In 2015 when Portage hosted the RBC, the Terriers ended the event hoisting the trophy while a snowstorm raged outside. This time around, it was the Brooks Bandits having that honour, although this time it was sunny and warm outside as May long weekend continued on.
The Brooks Bandits have won the 2023 Centennial Cup, claiming their third straight title thanks to a 4-0 win over the Battlefords North Stars Sunday afternoon at Stride Place. Battlefords had eliminated the Terriers the night before with a dominating 7-1 win. With the victory, Brooks is now the first team to win three consecutive national titles.
The game started with the Bandits coming on strong but neither squad would score in the opening frame. That would change in the second period when the Hunter Wallace of Oak Lake, Manitoba would score one and assist on the next just over a minute and a half later. The Bandits would add two more to take a 4-0 lead into the dressing room. That cushion was plenty enough for Bandits netminder Ethan Barwick who shut the door the rest of the way and make 30 saves for the shutout victory. The Bandits are now the first team to ever post shutouts in the semifinal and championship game and Barwick was in net for both matches. The Bandits finished the tournament going 6-0.
Portage la Prairie received rave reviews when it came to the job they did hosting the event. That duty now belongs to the Oakville Blades of the Ontario Junior Hockey League as they will play host to the next Centennial Cup in May of 2024.