The all-time winningest team in National Junior A Championship history and a pair of first-timers
highlight the five teams who will take to the ice in Dauphin, Man. beginning this Saturday at the 2010 RBC
The Dauphin Kings and La Ronge Ice Wolves knew they would both have a shot at a national championship even
before their Anavet Cup series began, but the teams still slugged it out in a five-game series, with the
Kings claiming West Region bragging rights. Both the Kings and Ice Wolves will make their national tournament
debut at Credit Union Place.
The Kings were unchallenged in the MJHL this season, losing just once in the postseason on their way to
their first league title since 1993. Dauphin is a remarkable 38-2-1 on home ice this season, something that
could bode well for it once the 2010 RBC Cup begins.
The Ice Wolves won their first-ever SJHL championship as the seventh ranked of 12 teams in the playoffs,
and were within three seconds of a 2-0 series lead on the mighty Kings before faltering. Don’t be surprised
to see the Ice Wolves play a little overtime during the 2010 RBC Cup – 11 of their 26 playoff games needed
extra time to decide.
The Vernon Vipers are back to defend their national title, looking to become the first team since, well,
themselves to win back-to-back RBC Cups – the Vipers were national champions in 19, when they were
known as the Lakers. Thirteen players are back from the team that beat Humboldt 2-0 in the national
championship game one year ago in Victoria, B.C.
Despite losing just nine of 60 regular season games, the Vipers were pushed to the limit twice in the
playoffs, needing seven games to beat the Powell River Kings for the BCHL title, and seven more to eliminate
the Spruce Grove Saints to win the Doyle Cup for Pacific Region supremacy. Vernon led the Saints three games
to one, but needed a three-goals-in-2:08 spurt in Game 7 to ensure they’d have a chance to repeat.
The Oakville Blades added three trophies to their collection en route to Dauphin, taking the OJAHL
championship with a thrilling seven-game victory over Kingston – all seven games were decided by one goal,
four in overtime, including Game 7 – the Buckland Cup as OHA champions after knocking off the Newmarket
Hurricanes in six games, and the Dudley Hewitt Cup as Central Region champions.
The Blades ran undefeated through the regional tournament, beating the Abitibi Eskimos (NOJHL), Soo
Thunderbirds (NOJHL) and Fort William North Stars (SIJHL) to reach the final, where they won a 2-1 nailbiter
over the North Stars to advance to Dauphin. It’s the second time in three years the Blades will play for the
national championship – they missed the semifinals in Cornwall, Ont. in 2008 after a 1-3 round-robin
The Brockville Braves have advanced to the 2010 RBC Cup despite not winning their league championship.
Owners of a CJHL-record 26-game winning streak during the regular season, the Braves were dropped in five
games by the Pembroke Lumber Kings in the CJHL final, but got a second life as hosts of the Fred Page
Undefeated in the round robin after wins over Woodstock (MJAHL), Pembroke and Terrebonne (LHJAAAQ),
Brockville once again faced off with the Lumber Kings in the regional final, romping to a 5-1 victory and
their first trip to the RBC Cup since 1998. The Braves are still looking for their first national-tournament
win – they went 0-4 in Nanaimo, B.C. in ’98.