Don Johnson Cup on this week at Bay Arena
The Don Johnson Cup Atlantic Junior B Championships is taking place this week at the Bay Arena in Bay Roberts. Opening ceremonies are set to get under way at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 15.
This marks the first time ever a town in Trinity Conception will host this prestigious tourney. Three provinces are vying for the Cup. Slateworks Junior Stars, which includes players from the Bay Arena and the Cee Bee minor hockey associations, is hosting the tourney.
“The Atlantic Junior B Championships tournament usually includes four provinces, but New Brunswick can’t make it because of university exams,” explained tournament organizer Brian Hurley.“We’ve got a number of players that won’t be playing for the same reason,” he added.
Along with the host team, four other teams will be in the running during the April 14-19 tournament: the Grand Falls Junior Cataracts; the Cumberland County Cool Blues, Nova Scotia; Sherwood A&S Scrap Metal Falcons, PEI; and the winner of NL Provincial Junior Championships that that took place earlier this month.
“This is the highest level of junior hockey played in this province, and we’re extremely pleased to have been chosen to host such a prestigious championship,” Hurley says.“We put a lot of time and effort into organizing the event and we’re looking forward to putting off a first class tournament and ensuring everyone enjoys themselves in the Trinity Conception area.”
The awards banquet is scheduled to take place at the Bay Roberts Lions Club, Saturday, April 18 at noon.
The championships will provide a significant economic boost to the region, as visiting teams will be staying in Harbour Grace, Carbonear and Bay Roberts during the tournament.
The event is expected to generate more than $100,000 to the local economy over the five days. Organizers say executive members, friends and family are expected to be in the area from all four Atlantic Provinces.
Bay Roberts Mayor Glenn Littlejohn says his town “has a long hockey history and heritage dating back to the glory days of the Rovers, Pointers and Tigers. Our community and the Junior Stars organization are ready to host a memorable championship for all who come.”
Meanwhile Don Johnson says he’s honoured that a trophy in his name is being played for in his home province.
“As a former president of the St. John’s Junior League I am always very proud of the league. I am looking forward to this year’s tournament and I look forward to seeing both local teams compete for the championship,” he said.
Johnson played hockey in three Atlantic Provinces, including two years at the senior level with St. Pat’s in St. John’s, both times the team won the historic Boyle Trophy. He has served as president with several associations and leagues and as chairperson with the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association. During his term in office the CAHA returned to international hockey and the Canada Cup and helmets were made mandatory. The first Don Johnson Cup was played in 1982 in Kensington, PEI.
Meanwhile, the first game in the Atlantic Lottery 2009 Don Johnson Cup, Atlantic Junior B Championship gets underway Tuesday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. when CBN plays the Newfoundland and Labrador provincial champs.