For a lucky few, there may be added travel and experiences added into all that. The second-annual Friendship Four in Belfast, Northern Ireland is one such experience. NCAA programs Massachusetts, Vermont, Quinnipiac and St. Lawrence got the invite this season to the event hosted by the Belfast Giants, a professional franchise in the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL). There are 29 BCHL alums between the four rosters.
Kurt Keats (Powell River), Marc Hetnik (Vernon), Steven Iacobellis (Salmon Arm), Carmine Buono (Powell River), Austin Plevy (Chilliwack), Nic Renyard (Victoria/Penticton)
Mike Santaguida (Surrey), Mike Lee (Penticton), Travis Blanleil (Penticton), Malcolm McKinney (Coquitlam), Brady Shaw (Coquitlam/Surrey), Mario Puskarich (Langley), Craig Puffer (Chilliwack), Liam Coughlin (Vernon), Drew Best (Surrey)
Landon Smith (Salmon Arm), Craig Martin (Alberni Valley/Trail), Scott Davidson (Trail/Chilliwack), Chase Priskie (Salmon Arm), Bo Pieper (Coquitlam), Nick Jermain (Merritt), Thomas Aldworth (Vernon), Luke Shiplo (Vernon), Logan Mick (Vernon/Salmon Arm/Langley)
Ben Masella, (Chilliwack), Ryan Lough (Alberni Valley), Michael Ederer (Merritt), Mitch Eden (Prince George), Jacob Pritchard (Powell River).
In all, 13 BCHL franchises are represented in Ireland.
As the games count in the regular-season NCAA standings, you can bet the games will provide entertainment, in addition to an experience of a lifetime for these 29 student-athletes.