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NWHL All-Star Defenders Burke, Picard and Ryan Return to Champion Riveters’ Lineup

By NWHL.zone Staff, 07/17/18, 10:00AM EDT

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July 17, 2018– As they set out to defend the Isobel Cup, the Metropolitan Riveters have re-signed a trio of top defenders for the upcoming season: Courtney BurkeMichelle Picard and Jenny Ryan.

Burke was the 2017-18 NWHL Defender of the Year and set a league single-season record for defenders with 19 points in 16 games. Picard was one of the recipients of the NWHL Foundation Awards, and Ryan was a finalist for NWHL Rookie of the Year. All three were members of Team NWHL for the two-game series against the U.S. Olympic Team in Florida in January, and members of Team Ott at the 2018 NWHL All-Star Game in Minnesota in February.

“Our fans, team and support staff made it an easy decision for me to continue playing,” said Burke, 23. “Coming off last season and the expansion to Minnesota this summer, it is a really exciting time to be a part of the NWHL. I'm ready to get back on the ice with the team this fall.”

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.

Burke was part of the U.S. Women’s National U-18 team that captured gold in 2011, silver in 2012.

Picard, 25, was captain of Team NWHL and is 2-10-12 over her first two seasons with the Riveters. She was part of Team USA that captured silver at the 2014 Olympics, and gold in 2013, 2015 and 2016 at the World Championships. At Harvard, Picard was a team captain as both a junior and senior. In her senior season, she was named All-Ivy League first team, All-ECAC Hockey third team, and was an ECAC defender of the year finalist. 

“I’m so excited to be back with the Riveters this season,” said Picard. “I’m grateful to be a part of this organization and I really can’t thank our fans enough for their support. They are a huge reason why playing with the Rivs is so special. Now it’s time to defend the Cup!”

Ryan, 23, had 3 goals and 13 assists for 16 points in 16 games last season. She played 155 games at Wisconsin between 2013-2017 and had 19 goals and 65 assists for 84 points. As a senior, she was Second Team All-American and First Team All-WCHA. With Team USA, she won a silver medal at the Under-18 Women’s World Championship in 2013. In 2015, Ryan was a member of the U.S. Women's Under-22 Select Team in its series against Canada.

Q&A with Jenny Ryan 

Jenny, what is your reaction to signing your second NWHL contract and to returning to the Rivs?

I am very excited to be returning for another season in the NWHL and with the Riveters. I am very grateful to be given the opportunity to continue playing the game that I love. I had a lot of fun last season and am looking forward to another one. 

Have you set any particular goals for next season?

My goals for next season are to continue having fun playing the game that I love and obviously to win another championship!

What did winning the Isobel Cup, and in your first season no less, mean to you?

The feeling of winning the Isobel Cup was one I will never forget. It was amazing to share that with my teammates, my family, and our amazing fans. Now that we have all experienced it once, I think we will all be even more hungry to win it again and have the chance to feel that again.

I’d like to say thank you to all of the amazing Riveters fans and all of the NWHL fans. Without your support we wouldn't be able to continue and play the game that we all love. I look forward to sharing another season with all of you and hope to bring the Cup back to Newark.