cup finalist (Saskatchewan’s rep) will be given a berth into the RBC Cup.
This is a departure from years past, confirmed MJHL Commissioner Kim Davis. Previously in the Manitoba-Saskatchewan playoffs, if the host team went on to win the ANAVET Cup, the team which had lost in the provincial final would have been given a berth in the RBC Cup tournament.
This took place back in 1992 - the last time the MJHL hosted the national Junior A championhip, then known as the Centennial Cup.
Manitoba was guaranteed one team in the tournament. But, a second spot was also available if Manitoba was able to win the ANAVET.
That year Winkler Flyers and St. James Canadians met in the Turnbull final, with the Flyers coming out champions.
“We knew that if the Flyers went on to win the ANAVET, we would go into the Centennial Cup as the host team,” said Ryan Smith, who was a member of the Canadians and now head coach of the Selkirk Steelers. “After we lost out we kept practicing per usual.”
Flyers went on to the win the ANAVET. They also had a strong tournament, eventually losing in the Centennial Cup final to Thunder Bay before several thousand fans in the old Winnipeg Arena.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)