Viper goalie Darion Hanson is the B.C. Hockey League's Player of the Week. The Vipers host the West Kelowna Warriors tonight.

Vipers’ Hanson honoured by BCHL

Darion Hanson stops pucks that have no business being stopped, puts a bad goal behind him in a hurry and wins big hockey games.

Darion Hanson stops pucks that have no business being stopped, puts a bad goal behind him in a hurry and wins big hockey games.

Hanson left Minnesota for Vernon in late November and the Vipers have been the hottest team in the B.C. Hockey League ever since. Vernon entertains the West Kelowna Warriors tonight.

The 20-year-old Union University Dutchmen commit is the BCHL Player of the Week for the week. Hanson stopped 112 of the 116 shots that came his way in three games while earning two wins, one of them a shutout, and a tie.

The 6-foot-3, 180-pound netminder began his week making 40 saves and taking third star in a 3-3 double overtime tie in Penticton. He then stopped 33 of 34 in a rematch with the Vees, a 3-1 Vipers’ home win where he was second star, and he wrapped his week with a 39-save outing in a 3-0 win over Nanaimo Clippers, taking first star.

Since joining the Vipers, Hanson has posted a .944 save percentage and a 1.80 goals-against average which are both the best numbers for goalies with at least 800 minutes played. The native of East Bethe, Minn. carries a record of 11-2-2 with two shutouts. He is backed up by NHL prospect Ty Taylor, 17.

“He’s such a calm kid; actually both our goalies are,” said Viper assistant coach Kevin Kraus. “Darion’s been good for Ty in showing him how to be a starting goalie, how to prepare for games. The team feels really secure since we’ve locked down the goaltending positions. This is the best tandem I’ve seen here in a while.”

F Steven Jandric of the Vipers received an honourable mention with three goals, one a winning snipe, three assists and a second star.

The Vipers, meanwhile, meet the defending Royal Bank Cup champion Warriors for the sixth time this season. Vernon has won three of the five games.

The Warriors will be without captain Nicholas Rutigliano, Cavin Tilsley, Peter Tomaras, Chase Stevenson and Jared Marino, all on injured reserve.

Forwards Jon Van Der Molan and Tyler Chavez-Leech have been called up from the KIJHL Revelstoke Grizzlies, while 15-year-old defencemen Connor Horning will fill in on the back end from the Pursuit of Excellence Midget Prep team.

“We know they are missing some bodies, but they will still come out hard in an inter-divisional rivalry game,” said Kraus.

The Snakes went 6-3-2-0 in January and are just six points back of the Interior-Division leading Penticton Vees. The Vipers have seven of their last nine games of the season on home ice where they are 14-5-1-2.

Penticton has three games in hand and visit the Merritt Centennials tonight. The Vees are on Vancouver Island for games Friday against Nanaimo and Saturday versus the Victoria Grizzlies.

*Fan voting is now underway (HOBEY BAKER AWARD – FAN VOTING) for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the top player in NCAA hockey. Five BCHL graduates are up for this year’s award.

Former Coquitlam Express forward Alex Kerfoot of Harvard, Chilliwack Chiefs grad Mitch Gillam of Cornell, former Langley Rivermen standout Mario Puskarich of Vermont, former West Kelowna Warriors captain Max French of Bentley and Salmon Arm Silverbacks alum Angus Redmond of Michigan Tech are all on the long list of 66 names put out this week.

The Hobey Baker Award has been given out annually since 1981; the last three winners are current NHL stars Johnny Gaudreau, Jack Eichel and Jimmy Vesey. Recent Top 10 finalists for the award from the BCHL include Alex Petan, Mike Reilly, Joey LaLeggia, Matt Garbowsky, Joel Rumpel, Carsen Chuback and Justin Schultz.

Past BCHL graduates to win the award are Paul Kariya, Brendan Morrison Jason Krog and Ryan Duncan.

The long list out this week will be narrowed on March 16 down to 10 names after which more fan voting will take place. The ‘Hobey Hat Trick’ of three finalists will be revealed ahead of the 2017 Frozen Four in Chicago and this year’s winner will be announced April 7, the night before the NCAA championship final.

 

Vernon Vipers

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Okanagan district updates list of sandbagging stations

Severe weather over the weekend has communities bracing for potential flooding

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan, Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecasting strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy downpours in parts of the Interior

North Okanagan farmers’ markets excited to welcome artisans back amid COVID-19

Provincial health officer announced non-food items to return to markets this weekend

WorkSafe BC conducted 70 inspections in the Okanagan amid B.C.’s reopening plan

WorkSafe BC has conducted 100 inspections at restaurants across the province since May 19

COVID-19: Coldstream district office set to open

Safety measures in place to protect staff, public upon June 1 reopening

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Emergency crews rush youth to hospital after quadding accident in West Kelowna

West Kelowna Fire Rescue’s new off-road vehicle was used in the rescue

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

Preparations for flooding in the Shuswap accelerate

A sandbagging machine and a crew to run it have been set up in Silver Creek.

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

Most Read