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Surrey Eagles win 6 of 9 BCHL year-end awards heading into Round 3 playoffs

‘These guys are some of the hardest-working guys on our team’: captain

What a week for the Surrey Eagles.

After the South Surrey-based junior hockey squad defeated the Victoria Grizzlies to advance to Round 3 of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) playoffs, several of the league’s annual year-end awards were announced, with the team’s players and head coach Cam Keith winning six of the nine trophies awarded.

Keith was awarded the Joe Tennant Memorial Trophy for BCHL Coach of the Year for leading the Eagles to first place overall in the regular standings, which also garnered the team the Ron Boileau Memorial Trophy, for the team with the best regular-season record.

Netminder Ajeet Gundarah, “a brick wall all year long” for the Eagles according to the BCHL on X, was honoured with the Michael Garteig Trophy for the BCHL’s top goaltender, while forward Ryden Evers won the Bob Fenton Trophy for Most Sportsmanlike Player, awarded to the BCHL player who displays the fundamental aspects of sportsmanship, while excelling at the game. Evers notched 53 points in 53 games and took zero penalties during the year.

Eagles forward Caden Cranston came away with two memorable trophies: the Brett Hull Trophy for leading scorer, as well as the Vern Dye Memorial Trophy for the league’s Most Valuable Player, for leading the league in points (86) and helping guide his team to first place overall in the regular season, the BCHL noted.

“I could not be happier for the guys and coach Cam to be recognized for all their hard work,” said Surrey Eagles captain Ty Brassington. “It does not come as a surprise to me to see these guys win all these awards — they are such awesome people and unbelievable hockey players, so I just couldn’t be happier for them.”

The Eagles, who finished the 2023-24 regular season with their league-leading stats of 44-8-2, have been under Keith’s tutelage since the 2019-20 season, when the team had a big comeback and beat the Chilliwack Chiefs in seven games in a playoff round — right before the season was prematurely shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keith gave the credit for his award to his team.

“It’s amazing to get recognized in a league that’s known for a ton of good programs and a lot of good coaches. I also feel like it’s a reflection of how well the team does — I was more proud and thankful for the kids that did all the work, to have this amazing year that gave me the recognition that it did,” he said.

READ ALSO: Surrey Eagles advance to Round 3 of BCHL playoffs

“I’m humbled. … As soon as I found out, I went around and thanked (players) personally for the year. At the end of the day, I’m wearing a suit during the game, and the kids are the ones doing the stuff we talk about and working to get better and help the program.”

Brassington praised Keith for being an amazing coach, noting when he texted him to congratulate him on the award, Keith immediately responded with, “Thank you, it’s a team award.”

“That’s just the type of coach he is, and our players appreciate it. Coach Cam has always been there for us players — has our backs, and he just cares about every player. He doesn’t pick favourites, he always wants the best for us guys, and it’s no secret that he’s one of the best coaches in the league,” the captain said.

“Cam’s coaching style is unique when you look at the rest of the league. When players first come to Surrey, it definitely takes some adjusting, but once you get the hang of it, it’s the most fun you will have playing hockey because of the fact that Coach Cam lets you be so loose with the puck,” Brassington continued.

“He puts trust in his players, and he gives every player a chance to earn his trust, and at the end of the day it’s on us as players to do what he’s asking.”

He also praised his teammates, who return to their home ice in South Surrey this Saturday and Sunday (May 4-5) for Games 1 and 2 of BCHL playoffs Round 3, vs. rival Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

“The players exemplify their trophies to a tee,” he said. “It doesn’t come easy to anyone who has won these trophies, and it comes with so much commitment and resiliency. All three of these guys are some of the hardest-working guys on our team, and I think that goes to show that it takes a lot to win these trophies.”

Ron Brar, who co-owns the team with his brother TJ Brar, praised Keith and the talented team for their efforts.

“It’s pretty outstanding to see how many Surrey Eagles took all the awards this year. … It’s just a commitment of what we’ve been trying to build for the last two years — to see that come out today was absolutely unbelievable,” Brar said.

While the team was “off the charts” with the award news, Brar said they remain laser-focused on winning the BCHL’s Fred Page Cup.

“It’s been over a decade-plus since the Surrey Eagles have made it this far — to the conference final — and we’re up against Alberni (Valley Bulldogs), which beat us last year in seven games. We’re hoping to draw a large crowd and have the city of Surrey backing the team!” Brar said.

Tickets have been selling very well, he noted, pointing out the Eagles are the only Lower Mainland team left in the playoffs.

“We expect a capacity crowd for Game 1 and 2 – Alberni brings a lot of people — they have a large group of fans that travel with the team, so we’re expecting a large contingency,” he said. “(Eagles) players feed off of our crowd support. Surrey — come on out! Let’s get these guys revved up and let’s go let’s bring the (Fred Page) cup back to Surrey!”

Tickets for playoff games can be purchased at

Tricia Weel

About the Author: Tricia Weel

I’ve worked as a journalist in community newspapers from White Rock to Parksville and Qualicum Beach, to Abbotsford and Surrey.
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