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Maritime Junior A Hockey League

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Canadian Junior A Outline

Maritime Junior A Hockey League
Official website
Current Champion Dieppe Commandos
Head Office Fredericton, New Brunswick
President Brian Whitehead
Chairman Dave Ritcey
Founded 1967
Fred Page Cups 5
Royal Bank Cups 2

The Maritime Junior A Hockey League is a Junior A ice hockey league under Hockey Canada, a part of the Canadian Junior Hockey League. It consists of 5 teams from New Brunswick and 1 team from PEI, which make up the Roger Meek Division, and 6 teams from Nova Scotia which make up the Eastlink Division. The winner of the MJAHL playoffs competes for the Fred Page Cup against the winners of the Quebec Junior Hockey League and the Central Canada Hockey League. The winner of the Fred Page Cup then moves on to compete for the Canadian National Junior A Championships, the Royal Bank Cup.


Originally known as the Metro Valley Junior Hockey League, the league was founded in 1967 by Fred McGillivray and Louie Lewis of Halifax, Nova Scotia and Don Stewart of Berwick, Nova Scotia as a Junior "B" level hockey league. Originally an exclusively Nova Scotia hockey league, it included 6 teams: East Hants Junior Penguins, Halifax Colonels, Dartmouth Hoyts, Windsor Royals, Kentville Riteways, and Berwick Shell Juniors. 1968 saw the Truro Bearcats and Amherst Ramblers replace the teams from Kentville and Berwick. In 1971-72 the New Glasgow Bombers and the Pictou Maripacs entered the league. Stellarton and a new Kentville franchise entered the league in 1973 and 1974 respectively.

In 1977, still known as the "Metro Valley", the league entered into the Tier II Junior "A" level. The jump to Junior "A" was, in theory, to be a catalyst for the development of the league. The Cole Harbour Colts (Scotia Colts), who entered the league in 1976, became the first team in league history to host the national championship, then known as the Centennial Cup, in 1980.

The 1983 season saw the expansion of the Moncton Midland Hawks of Moncton, New Brunswick, the league's first non-Nova Scotia team. The Hawks came from the New Brunswick Junior Hockey League and are now known as the Dieppe Commandos. In 1986, the league expanded to Antigonish and the Scotia Colts, again, hosted the Centennial Cup. The Summerside Western Capitals of the Island Junior Hockey League, Prince Edward Island's junior hockey league, hosted the 1989 Centennial Cup.

In 1991, Summerside and Charlottetown of Prince Edward Island left the IJHL and joined the newly dubbed "Maritime Junior A Hockey League". The IJHL is still PEI's premier Junior league, but now is only a Junior "B" league. The winner of the IJHL's playoffs compete for the Don Johnson Cup, the Maritime Junior "B" Championship.

In 1996-97 the league consisted of the Amherst Ramblers, Antigonish Bulldogs, Charlottetown Abbies, East Hants Penguins, Dartmouth Oland Exports, Moncton Gagnon Beavers, Saint John Alpines, and Summerside Western Capitals. At the beginning of the season the league welcomed the Cape Breton Islanders and Restigouche River Rats but unfortunately the Saint John Alpines did not survive the season. The league should have pride in this season as the Summerside Western Capitals won the leagues first ever National Title. The Summerside Western Capitals hosted the Royal Bank Cup and on the home ice of the Cahill Stadium, won the 1997 Royal Bank Cup championship game by a score 4-3 against the South Surrey Eagles.

The Truro Bearcats joined the league in 1997-98 but this was overshadowed by the failure of the Cape Breton Islanders which had become the Glace Bay Miners. With the arrival of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, they folded part way through the season leaving the league with nine teams again.

During the 1998-99 season two teams changed their names. The first was the Dartmouth Oland Exports when they moved to the Halifax Forum to become the Halifax Oland Exports. The second was the 1998-99 MJAHL champions, Restigouche River Rats, as they changed their name to the Campbellton Tigers.

Old Logo

A tenth team was added for the 2000-2001 season, the Miramichi Timberwolves. At the same time the East Hants Penguins moved to Dartmouth and became the Scotia Dairy Queen Blizzard. At the end of the 2001-02 season the league approved the transfer of the Blizzard to Yarmouth. The Yarmouth Motormart Mariners began play in September 2002. In early 2003 the league governors approved expansion into Woodstock, N.B. with the Slammers beginning play in the 2003-04 season.

The league got their second national Championship when the Halifax Oland Exports won the 2002 Royal Bank Cup on home ice. One year later, after financial trouble with Oland Brewery, the franchise's name was changed to Halifax Team Pepsi. In the spring of 2004, the Weeks Hockey Organization bought the club, moved it to New Glasgow and renamed it the Weeks Crushers. On that same day Halifax got a new team as they were granted an expansion franchise, the Halifax Wolverines.

In the spring of 2008, the MJAHL had some big changes.

On April 15, the Antigonish Bulldogs announced that they were applying for a leave of absence for one year.[1] On April 26, the Bulldogs had to choose between two groups trying to buy the team and relocate it. The first group would move the franchise to New Richmond, Quebec. The other was a group based in Halifax and they would relocate the team to the Halifax area. At the Board of Governors meeting that day, the proposal to relocate the Antigonish franchise to New Richmond, Quebec was not considered to be in the best interests of the league and its members. The Goverors did leave the door open to the sale to a Halifax group and a move to Metro Halifax. The sale and relocation of the franchise to Halifax was later approved.

At the same Governors meeting, in response to the decision to leave the door open on the sale of the Bulldogs, the owners of the Halifax Wolverines announced their plans to move to Bridgewater. The Governors voted on the decision and it was approved.[2]. Following a name the team contest, the franchise was dubbed the Bridgewater Lumberjacks.

Later that week on April 29, the Moncton Beavers announced that they had failed to come to terms on a new lease for the Tim Hortons 4-Ice centre and had subsequently moved themselves to the neighboring city of Dieppe. The team was renamed the Dieppe Commandos[3].

Rounding out this very busy month in the history of the MJAHL was the Charlottetown Abbies decision, on May 1, to apply for a leave of absence for one year, which ended up being accepted.[4]

The Halifax franchise (former Antigonish Bulldogs) announced on August 22, 2008, that the club would be known as the Halifax Lions. This was the name of the successful Halifax team in the 1980s.[5]

The current MJAHL has twelve teams. The league has hosted the Royal Bank Cup and Centennial Cup nine times (as of 2015), winning twice. MJAHL teams have also won three Fred Page Cups as the Junior "A" Eastern Canadian Champions to earn the right to compete for the Royal Bank Cup.

The league hired its first professional full time League President in 2003, Vernon Doyle.


Eastlink South Division
Team Joined Centre Arena
Amherst Ramblers 1967 Amherst, Nova Scotia Amherst Stadium
Pictou County Crushers 1967 New Glasgow, Nova Scotia Pictou County Wellness Centre
South Shore Lumberjacks 2004 Bridgewater, Nova Scotia Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre
Truro Bearcats 1997 Truro, Nova Scotia Rath Eastlink Community Centre
Valley Wildcats 1986 Berwick, Nova Scotia Kings Mutual Century Centre
Yarmouth Mariners 1976 Yarmouth, Nova Scotia Mariners Centre
Eastlink North Division
Team Joined Centre Arena
Campbellton Tigers 1996 Campbellton, New Brunswick Campbellton Memorial Civic Center
County Aces 2014 St. Stephen, New Brunswick Garcelon Civic Centre
Dieppe Commandos 1983 Dieppe, New Brunswick Arthur-J-LeBlanc Centre
Miramichi Timberwolves 2000 Miramichi, New Brunswick Miramichi Civic Centre
Summerside Western Capitals 1991 Summerside, Prince Edward Island Credit Union Place
Woodstock Slammers 2003 Woodstock, New Brunswick Carleton Civic Centre

Kent Cup ChampionsEdit

Up until 1991, the league champion would play in the Callaghan Cup (the Atlantic Junior A Championship).The MJAHL became a regional league in 1991 absorbing some of the members from the other Junior A leagues in the Atlantic Region.  The Callaghan Cup became the league's playoff championship trophy until it was retired after the 2005-06 season in favor of the Kent Cup.

  • 1968 Windsor Royals
  • 1969 East Hants Penguins
  • 1970 Truro Bearcats
  • 1971 Truro Bearcats
  • 1972 Truro Bearcats
  • 1973 New Glasgow Bombers
  • 1974 Truro Bearcats
  • 1975 Dartmouth Arrows
  • 1976 Truro Bearcats
  • 1977 Dartmouth Arrows
  • 1978 Cole Harbour Colts
  • 1979 Halifax Lions
  • 1980 Cole Harbour Colts
  • 1981 Cole Harbour Colts
  • 1982 Halifax Lions
  • 1983 Halifax Lions
  • 1984 Halifax Lions
  • 1985 Cole Harbour Colts
  • 1986 Moncton Hawks
  • 1987 Dartmouth Fuel Kids
  • 1988 Halifax Lions
  • 1989 Moncton Hawks
  • 1990 Amherst Ramblers
  • 1991 Halifax Jr. Canadians
  • 1992 Halifax Mooseheads
  • 1993 Antigonish Bulldogs
  • 1994 Antigonish Bulldogs
  • 1995 Moncton Gagnon Beavers*
  • 1996 Dartmouth Oland Exports
  • 1997 Summerside Western Capitals
  • 1998 Restigouche River Rats
  • 1999 Charlottetown Abbies*
  • 2000 Halifax Oland Exports
  • 2001 Antigonish Bulldogs
  • 2002 Halifax Oland Exports*#
  • 2003 Charlottetown Abbies
  • 2004 Campbellton Tigers
  • 2005 Truro Bearcats
  • 2006 Woodstock Slammers
  • 2007 Truro Bearcats
  • 2008 Yarmouth Mariners @
  • 2009 Summerside Western Capitals
  • 2010 Woodstock Slammers
  • 2011 Summerside Western Capitals
  • 2012 Woodstock Slammers*
  • 2013 Summerside Western Capitals @
  • 2014 Truro Bearcats
  • 2015 Dieppe Commandos
  • 2016 Pictou County Crushers

note-Asterisk (*) denotes Fred Page Cup champion for that year

#-denotes won Royal Bank Cup for that year

@-The Pictou County Crushers won the 2008 Fred Page Cup and the Truro Bearcats won the 2013 Fred Page Cup as host.

Regional ChampionshipsEdit

Dudley Hewitt CupEdit

From 1977 (when the league was elevated to Junior A) until 1978 (when  the Manitoba Centennial Cup added a berth for the Atlantic Region champions) the league champion was eligible to compete for the Dudley Hewitt Cup but the league champions did not win either year they were eligible

Callaghan CupEdit

From 1979 until 1991, the league was one of several leagues in the region and the champion competed for the Callaghan Cup as Atlantic Regional Champions.

  • 1981 Cole Harbour Colts
  • 1983 Halifax Lions
  • 1984 Halifax Lions
  • 1985 Cole Harbour Colts
  • 1986 Moncton Hawks
  • 1987 Dartmouth Fuel Kids
  • 1988 Halifax Lions
  • 1990 Amherst Ramblers
  • 1991 Halifax Canadians

Fred Page CupEdit

Since 1995 the league champion competes in the Fred Page Cup for the Eastern Canada Junior "A" championship and a berth in the Royal Bank Cup.

  • 1996 Moncton Beavers
  • 1999 Charlottetown Abbies
  • 2002 Halifax Oland Exports
  • 2008 Weeks Crushers (won as host)
  • 2009 Summerside Western Capitals
  • 2012 Woodstock Slammers
  • 2013 Truro Bearcats (won as host)

National ChampionshipsEdit

Manitoba Centennial CupEdit

No league member won the Centennial Cup while league members were eligible to win the cup from 1977 to 1995.

Royal Bank CupEdit

  • 1997 Summerside Western Capitals (won as host)
  • 2002 Halifax Oland Exports (won as host)

Defunct TeamsEdit

Franchise Timeline (as Metro Valley Junior Hockey League)Edit

East Hants Junior Penguins (1967-1977) leave league

Halifax Colonels (1967-1972) renamed Blazers

Dartmouth Hoyts (1967-1969) become Dartmouth Arrows

Windsor Royals (1967-1978) expelled from league

Kentville Riteways (1967-1968) withdrew

Berwick Shell Juniors (1967-1968) withdrew

Truro Bearcats (1968-1983) folded early in 1983-84 season

Amherst Ramblers (1968-1991) see Maritime Jr. A Hockey League

Dartmouth Arrows (1969-1987) renamed Fuel Kids

New Glasgow Bombers (1971-1976) leave league

Pictou Maripacs (1971-1975) leave league

Chester Ravens (1972-1977) leave league

Halifax Blazers (1972-1975) renamed Centennials

Stellarton Spitfires (1973-1975) leave league

Kentville Colonels (1975-1980) leave league, replaced by Valley Wildcats

Halifax Centennials (1975-1977) renamed Lions

Cole Harbour Colts (1976-1991) returned to Maritime Jr. A Hockey League

Halifax Lions (1977-1989) renamed DQ Blizzards

Valley Wildcats (1980-1984) folded

Moncton Hawks (1983-1990) renamed Classics

Antigonish Bulldogs (1986-1991) see Maritime Jr. A Hockey League

Dartmouth Fuel Kids (1987-1988) renamed Dartmouth Eagles

Dartmouth Eagles (1988-1989) renamed Dartmouth Pepsis

Dartmouth Pepsis (1989-1991) folded

Halifax DQ Blizzards (1989-1990) renamed Halifax Canadians

Halifax Canadians (1990-1991) see Maritime Jr. A Hockey League as Mooseheads

Moncton Classics (1990-1991) see Maritime Jr. A Hockey League as Dieppe-Classics

Franchise Timeline (as Maritime Junior A Hockey League)Edit

Dartmouth Pepsis (1991-1992) folded

Amherst Ramblers (1991-1994) renamed Mooseheads

Cole Harbour Colts (1991-1995) moved to East Hants, renamed Penguins

Antigonish Bulldogs (1991-2008) moved to Halifax, renamed Lions

Halifax Mooseheads (1991-1993) renamed Oland Exports

Moncton Dieppe-Classsics (1991-1993) renamed Beavers

Charlottetown Abbies (1991-1994) withdraw for 1 year

Summerside Western Capitals (1991-2010) see Maritime Hockey League

Moncton –Dieppe Beavers (1993-2008) moved to Dieppe

Halifax Oland Exports (1993-1995) moved to Dartmouth

Amherst Mooseheads (1994-1998) renamed Ramblers

Charlottetown Abbies (1995-2008) folded in 2009

Saint John Alpines (1995-1997) folded in January 1997

Dartmouth Oland Exports (1995-1998) moved back to Halifax

East Hants Penguins (1995-2000) moved to Dartmouth, renamed DQ Blizzard

Restigouche River Rats (1996-1999) renamed Campbellton Tigers

Cape Breton Islanders (1996-1997) moved to Glace Bay, renamed Miners

Truro Bearcats (1997-2010) see Martime Hockey League

Glace Bay Miners (1997-1997) folded before play in city under new name

See AlsoEdit

List of MJAHL Seasons

External linksEdit


  1. - Your Source For Hockey Information In Atlantic Canada
  2. - Your Source For Hockey Information In Atlantic Canada
  3. MJAHL
  4. Charlottetown, The Guardian: Sports | Abbies taking break

Also seeEdit

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