Player of the Week: Steve Birnstill

Player of the Week: Steve Birnstill

After missing more than a month with a shoulder injury, senior defender Steve Birnstill returned to help the Huskies to a 2-1-1 record in the past four games.

The Commack, N.Y., native has four assists since returning to the lineup Dec. 29 in a 5-2 loss to Colgate, earning him The Northeastern News Player of the Week honor.

On Nov. 17 Birnstill played just five minutes in the 3-3 tie against Boston College before he was checked into the glass, breaking his shoulder blade.

“It was a clean hit, my back just went into the glass and my shoulder hit the partition,” Birnstill said. “I was skating again in a week with my shoulder wrapped. I wanted to come back sooner but the doctors wouldn’t let me. I hate missing games.”

Despite tallying an assist against Colgate and two the next day in Northeastern’s 7-2 win over Holy Cross, Birnstill said he didn’t feel he played well until last weekend against Boston College and Boston University.

Things finally began to click for the assistant captain – and for the entire team – in Friday’s dramatic 3-2 overtime win over BC. After giving up two first-period goals, the Huskies countered with three unanswered scores to come from behind for the win.

Birnstill assisted NU’s first goal of the game. The power play goal started with a pass from Birnstill at the blue line to freshman defender David Strathman and senior Ray Ortiz on offense, with Strathman scoring in the top right corner.

“[Senior assistant captain] Yale Lewis and I talked after the game about how everything seemed to click,” Birnstill said. “We all really came together on the ice, and even on the bench you could just feel the bond.”

The momentum continued Saturday with a scoreless tie at Boston University. Birnstill was on the ice in the last 30 seconds of overtime as the Terriers surrounded the Northeastern goal.

“There were only four shots on goal in overtime but they were just all around the net in the last 30 seconds,” Birnstill said. “It was crazy but we just kept our cool and were able to clear the puck. But I was definitely nervous.”

– Erika Carrubba, News Staff

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