Goalie Gusse is Capitals’ MVP

After a season as a consistent bright spot on an inconsistent team, it came as little surprise on Tuesday night when Cowichan Valley Capitals goaltender Robin Gusse was named the team’s MVP for 2013/14.

In his only season with the Caps, the 20-year-old native of Bayonne, France, led all B.C. Hockey League netminders in games played (53), minutes played (3,080), shots against (1,712) and saves (1,554). He also finished sixth in the league with 21 wins, posting a 3.08 goals-against average and .908 save percentage.

Gusse also walked away with the Three Star Award for the player with the most three-star selections over the year.

Another 20-year-old, centre Adam Moody, was the other multiple honoree of the night, collecting the Academic Achievement Award and sharing the Peter Lawson Memorial Unsung Hero Award. Moody missed almost half the season after breaking his jaw in a preseason exhibition game, but finished the year with 11 points in 32 games and nabbed a scholarship to Utica College. Captain Kyle Horsman was the other winner of the Lawson Award for his leadership efforts while adding 22 points in 56 games.

Defenceman Reilly O’Connor, who picked up just 12 penalty minutes over 55 games as a 20-year-old rookie, was named the Most Sportsmanlike Player.

The Most Popular Player Award went to big blueliner Blake Butzow, another 20-year-old, who made an impression despite playing just 16 games with the Caps after coming over in a trade deadline deal with the Penticton Vees.

Jordan Topping, a 16-year-old rookie from Saltspring Island who compiled 10 goals and five assists in 15 games and was the only Capital to register a hat trick in 2013/14, was named the Most Improved Player.

Mason Malkowich missed 18 games due to injuries, but in his 40 appearances still managed to record 14 goals and 19 assists while serving as an assistant captain, and was recognized with the Ron McLaren Memorial Award for Most Inspirational Player.

Colton Kehler was named Rookie of the Year after scoring 14 goals and 21 points in 43 games, becoming a reliable scorer down the stretch.

Jarrett Brown received the Top Gun Defenceman award. Despite starting the season with an injury, Brown led all Capitals blueliners in goals (six), assists (15) and points (21) in 47 games.

Defence partners Rylan Bechtel and Matthew Berry-LaMontagna shared the Top Defensive Defenceman award. Bechtel was a rock on defence all season for the Caps, missing just one game, while Berry-LaMontagna played 26 games after coming over in November and played strong two-way hockey.

Myles Powell received the Leading Scorer award with team-high numbers of 21 goals, 38 assists and 59 points as the only player to appear in all 58 games.

The Jeff Young Coaches’ Award went to Jesse Neher, who had career highs with 16 assists and 23 points in 55 games, playing every shift with heart.

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