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Standouts Hold Strong in Last Lap of BCHL Regular Season

By Sam Laskaris on February 23, 2017

Jordan Kawaguchi, the top pointgetter for the Canada West squad at the World Junior A Challenge, is also once again leading the Chilliwack Chiefs in scoring. (Hockey Canada Images)

Guch Leading Chiefs Again
Guch will once again finish among the BCHL’s top pointgetters.

Chilliwack Chiefs’ captain Jordan Kawaguchi, who is nicknamed Guch, placed fifth in the league scoring race a year ago.

He collected 83 points, including 45 goals, in 56 regular season matches. Kawaguchi also had a team-high 24 points in 20 playoff contests.

As for this season, Kawaguchi was occupying first place in the BCHL scoring race in mid-February. He had earned 81 points, including 36 goals, in his first 52 matches.

Kawaguchi, a four-year BCHL vet, is in his second season as the Chilliwack captain.

He was also an assistant captain for the Canada West squad that participated in the World Junior A Challenge this past December in Bonnyville, Alta.

Kawaguchi had a team-high nine points (3G, 6A) in four tournament games.

He will be taking his talents to the University of North Dakota next season.

Hanson Starring For Vipers
After starting the season south of the border, the Vernon Vipers organization is certainly glad it acquired goaltender Darion Hanson.

The 19-year-old puckstopper, who hails from the Minnesota city of East Bethel, began the year with the Ohio-based Youngstown Phantoms in the United States Hockey League.

Hanson, who managed just one victory and had a 3.91 goals-against average in six appearances with the Phantoms, was acquired by the Vipers via a mid-November trade.

Hanson, who had already agreed to join the New York-based Union Dutchmen starting next season, was looking to get plenty of action before beginning his NCAA Division 1 career next season.

The Youngstown club, however, was expecting to give the majority of its starts between the pipes this year to Belarussian goalie Ivan Kulbakov.

But since joining the Vipers last fall, Hanson has proven to be of the BCHL’s top netminders. He compiled an impressive 14-4-0-2 record in his first 21 appearances.

And in mid-February he had a league-leading 1.84 GAA.

Hanson had starred in another U.S. junior circuit last season. He was a member of the Pennsylvania-based Aston Rebels, who compete in the North American Hockey League.

Santerno Leading Smoke Eaters
A change of scenery has certainly paid off for Luke Santerno.

The now 20-year-old had spent his first two BCHL seasons with the Cowichan Valley Capitals. He earned a total of 50 points in those two years with the Capitals.

As for this season, Santerno, now a member of the Trail Smoke Eaters, has already surpassed that total. He racked up 63 points, including 32 goals, in his first 55 matches with Trail.

Santerno has committed to join the Massachusetts-based Bentley Falcons, an NCAA Division 1 team, starting next season.

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By Sam Laskaris| February 23, 2017
Categories:  Junior

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