Surrey Eagles defenceman Mitch Jones looks on during practice last week before heading to Russia.

Surrey Eagles defenceman Mitch Jones looks on during practice last week before heading to Russia.

Players team up for Canada

A team made up of B.C. Hockey League players – including Surrey Eagles defenceman Mitch Jones and Surrey resident Troy Paterson, who plays for Cowichan – took to the ice last week at South Surrey Arena.

The team left for Podolsk, Russia last Friday, where they will represent Canada at the 2011 Russian Invitational Tournament.

Former Eagles owner Ronnie Paterson – father of Troy – is also headed to Russia as the Canadian outfit’s general manager.

While the Russia tournament will be the first time many of the players have donned the Maple Leaf, the elder Paterson is no stranger to international competition – he was the goaltender for Canada at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY.

“I do know the feeling of playing for your country – I still remember it very well – and it’s just fantastic, and it’s going to be great for these guys,” Paterson said prior to the practice.

The team returns home April 19.