The Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) saw two former BCHLers earn top honours as former Trail Smoke Eater and current captain at Michigan Tech University Jake Lucchini was named the WCHA Forward of the Week, while former Viper and current freshman at the University of Alaska Chris Jandric was named the WCHA Rookie of the Week.
Former Vernon goalie, and record-holder for highest save percentage in a BCHL season, Darion Hanson was named the ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week for his strong play at Union College and another former Viper, Brett Stapley, earned National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) Rookie of the Week honours for his play at the University of Denver.
Lucchini had five points (2-3-5) in two games, leading Michigan Tech to a road sweep at Ferris State. The senior from Trail had a pair of assists Friday, setting up the Huskies’ first and third goals of the game in an eventual 5-4 victory. Tech’s co-captain then matched his season high with a three-point effort Saturday, factoring in a trio of second-period tallies as the Huskies erased a 3-1 deficit to win, 4-3. Lucchini played 168 regular-season games in the BCHL over three seasons in Trail, including a breakout year in 2014-15 where he had 83 points (35-48-83) in 58 games.
Jandric lifted Alaska to a five-point weekend at Lake Superior State, including the Nanooks’ first victory of the season, by topping all WCHA defensemen and rookies with four points (2-2-4). The freshman from Prince George posted consecutive two-point games, had three power-play points, lit the lamp on two of his three shots and netted Saturday’s game-winner. The 20-year-old played two full seasons in Vernon and put up 51 points in 106 regular-season games.
Hanson came up big in Union’s win over Quinnipiac on Saturday, stopping 34 of 35 shots. Much of the play was in Hanson’s end, as Union was outshot 35-23 in the game. The .971 save percentage was the best in the league for the week, and Hanson now ranks second in the league for save percentage this season with a .926 mark. The East Bethel, Minn. native played one year for the Vipers in 2016-17 where he went 14-4-2 and set the record for the highest save percentage in a single season with a mark of .945 and had the third-best goals-against average in any season at 1.84.
Stapley totaled three points to power Denver’s offense at second-ranked St. Cloud State over the weekend. On Friday, he tallied two points to help put the Pioneers in front in an eventual 4-3 loss. The next night, the Montreal Canadiens draft pick again helped stake Denver to an early lead, handing out the primary helper on the Pioneers’ second goal in another 4-3 loss on Saturday. He is now riding a four-game point streak with five points in that span. Stapley played three seasons in Vernon, totaling 121 points (47-74-121) in 154 regular-season games.