CHARLOTTETOWN – Atlantic Canada’s best junior B hockey teams will gather in Abram-Village next April.
The provincial champions from P.E.I., New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, along with the host Western Red Wings, will play 10 round-robin games, two semifinals and a final from April 21 to 26 for the right to hoist the Don Johnson Memorial Cup. Should the Red Wings win the Island title, the runner-up team would represent P.E.I.
“The Arsenault Fish Mart Western Red Wings and the Evangeline Rec. Centre are excited and pleased to be able to host this prestigious Atlantic championship,” said Red Wings general manager JC Gallant. “We will work hard to try to make this a fun and well-organized event for players, parents and fans from all parts of Atlantic Canada, and welcome everyone to the Evangeline region and our new arena.”
The Red Wings are members of the Island Junior Hockey League, which is also comprised of the Montague Maniacs, Holland College Hurricanes, Sherwood Falcons and the defending league-champion Kensington Vipers.
The Vipers won the 2011 Don Johnson Cup in Montague. The Vipers also won the 2013 tournament in Moncton, N.B., which was renamed the Don Johnson Memorial Cup, following Johnson’s passing in 2012.
The inaugural Don Johnson Cup was held at Community Gardens in Kensington in 1982.
Former Community Gardens manager Pat Hudson and the late Robert K. Cousins, a longtime owner, general manager and coach of Kensington junior B and juvenile teams, founded, organized and named the Atlantic junior B championship in honour of Johnson, a former president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association and a driving force behind Canada’s involvement in international hockey.
The St. John’s Celtics defeated the host Kensington Bombers 5-3 in the inaugural championship game before 900 fans, and Johnson presented the Don Johnson Cup to his son, Mike, who was an assistant captain of the Celtics.
Pioneer of Hockey
A look at the
late Don Johnson:
A Hockey P.E.I. media release describes Johnson a pioneer of hockey, not only in his native Newfoundland and Labrador but across Canada.
He was president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association from 1975 to 79, and became an Honoured Life Member of Hockey Canada in 1982.
One of the most beloved sports figures in Atlantic Canada, Johnson touched countless lives in almost 50 years in hockey, from his time as president of the St. John’s Senior Hockey League to countless appearances at the Hockey Canada annual general meeting, where he made sure his voice was heard on how to make the game better.
Johnson also played a major role in Canada’s return to international competition in the late 1970s. He was instrumental in the creation of the Canada Cup, and enhanced Canada’s reputation within international hockey, serving as chairman of the 1978 IIHF world junior championship in Montreal – the first world juniors to be held in Canada.
Johnson was also a Life Member of Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador, Softball Newfoundland and Labrador and Sport Newfoundland and Labrador, and is in the Newfoundland and Labrador Hockey Hall of Fame and Canada Games Council’s Hall of Honour.