Only the Stanley Cup is older in North American hockey competition than the Boyle Trophy. The cup, donated by then Governor Sir Cavendish Boyle, was by far the top sports award in St. John’s.
First donated for competition between hockey teams from St. John’s and Maritime Canada, the Boyle Trophy lavished from 1904 to 1971 when what many consider the biggest mistake of local sports was made.
After dominating winters in St. John’s senior hockey and being won by some of the finest hockey players the province has produced, the Boyle went to the shelf when the St. John’s Senior Hockey League ceased to exist.
In what many consider a foolish, nonsensical move, several individuals with authority caused the Boyle Trophy to become the championship trophy for provincial high school boys’ hockey. The move is regarded by many as an insult to all the great hockey players who had their names inscribed on it during the 67 years it was the top award for St. John’s senior hockey.
For a variety of reasons, including having their own rink, St. Bon’s teams dominated Boyle Trophy victories. Blue and Gold teams won the award 27 times, including 16-consecutive wins between 1944 and 1960.
Feildians won the Boyle eight times, while the Terra Novas own seven championships. The Boyle went to the Crescents six times and the Victorias won it three times. St. Pat’s took the award twice, while both Holy Cross and the Royals have one victory. Winning the Boyle was one of the major reasons the Guards obtained the services of NHL personality Howie Meeker, and his efforts were rewarded in 1962. The Guards have eight wins.