A pair of former Surrey Eagles are among more than a dozen college hockey players who will be vying for a national title when the NCAA Frozen Four championships hit the ice next week in Tampa, Fla.
Of the 16 teams to qualify for the men’s hockey tournament, which began with first-round games last Friday, only four remain – the Quinnipiac University Bobcats, Boston College Eagles, University of Denver Pioneers and the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks.
Connecticut-based Quinnipiac features former Surrey Eagle Devon Toews on its blue-line, while Denver counts former Eagles’ captain Danton Heinen, a Boston Bruins’ prospect, among its ranks.
In the first-round of the Frozen Four, Toews’ squad is set to face Boston College, while Heinen’s crew will play UND, which is led by Vancouver Canucks’ first-round pick Brock Boeser and former BC Hockey League defenceman Troy Stecher.
Quinnipiac boasts more BCHL alumni – 13 players – than any of the other 15 teams to have taken part in the playoff tournament.
And though their teams have already been eliminated from title contention, the Surrey Eagles were well-represented.
Providence University – which lost a heartbreaking double-overtime game to Minnesota-Duluth in Round 1 – had former Eagles’ Brandon Tanev and Josh Monk on the roster; forward Brayden Jaw – who split his BCHL career between Surrey and Nanaimo – played for Harvard; and Rochester Institute of Technology freshman goaltender Christian Short, who last played for Surrey during the 2014/15 season, served as his team’s backup netminder in RIT’s first-round loss to Quinnipiac – a game that saw Toews, a New York Islanders’ draft pick, tally three assists.