Becki Bowering Takes Pride in Being Beauts' Spark Plug
By Nathaniel A. Oliver
Buffalo Beauts forward Becki Bowering is the ideal situational player. The team's coaching staff can insert her anywhere in the lineup and know that she will rise to the occasion.
Since the 2019-20 NWHL season has gotten underway, Bowering has played on the Beauts' top scoring line, and she has played on their third line. She has played the wing, and has centered a line of her own. Bowering has worked the penalty-killing unit, and has stepped in as a screen on the power play. Heck, head coach Pete Perram once even triple-shifted her in an exhibition game.
A tenacious attacker bursting with energy, Bowering is loving every moment of her rookie season.
"I've really enjoyed the level of professionalism throughout the players and throughout the coaching staff," she said. "The games have been really exciting and really fun, and they make us feel special. They make us feel that we're professional. I came to play competitive hockey, and the NWHL is very competitive."
Bowering has played in all 10 regular season games that the Beauts have played thus far. In that time she has chipped in three assists while playing like a Tasmanian devil anytime that she is on the ice.
"I have always played with a lot of grit," Bowering said. "With my speed and my forechecking, I tend to play a very physical game. I really enjoy playmaking. I tend to pass instead of shoot most of the time. I probably should take more shots, but I definitely like playmaking - getting my head up and making the unselfish play."
She began the season playing right-wing on Buffalo's number-one line with Buie and Taylor Accursi. After a while, however, Perram shifted Bowering to a unit alongside Kim Brown and Kandice Sheriff. This most current trio has served as a checking/energy-line for the Beauts. Though all three play a physical, aggressive style, they each also have soft hands around the net and can create scoring opportunities.
Perram will really need to count on the Bowering-Brown-Sheriff line in this weekend's matchup against the Boston Pride. The two teams play one another on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 5:30 p.m. (EST) and Sunday, Dec. 22 at 1:00 p.m. (EST). Buffalo has managed to hold a strong second place in the standings, but the visiting Pride have remained undefeated through 11 games.
"I think that in any game, any team can win," Bowering said. "From this point onward, my own play and especially that of our team is really about playing with confidence. We're here playing for a reason. We can't assume, 'Oh, we're playing Boston this weekend - they're the best in the league.' No - we have to play with the mindset that we can beat any team in this league. We're playing Boston four times in the next three weeks. We've got to get points. We've got to take points off of every team we face. We can't have weekends where we don't get any points. We're trying to make the Isobel Cup Final - that's the goal at this point."
After this weekend's affair against the Pride, both the Buffalo and NWHL communities are looking forward to the Labatt "Buffalo Believes Classic" outdoor game on Saturday, Dec. 28 at 7:00 p.m. (EST). In addition to being the first regular season outdoor game in NWHL history, it will also be the first meeting of the season between the Beauts and the Metropolitan Riveters.
The game will be held at Buffalo Riverworks, and women's hockey fans from across the country are heading to Western New York to take in the festivities, which includes an all-day "For The Love of Hockey" vendor exposition as well.
"I'm super excited - I can't wait!" said Bowering. "I actually think about it all the time. I think we'll be okay in terms of how cold it's going to be. I'm probably going to wear a turtleneck. We're going to paint our faces a little bit too. I think I'll be too excited to even realize how cold I am. I'm not worried about the cold - I'm excited to play Metro because we haven't played them yet. I think it's going to be really fun!"
Tickets for both the Dec. 21/22 games against Boston and Dec. 28/29 games against Metropolitan can be ordered here: https://beauts.nwhl.zone/
Photo Credits: Bryan Johnson, Mike Hetzel