LIU Brookly has secured Maxi Bird for the 2019-2020 season. NZ scouts have noted Bird on her impressive speed and forechecking capabilities. She has a no quit mentality and will make her opponents pay if they underestimate her.
She tells us about how she started her hockey career:
“I started playing hockey when I was 2 years old in Waterbury, Vermont. My older brother was playing and I came downstairs wearing all of his gear, [except] skates, and I told my mom I wanted to play too. She didn’t let me at first, but I terrorized her at the rink by climbing on all the milk crates and running around the rink, so she gave in. My earliest memory from playing hockey is from 2005, [we] were playing house mites and we had these awful vibrant green jerseys. I remember having a green wooden stick to match, with a flat blade because I couldn’t decide if I was a righty or a lefty.”
Continuing to take us through her experience of growing up and playing hockey in Vermont:
“I played youth hockey with the Vermont Stars and that’s where I really fell in love with the game. I [also] had a great prep experience. I loved Rice and had a lot of fun my year there. I tied the record for most goals as a freshman, which was 11. However, I was ready to move on from Rice after 1 year, I had been with the same coaches throughout my time [in youth hockey] and it was just time for a change.”
Bird made the move from Rice Prep to New England Hockey Club of the Junior Women’s Hockey League:
“The JWHL is one of the best leagues you can be in as a player if you want to play college hockey. The level of play and compete is much higher than the level I was playing at Rice. The periods are 20 minutes and the game itself is much faster and much more intense. The players in the JWHL play at a higher caliber and competing against teams like NAHA really push you to play your best.” Elaborating on her time playing junior hockey, “Other than developing my hockey skills, I have learned a lot of valuable life lessons at NEHC. I have learned skills such as adaptability, time management, and self discipline. To live away from home for the past three years has been incredibly difficult, I’ve had to adapt to new living situations, a new environment, and a new school.”
Taking us through her NCAA recruiting process and her decision to become a Blackbird:
“I was talking to a couple division three schools like Trine, UNE, and Alvernia. I was planning on going to see both Trine and Alvernia but I committed to LIU before I got the chance to visit. A big part of my decision to commit to LIU was my sister. She lives in Brooklyn and is so excited to have me close by. LIU is a huge change for me in the sense that it’s right in the middle of NYC, but I’m excited to take on the challenge of city life. It’s a smaller campus which I love, there is a sense of community when you step on campus and I think having that community is a really important quality when looking at schools.”
Bird has big plans for life after hockey:
“I have definitely thought about life after hockey. I have declared my major at LIU as Psychology and after school I want to pursue Law. I would like to help change things in our society, especially when it comes to environmental issues. Whether I’m an activist, a lobbyist, or a lawyer after giant corporations, I think pursuing law school after college is a small step to obtaining change.”
Bird played 24 games this season for NEHC and tallied 6 points. From 5 goals and 1 assist, putting her in the top 3 point leaders on her team.