Back to Campus: Ben Sexton
Sexton looks to lead Golden Knights
BostonBruins.com — Last season, when his goal in triple overtime pushed his Clarkson Golden Knights past Rensselaer in Game 2 of the first round of the ECAC playoffs, Ben Sexton ended one of the longest games in NCAA history.
The end of the game may have been special to Sexton and his teammates, but didn't actually produce a happy ending.
“It was a big goal in my career,” Sexton told BostonBruins.com in September. "At the same time, we weren’t happy with the result at the end of the series."
Unfortunately for the Bruins prospect, Clarkson lost the next game, and failed to advance past the first round of the playoffs. It’s a memory Sexton, a 6-foot forward, drafted by the Black & Gold in 2009 (7th Round, 206th overall), is hoping to soon improve.
“I think internally here we have a mentality and an attitude that we are going to win this year,” Sexton said. “This is my third year and we haven’t made it past the first round of the playoffs, and I’m looking forward to a leadership role here.
“I think everyone here has the mentality that we can’t accept losing in the first round, we need to be a top team in the ECAC every year.”
Entering his junior campaign, Sexton has proven himself to be an integral part of Golden Knights offense.
Wearing the assistants ‘A’ last season, Sexton scored 29 points (8-21) in just 27 games, a scoring output that would have put him in the top 30 in the country had he played enough games to qualify as a statistical leader.
“I think a little bit of experience, being in my second year, I had a little bit more confidence in,” Sexton said, when describing what went right for him on the ice during the 2011-12 campaign. “Injuries are something that you can’t really prevent, so I just had that mentality, and I knew that when I came back I was going to be the player that I wanted to be.
“It took me a couple of games just to kind of get back into the swing of things, but just to have the mentality to go out there and work your hardest every day, and let other things happen, and things did last year.
“So, I’m looking forward to continuing that into this year,” he said.
Now a team captain, and at his healthiest, Sexton, who assumed a leadership role at this past summer's Boston Bruins Development Camp, said he is also ready to help the Knights' newest players become more confident as they begin their careers at Clarkson.
“Anytime that I can help out some of the younger guys, I’m obviously more than willing to do it,” Sexton said. “I think the biggest thing for the freshmen—as an older guy—is just getting them comfortable at first, and then letting them know that they can play.
“The step is a little bit of an adjustment at first, but great advice that I got going into my freshman year was just have the confidence that you know you can play.
“One of the seniors told me that, and I kind of ran with it.”
Still, Sexton noted that for the Golden Knights to be successful, much of the responsibility falls on the returning players as they look to go the distance.
“I’ve always said that the freshmen will help chip in, but we’ve got to win from within,” Sexton said. “The guys, the upperclassmen that are here, we’ve got to grab the bull by the horns.
"We’ve got to take over and control our own destiny.”