Patrick Sexton’s patience paid off when it came to deciding his hockey future.
The former Penticton Vees co-captain will be playing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association for the University of Wisconsin Badgers next fall.
“I’m really excited about next year,” said Sexton.
With the help of Vees coach-general manager Fred Harbinson, Sexton joins the six-time national champions. Sexton said it all came together late in the year. He and Harbinson took the approach of not being concerned with waiting out for the right fit.
“Luckily enough for me it ended up being Wisconsin,” he said. “They were able to see me play at the RBC Cup. I owe a lot to my teammates and coaches for helping me get to that point. It gave a chance for schools to see me play.”
Sexton likes the tradition of the Badgers, whose last national championship win came in 2006. While he knows they had a down year last season with four wins in 35 games, he hopes to make a big impact with the Big Ten program.
“They won a national championship in the last decade. They have been to the NCAA tournament multiple times. That’s my goal going in,” said Sexton. “That’s one of the things I liked about it. The coaches have a tradition of not only winning, but helping players get to the next level of pro hockey.”
Sexton’s five-year junior career ended with the Vees falling one game short of playing for a national championship. Those hopes were dashed by the Carleton Place Canadians in the semifinal. Sexton earned his first playoff win against the Canadians as a member of the Smith Falls Bears.
“I had an unbelievable time throughout my junior hockey career. Starting in Ottawa to coming out west. From my coaches, to my teammates, to the City of Penticton. I had unbelievable billets. They took great care of me.”