Women's Hockey: Leclerc Leads Cadets Past New England College, 5-2
NORTHFIELD, Vt. – In a rematch of last year’s ECAC East Championship game, Norwich prevailed once again over New England College, 5-2 on Saturday afternoon at Kreitzberg Arena.
The Cadets (3-1-0, 2-0-0 ECAC East) were led once again by their senior captain F Sophie Leclerc. The Barre, Vt. native scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Norwich offense.
Already leading 1-0 after the first 20 minutes, Brittany Sharman sprung Leclerc on a breakaway. With a defender draped on her back, Leclerc deked to her backhand and slid the puck past N.E.C. goaltender Teraysa White to give the Cadets a 2-0 lead.
Just 2:30 minutes later, Leclerc found the twine again, ripping a low shot through traffic past White for her second goal of the game and sixth of the season.
N.E.C. (1-3-0, 1-1 ECAC East) cut the deficit to 3-1 at the 10:29 mark of the second period when Rachel White banged home a loose puck in the crease.
The Pilgrims continued to hang tough in the third period as they scored 5:37 into the final frame on a goal from Stephanie Spera off an assist from Kaleigh Costello. Costello found Spera cutting to the goal in the slot and then Spera beat Fortin to the blocker side.
However, that’s as close as N.E.C. would get as less than two minutes later, junior D Amanda Wilks tallied her first goal of the season on a rocket from the blue line with traffic blocking White’s sightline.
Freshman D Marie-Phillip Guay put the game away with her first collegiate goal at the 13:58 mark of the third off an assist from Leclerc. Guay’s initial shot was blocked in front, but she corralled the rebound and wristed the puck past White to give Norwich a 5-2 lead.
Julie Fortier opened the scoring with the lone goal of the first period at the 6:23 mark. The junior forward circled behind the goal and then came out front and out-waited White before sliding the puck past her to give Norwich the 1-0 lead.
Norwich outshot N.E.C. 41-17. Fortin picked up her second win of the season while turning aside 16 shots. White took the loss for the Pilgrims after setting aside 36 shots.
The Cadets were 0-for-4 on the power play, while N.E.C. was 0-for-3.
Norwich hits the road for the first time on Friday, Nov. 12 when the Cadets travel to Plymouth State for a 7 p.m. faceoff. NU follows up on Saturday afternoon at Southern Maine with faceoff set for 4 p.m. Both games are ECAC East contests.