Photo By: Michael Hetzel
Courtney Burke, the No. 1 defender on the NWHL’s first-place team, the 7-0 Metropolitan Riveters, has been named the NWHL Player of the Week.
Burke was dominant in her team’s defensive zone and had an assist in the Riveters’ 4-2 win in Boston on Saturday to remain undefeated. She is now 0-11-11 in 7 games. The former Wisconsin star leads the league in assists. Her 11 points are tied for second in the league (with teammate Miye D’Oench), behind NWHL leading scorer Alexa Gruschow of the Riveters.
“This is a nice surprise,” Burke said when informed of the honor. “Saturday night was a great game for us and I’m sure this award could have gone to many of my teammates. I was proud of how we played. We arrived a bit fashionably late because we hit some unexpected traffic on the way to the game, but we were able to focus and play a strong game. It was a character win.”
Burke has played the majority of this season with Jenny Ryan, a teammate at Wisconsin for three years, although they rarely saw time as a tandem.
“Jenny's a great player,” Burke said of the NWHL rookie. “We have a very similar style of play and read off of each other really well. We just kind of know where each other will be. “
Burke has already matched her point total from last season, when she was selected to play in the 2017 NWHL All-Star Game. In 13 games last season, the 5-9 defender had 3 goals and 8 assists for 11 points.
During an outstanding four-year career at Wisconsin from 2012-2016, Burke had 18 goals and 90 assists for 108 points in 153 games. She was named Second Team All-America her senior season. At Wisconsin, Burke studied Life Science and Communications. While playing for the Riveters, she works for the Manhattan-based recruiting agency The Atlantic Group. She will take some time to relax during the NWHL’s holiday break, visiting her family in Florida.
“Just going to enjoy some warm weather and hopefully head to the beach a couple of days,” Burke said.
When she returns, the focus will be on the Riveters capturing their first Isobel Cup.
“It has been a great start for us,” she said. “We knew coming into the season we had a lot of returning faces so we were familiar with one another. We have been improving on things every week and hope to continue that heading into the second half of the season.”