Tufts hockey will be losing a fantastic goal-tender this year in graduating senior Mason Pulde. In 2016, the Lexington, Mass. native was awarded the Academic All-America At-Large Honors, an award that recognizes student athletes for peak athletic and academic performance. To qualify, athletes must have above a 3.30 GPA out of a 4.0 scale and be an important contributor to the team. In his 2016 season alone, Pulde led the division with a .947 save percentage, and was ranked No. 15 in the nation with his 1.91 goals against average.
After transferring to Tufts from Middlebury his sophomore year, Pulde was awarded NESCAC player of the week twice and had a .914 save percentage for the 2014-15 season. At Middlebury, Pulde split time with three other goalies on the JV team, playing just one period a game and taking video stats for the varsity team. When he transferred to Tufts, his career took off after he was immediately welcomed by his new teammates.
“The guys were super receptive and they were really welcoming. They made my transition really easy. I didn’t even feel [as] though I was at a new school,” Pulde said. “I felt super comfortable the moment I stepped on campus because of the great chemistry the team had.”
At the end of Pulde’s sophomore year, the team upset the No.1-ranked Trinity in the NESCAC quarterfinals, launching a rivalry with Trinity that continues to this day. Tufts clinched the program’s first NESCAC quarterfinal win in history. Trinity outshot Tufts 43-25, with Pulde pulling off the incredible feat of 42 saves on the game. This game was the highlight of Pulde’s Tufts career.
“It was just super special because it proved to everyone in our program and all of the alumni and ourselves that we were capable of doing great things,” he said. “I think it provided our program with the confidence to move forward and try to win a championship because I don’t think we believed it quite yet.”
In his final season at Tufts, Pulde had a .934 total save percentage and a 2.37 goals against average. In the season opener, the team defeated Trinity 3-1 while Pulde had 38 saves on the game. After Pulde suffered a devastating ACL tear late in the season to cut his Tufts career short, the team would go on to lose to Trinity in the NESCAC quarterfinals. Despite the injury, this may not be the end of Pulde’s hockey career as he is considering another year of hockey abroad depending on his rehabilitation process post-graduation.
“Just being a student athlete at Tufts has been an unbelievable experience and has taught me so much about what it takes to be successful in multiple areas of your life and the commitment that it takes to strive to be the best that you can be,” Pulde said. I think that the Tufts hockey program and Tufts University really stress that pursuit for perfection and improvement, and I think that has made me a better person because of it.”