NCAA Roundup: 6 BCHL alumni get weekly conference award recognition

This week, there were six BCHL alumni who were recognized with NCAA weekly conference awards, including three former Penticton Vees. Read up on all six players in this week’s NCAA Roundup, presented by Johnston Meier Insurance.

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Hockey East Player of the Week

Jay O’Brien – Junior – Boston University (Penticton Vees)

O’Brien finished the week with three goals and two assists for five points, highlighted by a two-goal, one-assist effort in a 4-1 win at No. 17 Providence on Thursday. O’Brien also lit the lamp and added an assist in his first-ever Beanpot game, a 4-3 triumph over Harvard. He led BU with nine shots on goal this week and also blocked two, as the Terriers won their 31st Beanpot championship.

O’Brien, a 2018 first-round draft choice of the Philadelphia Flyers, played the 2019-20 season with the Penticton Vees during his transfer year after leaving Providence College. He led the Vees in scoring that season with 66 points in 49 games, good enough to tie for fourth overall in the BCHL. His 1.43 points per game was the second highest in the league.

ECAC Hockey Player of the Week

Luke Santerno – Graduate – Clarkson University (Cowichan Valley/Trail)

Santerno earned his second ECAC Hockey honour of the season after a four-point weekend. He scored and assisted in a 7-1 win over Princeton on Friday before burying a pair of goals, including the game-winner, in Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Quinnipiac. Santerno’s offensive contributions helped the Golden Knights extend their unbeaten streak to 10 straight and move to within a point of first place in the league standings.

The product of Smithers, B.C. played two seasons for Cowichan Valley from 2014 to 2016 and another with Trail in 2016-17. His best year came in Trail when he led the team in scoring with 64 points in in 57 games to finish 15th in league scoring.

ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week

Clay Stevenson – Sophomore – Dartmouth College (Coquitlam Express)

Stevenson had the best start of his career on Saturday, stopping all 37 shots that came his way against Yale as the Big Green claimed a 1-0 victory in the contest. He finished the weekend with 64 saves in two games, boasting a .955 save percentage and 1.53 goals-against average.

The 22-year-old netminder played three BCHL seasons for the Express from 2017 to 2020. He came into his own during the 2019-20 campaign when he led the league in both save percentage (.936) and goals-against average (1.77), both of which were second best all time in a single BCHL season. He finished with a 30-2-2 record that year and won the league’s Top Goaltender award, while leading Coquitlam to first place in the regular-season standings.

Atlantic Hockey Player of the Week

Eric Butte – Senior – Army West Point (Langley Rivermen)

Butte was a key player for Army last week against AIC. The Belmont, Mass., native led by example in game two of the series, scoring the lone goal of the game in the Black Knights’ 1-0 win over the Yellow Jackets. The senior forward played a key role on the Army penalty kill that preserved the Saturday lead by killing off three AIC power plays in nine minutes of game action. Butte finished the two-game series with eight shots on goal, one blocked shot and 22 faceoff wins.

The 24-year-old is a two-year veteran of the BCHL, having suited up for the Langley Rivermen from 2016 to 2018 where he notched 54 points in 104 career regular-season games.

Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Week

Conner Hutchison – Freshman – Sacred Heart University (Penticton Vees)

Hutchison led all Pioneers in goals last week as he tallied one in each game of SHU’s sweep of Bentley. In Thursday’s 5-3 win, he opened the scoring with a first-period goal as the Pioneers skated to a 3-0 lead in the opening frame. On Friday, the freshman blueliner netted a third-period insurance goal to secure a 3-1 win over the Falcons.

Hutchison played for the Vees for two seasons from 2018 to 2020. In his second year with the club, he was the fourth highest scoring defenceman in the BCHL with 42 points in 52 games.

NCHC Goaltender of the Week

Zach Driscoll – Graduate – University of North Dakota (Penticton Vees)

Driscoll was near perfect against Colorado College, allowing only a pair of power-play goals to backstop North Dakota to a sweep of the Tigers. On the weekend, Driscoll finished with a .959 save percentage, stopping 47 of 49 shots, while posting a 1.00 goals-against average. He registered his second shutout of the season in Saturday’s 4-0 win.

The 24-year-old played the 2015-16 season in Penticton and led the BCHL in both save percentage (.933) and goals-against average (1.90), while recording five shutouts and finishing the year with a record of 21-4-0. His save percentage that year is tied for the fifth-best mark all-time for a single season, while his goals-against average is the seventh-lowest in BCHL history. Driscoll finished his tenure with the Vees by winning the BCHL’s Top Goaltender award.