It’s nice to see the B.C. Hockey League recognize the success and spotlight the Vernon Vipers have brought to the league.
The BCHL has wholly endorsed the City of Vernon’s bid to host the 2014 Royal Bank Cup Canadian championship tournament in May of that year at the Wesbild Centre.
And, really, this was a no-brainer for the BCHL, which last played host to the national finals in 2009, hosted that year by the Victoria Grizzlies and won by the Vipers, the first of what would be back-to-back national championships.
The Vipers won it again in 2010 in Dauphin, Man., their fourth RBC championship and sixth Canadian Junior A championship, the most of any such franchise in the country.
A third straight, fifth overall RBC cup and seventh national title nearly came to fruition this spring in Camrose, Alta., when the Vipers lost the gold medal game, 2-0, to the Pembroke (Ont.) Lumber Kings.
So, take those three straight appearances in the national tournament’s final game, two wins, six titles overall and a great facility in the Wesbild Centre, along with a terrific fan base, and it only makes sense that the BCHL would endorse Vernon’s bid to put on the event again.
It’s been a long 21 years since Vernon played host to the Canadian finals tournament. It was known as the Centennial Cup back then, and the local hockey squad was known as the Lakers.
Vernon beat the New Westminster Royals 6-5 in overtime in the final before an overflowing crowd at the Civic Arena, the first of the six national titles. The city is long overdue to host Junior A hockey in May.
—The Morning Star