Saturday, March 13, 2010

Recruiting: Hesketh To Play For Minnesota State Title

The decision was a tough one. A choice that a select few high school kids have to make. Stay in school for your senior season and try to get to the Minnesota State Championship, or leave for the high exposure, highly talent laden United States Hockey League.

2011 Wisconsin defense recruit Troy Hesketh wrestled with that decision before the start of the 2009 hockey season. Drafted by the Fargo Force, Hesketh was at Fargo's summer tryout camp in Prior Lake with Badger coach Mark Osiecki in attendance.

Knowing he didn't need the exposure, he had already been drafted (Edmonton, 3rd round), and had already committed to a college, Hesketh decided to return to Minnetonka for his senior season. The move was questioned by a few, who felt he was ready to take his game to the next level.

It looks like Hesketh's decision has paid off so far. The Skippers from Minnetonka are absolutely loaded this year and they were picked as the favorites to win the AA state title since the pre-season. They have 4 seniors that are already committed to colleges. Hesketh, Justin Holl and Max Gardier (Minnesota), and Andrew Prochno (St. Cloud).

Minnetonka needed no help getting through the sectional playoffs. They rolled over sectional opponents Minneapolis West, Benilde-SM, and Eden Prairie by a combined score of 19-3 including a 7-1 drubbing of defending AA State Champion Eden Prairie in the sectional final.

After walking over Lakeville North in the State Quarter-Finals on Thursday 6-1, the Skippers were matched up with high powered Hill-Murray, a perennial State Tournament participant. All it took was 3 regulation periods of hockey and 4 overtime periods for a winner to be named. Luckily for Hesketh, teammate Erik Baskin found the twine in the 4th OT.

Baskin's game winner came at 86:31. The tournament record 93:12 set in 1996 between Apple Valley and Duluth East.

So that leaves a State Championship game tonight for Hesketh. His number 1 ranked Minnetonka squad will face off against the Edina Hornets at the Xcel Center tonight for the AA title. I can tell you this much, when Hesketh laces up his slippers and hits the ice tonight, I don't think anyone will be questioning his decision to stay.