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The Delco Kent Koyotes, 2024 NBJHL champions. Image: Submitted/Brian McGrath

Kent Koyotes look to clinch Don Johnson Cup

By Regis Phillips Apr 22, 2024 | 6:04 AM

The Delco Kent Koyotes of the New Brunswick Junior Hockey League (NBJHL) look to claim the Junior B Atlantic Championships and win the Don Johnson Memorial Cup.

Five teams will play at the Glacier Arena in Mount Pearl, Nfld., this week The host team and the Junior B champions from the four Atlantic provinces will meet in a round-robin tournament.

The top four teams qualify for the semifinals with the semifinal winners meeting for the tournament championship.

Host – Mount Pearl Blades
Team N.B. – Kent Koyotes
Team N.S. – Antigonish Bulldogs
Team P.E.I. – Kensington Vipers
Team N.L. – St. John’s Junior Caps

Mario Cormier, head coach of the Koyotes, said there will be good competition in a competitive tournament no matter the outcome.

“Every game is a tough game. We play the Vipers in our league and we know both teams from Newfoundland did well this year, and the Bulldogs have been to the Don Johnson I think the last two years also,” said Cormier.

The Koyotes joined the NBJHL in 2013 and have since won three straight championships. They clinched the Don Johnson Memorial Cup in 2022 against the Moncton Vitos.

The cup is named in honour of Donald Johnson, a Halifax-born sports enthusiast who moved to St.J ohn’s and became the president of the Newfoundland Amateur Hockey Association.

For his efforts to the growth of hockey in Atlantic Canada, Johnson was inducted into the builder category of both the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame in 1982 and the Newfoundland Hockey Hall of Fame in 1994.

While the Canadian Hockey League has the Memorial Cup and the Canadian Junior Hockey League has the Centennial Cup, there is no national championship for Junior B hockey.

Similar championships are held in Southern Ontario, Eastern Ontario, Quebec and Western Canada, leaving five teams at the end of each year with a shared claim of being Canada’s best Junior B hockey team.

The tournament begins on Tuesday and finishes on Sunday. The bronze medal game will be at 7:30 p.m. Saturday with the championship game scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday.

Tournament details and schedule can be found by clicking here.