On Feb. 18, the Castleton men’s hockey team took on the Skidmore Thoroughbreds in a home playoff game that resulted in a 7-2 victory for the Spartans.
But in that pressured playoff atmosphere, with just over 800 people in attendance and in front of his father, Gerald, junior goaltender Ryan Mulder did what had only crossed his mind a couple of times.
With a 39 save game in the Spartans victory, Mulder broke the all-time saves record at Castleton University. He passed Jeff Swanson, who recorded 1,511 saves from 2005-2009
“When I broke the record, I honestly didn’t even know. I found out later on and I just thought hey, that’s kind of cool,” said Mulder. “I honestly think not knowing how close I was to the record helped me.”
His humbleness toward his accomplishment had a lot to do with his belief that hockey is a team game and individual stats come second to the team’s overall performance.
“When I came here I just wanted to play. That was my first goal. I don’t get involved in setting personal goals like that because it’s a team game,” said Mulder
Before the 6’5 195-pound goaltender stepped between the pipes at Castleton University, he played for the Nepean Raiders, a junior hockey team in Ottawa Canada, his hometown.
Mulder recorded 552 saves in his first season with the Spartans, which is still a single season high. He then recorded 472 saves in his sophomore season and 525 in his junior season, bringing his total saves to 1,549 with one year left to play.
To put up the numbers Mulder has over the last three seasons, his teammates believe is has a lot to do with consistency.
“The thing with Ryan is that he is always really consistent between the pipes and he never loses focus. Another big thing is that he takes every game very serious and he always makes sure he is prepared to win,” said teammate Simon Teodorsson, adding that Mulder’s play was a big part of the team’s success this season.
“I’ve learned over the years, if you wanna stay focused and consistent, you have stay motived to work and get better,” said Mulder.
For someone who does not set too many personal goals, with one season remaining his is successful college career, there are two goals he would like to achieve. He would like to bring a championship home in his senior season and he also dreams of playing at the next level.
“I have aspirations to play professional hockey, I believe it’s possible,” said Mulder
His dream is to play for his hometown Ottawa Senators, but he said he would not mind playing for anyone.