CBN Junior Stars goaltender reflects on All-star game experince

Nicholas Mercer
Published on January 24, 2014
CBN Junior Stars goaltender Mitchell Dobbin (right) was one of five Junior Stars named to the Avalon all-star team on Jan. 21.
Photo by Nicholas Mercer/The Compass

The last time Conception Bay North Junior Stars rookie goaltender Mitchell Dobbin split a game with another keeper it was in peewee.

That changed on Jan. 21 when the Spaniard’s Bay resident started the second half of the St. John’s Junior Hockey League annual All-Star Game at the Jack Byrne Arena in Torbay.

Dobbin, a member of Team Avalon, spelled starter Josh Carey of the Southern Shore Junior Breakers, with the score 2-1 in favour of Avalon.

“It was interesting,” he said.

The final score ended with the Avalon representatives doubling their City division counterparts 4-2.

Dobbin was not expecting the all-star nod, and performed well in hits period-plus of action.

“I don’t think I played bad,” he said.

He stopped 12 of the 13 shots he faced in the contest.

“The one goal handcuffed me and rolled up over my shoulder,” he said.

Dobbin was not the only Junior Star to make the Avalon squad. He was joined by teammates Cody Batten, Colby Murphy, Andrew Smith, Zach Laing and Bradley Budden.

The Trinity Placentia Junior Flyers had four all-stars of their own with by Ryan Whittle, Adam Green, Connor Stevens and Josh St. George being selected.

Dobbin said he really “had to pay attention” during his time between the pipes.

“There really isn’t a third or fourth line. Everyone is a threat,” he said.


A respectable record

Dobbin is in his first year with the Junior Stars. Over the course of the season, he has split time with Connor Thompson in the blue paint.

In 11 starts this season, Dobbin has posted a respectable record of five wins and four losses. He has posted a 4.83 goals against average in those starts, along with a healthy save percentage of .875.

He has also registered an assist.

The Dobbin-Thompson battery has helped the Junior Stars to a 10-10-0-2 record. That’s good for a fourth-place tie in the eight-team league with CBR.

Both teams have 22 points.

“We’d really like to get into that fourth spot,” said Dobbin.

Adjustment period

Jumping from the minor hockey level to the junior game is an adjustment for any player.

If you’re a skater, there is the half visor to worry about, as well as the heightened physical play.

While a goaltender might not have to worry about the half visor, there are other aspects of the game that change.

For example, the increased speed at this level.

Dobbin said one thing he has focused on is learning the tendencies of his opponent.

“Goaltending is a lot mental,” said Dobbin.

If he can learn where certain players like to shoot from, he feels he has conquered half the battle already.

The other half is stopping the puck.

The Junior Stars have won two of their last five games heading into Friday (Jan. 24) night’s action with the St. John’s Capitals at the Bay Arena in Bay Roberts.

“We’re starting to come out of our slide,” said Dobbin. “We have a couple of big games coming up.”