Behind the Mask

By Kyle Searer

Meet Ryan Larkin, Miami’s hockey goalie.

On the ice, Larkin is consistent, laid-back and even-keeled.

Off the ice, he is a kid at heart.IMG_0496

“I think one of my best attributes on the ice is that I am calm and I think that it helps keep the rest of the team calm,”  Larkin said about his demeanor.

And the kid part?

When traveling, Larkin enjoys watching his collection of Disney movies. His library features recent blockbuster hits like “Inside Out” and “Finding Dory.”

Larkin grew up in Clarkston, Michgan. There he found a role as goalkeeper for his older brother and two older cousins. “When I was real young I couldn’t really skate, they would just buzz around me, so they ended up throwin’ me in net, and that’s how I became goalie,” he said.

Larkin’s father and uncle grew up in Toronto, Canada which ties the family even closer to hockey. His two cousins and brother all still play today hockey today.

His brother Adam, plays hockey at Yale. His  cousin, Dylan, plays for the Detroit Red Wings. Another cousin, Colin, plays hockey at UMass-Boston.

In January of 2016, Larkin found a place to call home at Miami University. When looking at schools he and his family were in search of a place with a perfect student and social life balance. They found that in Oxford, Ohio. He reflected on his deD4517 Hockey vs. Maine Game 1cision, “it was not too big or too small, it’s the perfect size for me.”

Coming to campus a semester before the rest of the freshmen at Miami University gave Larkin a leg up. According to Chad Twaro, assistant athletic communications director, Larkin was able to learn the speed of the college game and get to know how things worked.

“Consistent and laid back, what you see is what you get,” said Twaro about the freshmen goalkeeper. “Both in his approach and his day-to-day interactions he remains consistent and that allowed our young team to lean on him.”

In hockey, it is fashionable for the goalie to distinctively decorate their masks. Every goalie mask is unique and has something to say about the man behind it. Since Ryan Larkin was around 14-years-old, he has featured bricks somewhere on his decorative masks. It is reoccurring motif in his design that seemingly predicted he would stand in goal for Miami University one day.

In addition to the bricks themed on Larkin’s masks throughout his hockey career, Larkin has incorporated some new elements. “Brotherhood” is featured on the left jaw line, “Love and Honor” on the right.

For Miami Hockey, few things are as sacred as “The Brotherhood.” They live it, they breath it and outsiders will never fully understand it.

But Love & Honor is something that all students at Miami University can relate to.

Larkin said he believes it’s important to think about what it actually means, beyond just saying it’s who we are and what we do, “It’s our close-knit community, doing anything for any Miami student, and on the hockey team doing anything for each other. Honor reflects having academic integrity and being true to all your friends and everyone on campus.”

Larkin, who is a sports leadership and management major, said he dreams of bringing home a national championship to Miami University.

After that, his goal will shift to joining his cousin in the NHL.


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