Memorial Cup, trophy presented for the Canadian championships of major junior hockey teams in national competition. It was presented in March 1919 in memory of Canadian hockey players who had died in WWI. The trophy sparked interest in junior hockey across Canada. The Ontario Hockey Association assumed responsibility in the first 2 years. U of T won the first series in 1919. The first victory for a western team was the Winnipeg Falcons in 1921.
In 1971 junior hockey was divided into 2 classifications, Major Junior and Junior "A." The Ontario Hockey League, Québec Major Junior Hockey League and Western Hockey League were placed in the Major Junior category, leading with the champions of all 3 leagues and a wild card entrant competing in the Memorial Cup tournament.