NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The nationally No. 1-ranked Norwich women's ice hockey team continued its dominant ways on Saturday afternoon with a 9-0 win over Nichols in Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East action at Kreitzberg Arena.
Fortier reached the 150-point-mark with her three points and now sits just 13 away from from Sophie Leclerc's all-time program record for points in a career. Wilks also moved to within five points of becoming the fourth member of the 100-point-club and would be the first defenseman to accomplish the feat.
Junior forward Jillayne DeBus (Howell, Mich.) and sophomore defenseman Marie-Philip Guay (Longueuil, Quebec) also added first-period goals for Norwich to give the Cadets a 3-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
Wilks scored her first of the game and sixth of the season when she tipped a shot through Nichols' goaltender Rebecca Cohen's five-hole to make it 4-0 Norwich at the 3:04 mark of the second. Senior defenseman Sarianne Lynn (Wethersfield, Conn.) took the initial shot and picked up an assist along with Fortier.
Senior team captain Melissa Rundlett (Saco, Maine) returned to the scoring column with her eighth goal of the season and it came shorthanded off assists from Wilks and Gove. After not scoring a shorthanded goal all of last season, the Cadets now have four this season and they have scored more goals shorthanded than they have given up while on the penalty kill this season (three.)
Fortier scored twice in the third period while Wilks and Meghan Papagno (Wakefield, Mass.) also tallied goals for the Cadets. Fortier now has 18 goals and 12 assists on the season for 30 points, which leads the country.
Sophomore goalie Joanie Plamondon (Pont-Rogue, Quebec) made seven saves to pick up the shutout win for Norwich. She improved to 5-1-1 on the year and picked up her third shutout.
Francesca Palazzo made nine saves for Nichols and took the loss after giving up three goals in the first period. Cohen and Tori Gianformaggio each stopped 14 shots for the Bison and surrendered three goals each after coming in relief for Palazzo after she left with an injury.
The Cadets return to action on Tuesday, Jan. 24 when they travel to No. 7-ranked Amherst for a crucial non-conference tilt at Orr Rink. Tuesday's showdown will be a rematch of the 2010 D-III National Championship game which Amherst won 7-2. However, Norwich won the last meeting during the regular season last year 5-2 at Kreitzberg Arena. The two programs have combined to win the last three national championships.
NOTES: Norwich wore lime green tape and laces in memory of the late Mackenzie "Mac" Pratt who passed away in October 2010. Pratt was a standout pitcher on the Norwich softball team and was set to graduate from the nursing program last spring before losing her long battle with cancer.
(PHOTOS COURTESY OF ADAM HATT)
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