When Patrick Sexton visited Penticton to watch his brother Ben play for the Vees in 2009-10, he was impressed.
“I was in awe of just the fact that this was a junior A team,” said Sexton, who was 15 at the time. “Just the way they played and handled themselves at the rink. The fans, the way the town supports this team. It was just outstanding.”
Sexton wants to follow in the footsteps of Ben, who has enjoyed a successful career that includes being the captain of the Clarkson University Golden Knights and being drafted by the Boston Bruins in 2009.
When the younger Sexton’s final season ended with the Smiths Falls Bears (Smiths Falls, Ont.) last year, he took time to think about what he wanted to do. Coming to the BCHL entered his mind, as did joining the USHL. Then he sat down with Ben, who pushed for him to try to come to Penticton. Sexton likes the way coach-GM Fred Harbinson handles himself.
“He has a great reputation of winning, moving players onto the next level, the two things I want to do most,” said Sexton, who in his final season with the Bears scored 10 goals and added 26 assists in 62 games. “I’m going to do anything I can to help this team win.”
Sexton said his brother felt he would have a great experience playing for the Vees and living in Penticton.
So far he hasn’t been disappointed.
“I love everything here. The guys are all great. It’s a tight-knit dressing room. We all work hard together,” he said. “We hang out. The hockey is going well, we have a great record. We are ranked in the top 20 in Canada (the Vees went from 14th to 18th).”
Having a weekend off from BCHL play, some of the Vees took advantage of the time to go away as they posted Twitter messages about their trips to Vancouver and Calgary, or just stayed in Penticton. Sexton said the group goes to movies as a team and has played baseball.
“Just fun stuff where everybody can be a part of it,” said Sexton, who can be followed on Twitter at @PSexton94.
Vees notes: Defenceman Brett Beauvais and Alexandre Coulombe were named to the Team West roster, which is coached by Merritt Centennials bench boss Luke Pierce, for the Canadian Junior Hockey League Prospects game in Digby and Yarmouth, N.S. Nov. 8 and 9. The CJHL website shows that both Vees players are unavailable to attend. Vees radio broadcaster Fraser Rodgers posted on Twitter about defenceman Blake Butzow’s return from meningitis on Monday after missing 17 games.
“Great to see @BlakeButzow on the ice with the team; been a long time coming. Can’t wait to see him in a Vees jersey,” wrote Rodgers.