The J. Pius Callaghan Cup is a trophy that was formerly given to the ice hockey Junior A Champion of Atlantic Canada from 1981 until 1991. The trophy is named for Joseph Pius Callaghan, sports writer for the Charlottetown Guardian, school teacher, and sports executive, by Hockey PEI. From 1991 until 2006, the trophy was awarded to the playoff champion of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League. In 2006 it was retired and now resides in the Charlottetown Civic Centre. Prior to 1981, the championship was just called the Atlantic Junior A Championship.
First awarded in 1981, the Callaghan Cup was awarded to the top team to play in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, or Newfoundland and Labrador. Prior to this, the championship was just known as the Atlantic Junior A Championship.
Depending on the year, the Callaghan Cup was the quarter-final of the Manitoba Centennial Cup National Championship and the winner would play the Dudley Hewitt Cup/Central Champions for the Hewitt-Dudley Memorial Trophy Eastern Canada Championship. Although, some years when competition in the Atlantic provinces was weak, the Callaghan Cup champion would enter the Dudley Hewitt Cup playdowns which undermined the prominence of the Atlantic Championship.
In 1991, all Maritime leagues had amalgamated into the Maritime Junior A Hockey League and the St. John's Junior Hockey League dropped down to Jr. B play. The Canadian Amateur Hockey Association gave the MJAHL custody over the Callaghan Cup as its playoff championship.
In 2006, the Maritime Junior A Hockey League retired the trophy and replaced it with the Kent Cup.
Prior to the MJAHL taking control of the trophy, the Callaghan Cup/Atlantic Championship was won by a Prince Edward Island team 9 times, a Nova Scotia team 8 times, New Brunswick 3 times, and Newfoundland and Labrador once.
Leagues in competitionEdit
- Eastern Junior A Hockey League
- Island Junior Hockey League
- Maritime Junior A Hockey League (1968–1971)
- Metro Valley Junior Hockey League
- New Brunswick Junior Hockey League
- Newfoundland Junior A Hockey League
- St. John's Junior Hockey League
- 1979 Callaghan Cup
- 1980 Callaghan Cup
- 1981 Callaghan Cup
- 1982 Callaghan Cup
- 1983 Callaghan Cup
- 1984 Callaghan Cup
- 1985 Callaghan Cup
- 1986 Callaghan Cup
- 1987 Callaghan Cup
- 1988 Callaghan Cup
- 1989 Callaghan Cup
- 1990 Callaghan Cup
- 1991 Callaghan Cup