Cody Bat­ten en­joy­ing solid soph­more sea­son

CBN Ju­nior Stars for­ward named player of the month for De­cem­ber

The Compass - - JUNIOR HOCKEY - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cb­n­com­

The Con­cep­tion Bay North Ju­nior Stars are on quite a roll in the St. John’s Ju­nior Hockey League.

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 be­fore Christ­mas, the 19-year-old Bay Roberts 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.

Im­proved team

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.” • Age — 19; • Home­town — Bare­need; • Fam­ily — par­ents are Dawn and Ivan; has a younger sis­ter, Shelby;

• School — study­ing nau­ti­cal sci­ence at Ma­rine in­sti­tute; • Pre-game meal — Sub­way; • Favourite player —Joe Sa­kic; • Favourite team — Colorado Avalanche;

• Top songs on iPod — “Knee deep” and “Jump right in” by Zac Brown Band and “Tim­ber” by Pit­bull ft Ke­shal

• No­table ac­com­plish­ment — win­ning the Wes Gosse schol­ar­ship and ath­lete of the year at As­cen­sion Col­le­giate.

All-star ex­pe­ri­ence

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.

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.

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