The Cowichan Valley Capitals’ Matt Brown is a very special talent.
When he’s been out of the lineup with an injury for most of the last month and a half, the Caps have struggled at times.
But Brown is back at full strength and, as a result, the Caps are looking like the powerful team that shook up the B.C. Hockey League earlier in the season and led the Coastal Conference for more than two months.
Brady Rouleau earned his first career shutout, while Brown and linemates Brett Knowles and Devin Gannon were flying Saturday night, as the Caps blanked the Langley Rivermen 4-0 at Cowichan Arena.
Brown, who also picked up an assist, and Knowles each scored twice while Gannon collected a pair of helpers.
Darrin Robak also chipped in with two assists and David London added another.
It was actually a more dominant performance by the Caps than the score indicated.
The Caps outshot Langley 50-21, and only the heroics of goalie Nic Renyard kept the Rivermen in the game.
Renyard is a Cowichan Valley product from Ladysmith who now calls Victoria home and was summoned from the B.C. Major Midget League’s South Island Thunderbirds.
Renyard made several spectacular saves and should have been one of the game’s three stars despite the score. He could only be faulted on one goal, when Brown’s speed simply caught him by surprise and he was hung out to dry on a deke.
The Caps are down to their final four regular season games. They still have a shot at finishing higher than third in the conference, but they will need to beat the Surrey Eagles Wednesday at 7 p.m. in a make-up game at Cowichan Arena to keep those hopes alive.