COLUMN: Mowat a big component to BSU women's hockey's success

Ask Brittni Mowat about her importance to the Bemidji State women's hockey team's recent success and she'll likely do what any good goaltender does with a puck: Deflect, then be sure to let her teammates get credit for the save too.

2112673+103115.S.BP_.BSUWHKY 2 WEB.jpg
BSU goalie Brittni Mowat (29) blocks a shot on goal during the second period of Friday night’s game in Bemidji. Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer
We are part of The Trust Project.

Ask Brittni Mowat about her importance to the Bemidji State women’s hockey team’s recent success and she’ll likely do what any good goaltender does with a puck: Deflect, then be sure to let her teammates get credit for the save too.

“Our defense is great in front of me,” she said. “They block a lot of shots and keep most of the pucks to the other side. I think our team is finally starting to get recognized on a national level. It’s nice that our team is finally getting recognized for what we do.”

It’s almost impossible for Bemidji State’s junior goaltender to talk about herself -- at least, not without first bringing up the accomplishments of the rest of her team.

And for head coach Jim Scanlan, that’s just about the best quality he could want in his star goaltender -- one who is now BSU’s all-time wins leader.

“She’ll be the first one to credit her team,” Scanlan said. “When someone brought it up to her (setting BSU’s wins record), when she tied it, she didn’t even realize she was that close. That’s just her. She’s not going to worry about anything herself. It’s incredible to think she’s done it and she has a whole year left. That’s pretty special.”


Mowat officially became BSU’s all-time wins leader on Sunday night in Grand Forks, when she helped backstop the Beavers to a 1-0 win over North Dakota. She passed former record-holder Zuzana Tomcikova to earn win No. 42 -- and did so in even less time.

But when asked about the accomplishment this week, Mowat was unfazed. That is to say, for the Glenboro, Manitoba, native that number is just that -- a number. She’d rather see the Beavers do well. And if she has any part in that, then so be it.

“It was a pretty good feeling finally getting that win out of the way,” Mowat said. “I didn’t even know it was a thing until (BSU women’s hockey broadcaster Kelly Schultz) told me after I tied the record. … I don’t pay attention much to those kind of things but it means a lot.”

She wasn’t asked this specifically, but it’s safe to assume that the main numbers Mowat pays attention to are these ones: 13-5-2.

The Beavers enter the semester break off to the best start in program history through 20 games. Mowat, not coincidentally, has been the goaltender of record in 19 of those. Her goals-against average (1.38) and save percentage (.949) are both top-five nationally and both are already better than her numbers through 20 games a season ago -- when she was an All-American and the WCHA’s top goaltender.

“Goaltending is so important in this league,” Scanlan said. “Everybody seems to have a really good goalie, and she’s just been outstanding. I feel very fortunate that she’s here.”

Scanlan, a former goalie and two-time All-American himself for the Beavers in the early 1980s, said that while he appreciates having a lights-out goaltender, he doesn’t get very technical with her -- he just lets her play.

“The position is played so much different,” he said. “I don’t mess around with telling her how to play. The biggest thing with her is her work ethic. She’s an outstanding young lady. she works hard, she’s humble and her team plays really really hard for her. You can’t ask for a better situation.”


Mowat, for her part, is more excited that her team is right where they’d like to be at the end of the semester -- third place in the WCHA standings and in prime position to host a WCHA playoff series on home ice for the first time ever.

“I think we won all the games that we needed to,” she said. “The only games we lost were the teams ahead of us. We’ve done everything we can. We just have to keep going and keep the momentum.”

The Beavers lost twice each to Wisconsin and Minnesota -- the teams directly ahead of them in the league standings -- and also dropped one game against North Dakota. Aside from that, they defeated everybody else in the league twice.

And with a more favorable schedule in the second half of the season -- no long road trips and home series against both the Badgers and the Gophers -- the Beavers hope to extend this special season even longer.

“If we can continue to do the job against everybody else, we'll be able to maintain our spot and get home ice,” Scanlan said. “That doesn't guarantee anything, obviously. Everybody in this league is tough.

“But as a team, we need to keep getting better and I think we can. We haven't played our best hockey yet.”

Jack is a copy editor for Forum News Service.
What to read next
Bemidji's late rally seized the Region 10C championship and a first-round bye in the state tournament.
Bemidji Speedway features participation from many teams with family connections. One such family team is the father-son dynamic duo of Doyle and Blake Erickson.
Eager customers ran through 18 holes of twists and tunnels and ramps and water hazards, successfully completing the maiden voyage on Boardwalk Mini Golf’s first day of business.
Chloe Kirkpatrick hopes the first-ever Women's Para Ice Hockey World Challenge will help the game get into the Paralympics.