In 1970, the CAHA (Hockey Canada) reconfigured junior tiers, creating two separate classifications – Major junior and Junior A. It was determined that the Memorial Cup, which had served as the CAHA’s national championship since 1919, would become the new championship trophy for the CMJHL, now the CHL.
At that time the Manitoba Centennial Trophy was presented to the CAHA (Hockey Canada) by the MAHA (Hockey Manitoba) in 1970-71. The Manitoba Centennial Trophy served as the trophy for the champions of the new Junior A division (CJHL), known as the Centennial Cup. In 1971, the Red Deer Rustlers of the Alberta Junior Hockey League claimed the inaugural championship and Manitoba Centennial Trophy with a win over the Charlottetown Islanders. The final Centennial Cup was awarded to the Calgary Canucks in 1995, with the tournament being re-named the Royal Bank Cup from 1996 to 2018.
In September 2019, Hockey Canada in partnership with the Canadian Junior Hockey League, announced the tournament would return to its original name – the Centennial Cup. With the 50th edition of Canada’s National Junior A Championship set for May 2020 the trophy was to return home to Manitoba as the Portage Terriers were awarded to host the event in Portage la Prairie, MB. Unfortunately due to extreme circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic Hockey Canada and the CJHL were left with little alternative but to cancel the remainder of the CJHL playoff season.
National Junior A Champions:
1973 – Portage Terriers (Centennial Cup)
1974 – Selkirk Steelers (Centennial Cup)
2015 – Portage Terriers (RBC Cup)