Oct. 20, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS – Senior captain Bethany Brausen began skating nearly as soon as she could walk when her dad flooded a rink on her family’s backyard patio. Growing up, she admired the athletes who came before her at Roseville Area High School and the University of Minnesota.
After an outstanding high school career with the Raiders, Brausen fulfilled her dream of becoming a Golden Gopher. Now in her second season captaining the Gopher women’s hockey team, the psychology major hopes to make the most of her senior season.
How did you first get into hockey?
I first started skating just about when I started walking. My dad flooded the patio in the back yard, and I started skating on that. I started playing mites when I was about five years old.
Neither of my parents had really played. My dad played unorganized hockey in a men’s league and kind of fell in love with it. My cousin started playing and we were attached at the hip, so I thought I’d give it a shot and it kind of just stuck. My parents have been there every step of the way.
When I was little, I was one of those kids who waited for autographs and high fives from the Gophers. Since I was little, the U was the place I always wanted to go. When the opportunity arose that I could come here, it was an easy decision.
What was your hockey experience like when you were growing up?
I went to Roseville and played all the way through youth and high school in the Roseville program. Both of my sisters played hockey as well. My older sister played goalie at Roseville. She was a very, very successful goalie. She was one of those people who is just naturally talented and was just a phenomenal goalie. I got to play hockey in high school with her for three years, which was really special. My younger sister played for the Roseville JV system. Hockey has definitely been a part of our family for quite some time now.
What is your favorite thing about the Twin Cities?
There’s a lot to like. The atmosphere and the love for hockey is something I can appreciate. There’s the Minnesota Wild, and I know quite a few of the Canadians are impressed with the high school state tournament. I think the tradition of hockey is so special here. It makes our program that much more sought after and watched, so I think that aspect is very cool.
Do you have any pregame rituals?
I have a lot of them! It’s not intense superstition to the point where if it doesn’t happen, I’m afraid we’re going to lose, but it’s more just my routine. I think just about everyone has a pregame routine to some extent.
For as many players as I can, I try to have a one-on-one routine of some sort with them, whether it’s a handshake or a stretch, just something that we do. I do a quote with Sarah Davis before each game. You can connect with different teammates and you guys have your thing. When you get enough of that stuff going, that’s when you really create the team chemistry and togetherness. I try to do stuff like that as much as I can.
What is your favorite rink to play in away from home?
We’re really lucky because so many of the rinks we play in are really nice. When I was a freshman, we played at the Kohl Center [in Madison], and it was packed. They had filled the bowl and then some. We got to play in front of over 10,000 fans. That was pretty special. Outside of that, I like the Duluth rink. I’m biased because we won the national championship there my sophomore year. North Dakota is also really nice.
What are your career goals?
I’m a psychology major. I think in the most ideal situation, I would love to go on and get my PhD and do counseling. I’d love to open my own private practice. Of course, those are high ambitions, but why not? I would love to see myself working in some area of counseling psychology or sports psychology.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I love artsy stuff. I love movies and music. I’m taking Intro to Piano this year. I’m not very musically gifted yet, so hopefully that is something that picks up.
What makes this year’s team special?
I think it’s the same as it’s been the last couple years – the togetherness of our team. When the coaches say to play for the person next to you, we say it but we actually mean it, too. I think that’s what really makes our team special. We have such a talented group of players and then on top of that, you put that togetherness factor and that closeness in there. I think that’s what ultimately wins games.
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