Surrey Eagles goaltender Tommy Scarfone has agreed to a scholarship with the Rochester Institute of Technology. (Garrett James photo)

Surrey Eagles goaltender Tommy Scarfone has agreed to a scholarship with the Rochester Institute of Technology. (Garrett James photo)

Surrey Eagles goaltender nets NCAA scholarship

Tommy Scarfone to play at Rochester Institute of Technology next season

Surrey Eagles goaltender Tommy Scarfone is headed to the NCAA.

Earlier this month, the BC Junior Hockey League team – which is still waiting to start its season, with puck drop having been delayed numerous times due to provincial COVID-19 health orders – announced that the 20-year-old netminder has committed to the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) for the 2021-‘22 season.

Though the Eagles haven’t played any meaningful games since the first round of last year’s BCHL playoffs – a handful of exhibition games in the fall notwithstanding – Scarfone becomes the fifth member of the team to have impressed college scouts and earned a scholarship, following Eagles captain Kieran O’Hearn (Yale), Christian Fitzgerald (Minnesota State); Tait Ross (Dartmouth) and Carter King (Denver).

King, who was originally scheduled to play one final season in the BCHL before joining his NCAA squad, left the junior ranks early and just last week made his debut with Denver.

During the 2019-‘20 season – in which he was named the team’s rookie of the year – Scarfone was a key part of the team’s success, until an injury in January of that season sent him to the sidelines. He returned in the playoffs, however – replacing fellow goalie Reece Klassen, who was injured himself – and helped lead the Birds to a first-round playoff win over the Chilliwack Chiefs.

He finished the regular season with a record of 14-11-2 (win-loss-overtime loss), a save-percentage of .920 and a goals-against average of 2.69 with one shutout. In five games during the BCHL’s exhibition/training period in the fall, he was 4-1 with a .935 save-percentage.

“I chose RIT because I know it’s going to be a great opportunity for me to continue to play. I’m going to have a great collegiate career there; the coaching staff is amazing and they have a great reputation for winning and moving guys on to the next level after college,” Scarfone said in a post published on the team’s website.

“(It’s) a dream come true for me. I worked hard all my life to this point. It’s the start of the next chapter for me and I’m excited it’ll be at RIT.”

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