Assisting Teammates Both On and Off the Ice

Ross Mitton ’24 is a student leader as a captain for men’s hockey.  

He’s Ross Mitton ’24 (#17): a forward with his eye on the prize. He skates for Colgate in each game and has a reputation for ending nail-biters against Dartmouth, Harvard, and Princeton with last-minute victories.

“I’ll get hard in the corners and do whatever it takes to get the puck back, skate to the open ice, and find my teammates in front of the net,” says Mitton, whose 18 assists in the 2022 season tied him for the 11th-most in the ECAC division for the year.

Six days a week, you’ll find Mitton on the ice, where his philosophy is to “practice how you play.” His devotion to performance has influenced his teammates, who selected him as one their captains for the 2023–24 season.

“It’s important for me to lead by example,” he says. “I work hard on and off the ice, and push my teammates to work harder — that just makes us better as a whole.”

When class is in session, Mitton majors in economics, and he is one of 13 Presidential Ambassadors who represent Colgate to distinguished guests. And as he does on the ice, he’s always thinking about the next step. He plans to get his MBA after he graduates and dreams of landing on Wall Street. He is also an active member of Raiders of Color Connect, an organization where athletes share dialogue and meals.

Over time, Mitton has learned a thing or two about balancing his academics with his game. To the younger members of the hockey team, he imparts his three-step plan: “Go to office hours, don’t fall behind, and always speak up.” He values his position as a mentor and gets talkative with the team. “I ask the [first-years] every day how school is going, and check in on the younger guys to make sure they’re doing alright,” he says.

In the summertime, Mitton fishes off the coast of Long Island, where his story began. He’s played hockey since the age of 6, when he joined his first team, the Long Island Royals. At 8, he was up to four sports at once — hockey, of course, but also soccer, football, and baseball. But hockey ran in the family, and it wasn’t long before he was matching up with his uncle while his grandmother scolded them to stop scratching the hardwood floor with their sticks.

In high school, Mitton began playing hockey at the professional level. In 2017, he was drafted into the Fargo Force: a Tier I team in the United States Hockey League (USHL). His time with the USHL brought him across the U.S., where he traveled with teams in Nebraska (the Omaha Lancers and the Lincoln Stars).

These days, Mitton refers to himself as a “gentle giant” who cares deeply for his family and teammates. But sometimes, they seem all the same.

“This [Colgate men’s hockey] is the closest team I’ve been on in my entire life,” he says. “Everyone loves each other like a brother.”