ST. JOHN’S, NL – 24 high school hockey teams from Newfoundland and Nova Scotia will take to the ice from February 4th – 7th for the 2016 Confederation Cup, hosted by Gonzaga High School in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Now in it’s 18th installment, the two-tier tournament has featured several of Newfoundland’s top players, most recently Joel Bishop (Halifax Mooseheads, QMJHL), Tyler Boland (Rimouski Océanic, QMJHL), and Carolina Hurricanes draft-pick Clark Bishop (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, QMJHL).
The St. Andrew’s College Saints of Aurora, Ontario, a prep hockey school, were victorious in the first two years of the tournament. The 2000 Confederation Cup Final can be viewed below, featuring St. Andrew’s and the Laval Cavaliers of Placentia, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Held at the old Memorial Stadium, the former home of the now defunct St. John’s Maple Leafs AHL club, the tournament was a very popular event that saw a peak of 56 teams play in the 2003 tournament.
The inaugural year featured 28 teams, and after the 2003 tournament it was decided that the number of invited teams would be limited to 48 (32 male teams & 16 female teams).
The last female teams competed in 2007, and, in 2014, there were no teams competing from New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island for the first time since the tournament commenced.
Last year’s tournament featured 20 teams, with just one team coming from outside Newfoundland.
The 2016 teams are listed below.
The Central King’s Gators, Corner Brook Titans, Inverness Huskies, Lockview Dragons, Marystown Clippers, Tricentia Timberwolves, and Waterford Valley Warriors are new to this year’s Confederation Cup. Not returning from last year’s tournament are the Clarenville High Cougars and Halifax West Warriors.
Tier 1- The Lockview Dragons out of Fall River, Nova Scotia are lead by ’97 born Connor Theriault who has compiled 58 points (36G, 22A) in 34 games this season in Metro [Halifax] High School Hockey League regulation and tournament play. Theriault was the MHSHL Rookie of the Year last season and notched 44 points in 24 games. Also watch for 6’4, 200-lb forward Oliver Phillips, who has 25 goals. The Dragons won the City of Lakes (Dartmouth NS) tournament in early January of this year, and placed 2nd in the Nova Scotia Division 1 Boys Provincial tournament last March. Lockview plays four more regular season games before the Confederation Cup.
Central Kings Rural High School Gators based out of Kings, Nova Scotia (just outside of Kentville) have a 5-6-1 record in the Valley High School Hockey League this season. They have two games left on tap before departing Nova Scotia for Newfoundland.
The Holy Heart Highlanders are fresh off winning the Donnini’s Tournament (Grand Falls-Windsor, NL), defeating the Ascension Collegiate Astros 4-1 in the final on January 10th. Ascension had previously defeated Holy Heart 3-2 in the finals of the pre-season Oktoberfest tournament in the fall. Holy Heart did not compete in the 25th Annual Wesley Gosse Memorial Tournament (Bay Roberts, NL) in November, where the Astros toppled the Queen Elizabeth Pioneers 7-4 in the championship game. The Highlanders last won the Confederation Cup tournament with a thrilling 3-2 SO win in 2012 against their rival, the host Gonzaga Vikings.
The 30th Annual Darryl Reid Memorial Tournament (Conception Bay South, NL) took place in November and the O’Donel Patriots defeated the Mount Pearl Senior High Huskies 2-1 in the final. O’Donel headed to Montréal in early December where they took home gold in the 2015 Hockey Enterprises Tournament in the high-school division.
O’Donel and Holy Heart play their first round robin game on February 2nd before the tournament is officially underway.
Tier 2 – Host Gonzaga Vikings have dropped down to Tier 2 after winning Tier 1 last season (see Previous Winners, below). The Vikings, consistently one of the best teams in the Metro St. John’s League as well as throughout Newfoundland and Labrador every year, have flopped this year, with a regular season record of just 2-10-2. The Vikings play one last game against the Waterford Valley High Warriors on January 30th before the Confederation Cup begins.
The MPSH Huskies have jumped to Tier 1 this season. They won last year’s Tier 2 division title.
New but not new: Waterford Valley High School opened in the west-end of St. John’s at the beginning of this school year and takes in students from the former Bishops College (Barons) and Booth Memorial (Braves), that are now closed. Both the Barons and Braves previously played in Confederation Cup action.
The Huskies and Warriors start the Confederation Cup with an early game on February 1st.
West Coast High School Hockey League action wrapped up it’s regular season play on Wednesday, January 19th. The four-team league will see the Corner Brook Regional High Titans (6-3-3) and Stephenville Spartans (3-4-5) take to the Confederation Cup. The first place Elwood High Lakers (Deer Lake, NL) and last place St. James Regional High Saints (Channel-Port-aux-Basques, NL) will not travel to St. John’s.
Holy Trinity High Tigers are 3-2-2 in regular season action and face Holy Heart on January 29th.
The Prince of Wales Collegiate Cavaliers are 3-9-2 entering the tournament.
Red = Tier 1 Blue = Tier 2
A full schedule of the tournament can be found here.