This is the 2016 Manitoba Senior AAA Hockey Championship.
There are three teams registered at the Senior AAA level in the province of Manitoba. The championship is traditionally a stepping stone to the Allan Cup. However, the 2016 Allan Cup is being held in Steinbach, Manitoba and being hosted by the South East Prairie Thunder. The Thunder automatically qualify for the tournament as the host team.
The provincial champion usually plays the Saskatchewan provincial champion for the Rathgaber Cup and the Western Region spot in the Allan Cup, but due to the fact that the province of Quebec does not have any teams registered at the Senior AAA level, their spot in the Allan Cup traditionally goes to the host branch (Manitoba). This nullifies the need for the inter-provincial as the provincial champion qualifies in place of the Quebec entry in the Allan Cup. The Saskatchewan representative automatically qualified for the Allan Cup.
Due to the extra bid and hosting the Allan Cup the provincial tournament was run a little different for 2016. The South East Prairie Thunder earn a bye to the provincial final. The Manitoba Lightning and the Ile des Chênes North Stars will play a best-of-three series to determine the province's representative in the Allan Cup. These games are scheduled for February 28th, March 6th, and if needed March 13th The winner of this series will play the South East Prairie Thunder for the provincial championship.