The Conception Bay North Junior Stars are on quite a roll in the St. John’s Junior Hockey League.
© Photo by Nicholas Mercer/The Compass
CBN Junior Stars forward Cody Batten was named St. John's Junior Hockey League player of the month for December.
The team has won four of its last five games, with two of those victories coming over the second-place St. John’s Caps heading into the team’s Feb. 7 matchup with the Avalon Capitals at the Bay Arena in Bay Roberts.
Perhaps no player on the team is hotter than forward Cody Batten.
During the current streak, Batten has posted eight points (two goals and six assists) and leads his team with 34 points.
Batten was recently named player of the month for December.
“I didn’t really expect it,” he said.
During that month, the Junior Stars played five games and it would have been trouble to find a hotter player than Batten.
In those five games, Batten was a force for his club picking up eight assists and two goals for the Stars.
“I had a few good games in December,” he said.
During his torrid streak in before Christmas, the 19-year-old Bareneed native put together a six point weekend Dec. 13-14.
Watching a Junior Stars game, it is not hard to see a player who has become accustomed to the league in his second year.
Batten brings a well-rounded game to the table for his club. He has a cannon for a shot, good hands and likes to dish out a punishing hit when the opportunity arises.
He attributes his strong sophomore season to an increased sureness on the ice.
“I’m more confident carrying the puck,” said Batten.
Watching him, Batten usually makes a couple of defenders miss when carrying the puck, and always has an eye on making the proper play at the right time.
He logs heavy minutes for the Junior Stars, playing on both sides of special teams.
“It gives me the opportunity to put the puck in the net, or make a play,” said Batten.
Individual success is fine, but every player would trade a great personal season for a great team season.
Batten is no different.
His Junior Stars have made a marked improvement over last season. At this juncture in the year, the team sits in fourth place with 28 points.
“We have a good, solid team,” Batten noted.
Last season the Junior Stars, while they had the talent, lacked an identity. There were more listless losses than hard fought wins.
This season under the guidance of coaches Rod Noseworthy and Avery Fry, that has changed.
The Junior Stars have established a dangerous offensive unit, and are responsible in their own end.
“They’re helping us come together and getting us ready,” said Batten. “They’re always trying to pick everyone up.”
On Jan. 21, Batten joined teammates Colby Murphy, Bradley Budden, Andrew Smith, Zach Laing and Mitchell Dobbin on the Avalon division all-star team at the Jack Byrne Arena in Torbay.
While he was pointless in the annual all-star showcase, Batten felt he had a good game.
Batten skated with Budden and Laing in the game, and felt the line had some good chemistry.
“I played alright,” he said.
All-star games are usually a players chance to have a bit of fun on the ice. The normal pressures are not there for players, and they can show off a bit more of their skills.
“It’s always a good experience,” said Batten.