MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The Minnesota Mullets of the USPHL are proud to announce the commitment of goaltender Alex Falkenhagen to play NCAA D-III hockey at Fitchburg State University starting in the 2023-24 season.
Falkenhagen, 20, totaled 71 career games with the Mullets across three seasons with a combined .907 SV% and 3.96 GAA. The goaltender joined the Mullets after playing at the Hill Academy in Ontario and was recruited in the spring of 2020. His rookie season was the Covid season of 2020-21, but as Mullets’ Head Coach Chris Walby stated, “It’s been my favorite season in all of 22 years coaching.”
“I received a great referral on Alex from a friend of mine who coached Alex at the ‘Hill.’ I honestly didn’t know if it was going to work out due to the state the world was in during Covid, but it did and it’s been a great run,” said the coach. “Alex was great that season, as were all the boys. He and his teammates were so appreciative of being able to play through the ‘shutdown.’ It was a challenging season, but that made it so special.”
At the time of his recruiting, the Mullets were guarded in net by age out Jack Bostedt and in need of a replacement. Bostedt, a three year starter for the Mullets is now an All American and MIAC Defender of the Year for the Saint Scholastica Saints.
Through Falkenhagen’s background at Hill Academy, his playing film, his hard working attitude, and his 6’4”, 209-pound frame, Coach Walby knew he had found the rookie who would become Bostedt’s replacement. “Alex was great for us right out of the gate. He was so athletic and willing to work on the details that develop you into a star in our league and eventually into an NCAA player,” said the coach.
With big skates to fill, and some natural growing pains in years one and two, Falkenhagen was a full-fledged starter in his last season and was ready to take his net. “Going into year three he was clearly the guy and he started all but 11 games for us,” pointed out Coach Walby. In fact, Falkenhagen recorded career highs with 33 games played, 1,269 saves and 1,783 TOI (Time On Ice).
In his third season, he was tabbed as team captain. “It was a huge honour to play my final season as captain,” the Markham, Ont., native said. “I feel like it helped me become a better leader and it’s something I’m definitely going to be taking with me to the next level,” said Falkenhagen.
His dedication to his team earned him a “C” in his third year and his dedication to hockey earned him a chance to further his career in the NCAA. “I’m very proud of the work he’s put in and so happy for him to have this opportunity,” said the coach.
Located in Fitchburg, Mass., Fitchburg State University hosts their home games at the Wallace Civic Center. In the 2022-23 season, the Falcons posted a 12-11-3 record and advanced to the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) quarterfinal.
Falkenhagen looks ahead at the opportunity to continue his playing career while earning a degree in Exercise and Sports Science. Fitchburg State, he notes, “is one of the top schools for that in the country.”
When the opportunity to play NCAA hockey presented itself, the Green and Gold extended an offer the same day. The gesture assured Falkenhagen, “Fitchburg State was the right fit.”
The Falcons open the 2023-24 season at New England College on Friday, Oct. 24.
Falkenhagen is looking forward to playing for his new school and his fellow classmates. “I’m really excited to take my game to the next level and show everyone that I can play at the college level.”