"I’m totally a Brendan Gallagher," she laughed. "We’re both tiny so we have to work that much harder and nothing comes easy."
She takes inspiration from the gritty Habs winger, listed at a generous 5’9" on the Montreal Canadiens roster. It plays into her style which emphasizes speed over size. "You have to be faster because no matter what your height you’re at an advantage if you get to the puck first," she said. "That’s how you win battles in the corners."
Bettez is no stranger to winning. Add her speed to a natural scoring touch, and Bettez has rocketed to the top of the stats lists. At McGill University she won three national championships. As a senior she claimed the Broderick Trophy as the country’s most outstanding university female athlete. In 2013, in her first year with the Canadiennes organization, she was the team’s second-leading scorer and earned Rookie of the Year honours. A year later she took home the Angela James Bowl as the CWHL’s scoring champion with 16 goals and 24 assists in 23 games.
While her resume is enough to impress any general manager, there’s still one accolade that’s missing: she has yet to raise the Clarkson Cup. The memory of last year’s 3-2 overtime defeat against the Boston Blades is still fresh. "It's our so it was really hard. It was thrilling at first because you have all the energy and excitement in the game and then you have to deal with the shock of losing," she recalled.
While she may be used to winning, dealing with the loss came easily. "It was nice to have my teammates with me but the best thing was being with family," she said. Between hockey and her day job as a financial advisor, she was so busy that she only got to see her niece Florence for the second time after dropping the final. This Christmas, Bettez says her niece can expect skating lessons and mini sticks, even though she’ll only be turning one in December.
Family has been an important factor in Bettez’s career. Her parents still come to see almost all of her games. Her older brother got her into the game. He ended up as a referee and officiated a few of her games when she was in PeeWee. Bettez recalls that her brother’s colleagues would tease him because she was a better skater than he was. "It’s true though," she laughed. "He’s a doctor now so I’m pretty sure everything turned out fine for his career."
Bettez is set to enter her third year sporting Les Canadiennes' red, white and blue fresh off a season where she finished second on the team in both goals and points. At 27, she describes herself as "old" and says she has to work harder than ever in the gym and in training to maintain her blistering scoring pace. "I’ve been working out for over 10 years now. You have to find that passion to keep doing it. You can't just sit on your chair and hope for the best," she said.
With the future still bright for this Star, maybe Brendan Gallagher should be taking inspiration from Bettez.