Women’s Hockey: Julie Fortier named finalist for Laura Hurd Award; National D-III Player of the Year

Women’s Hockey: Julie Fortier named finalist for Laura Hurd Award; National D-III Player of the Year

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Senior forward Julie Fortier (Saint-Malachie, Quebec) has been named a finalist for the 2012 Laura Hurd Award, given annually to the NCAA Division III National Player of the Year as voted on by the American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA).

Fortier has been sensational during her final season with the Maroon & Gold as she has smashed single-season and all-time program records throughout the course of the year. This marks the second straight year Norwich has had a finalist for the most prestigious award in D-III women's hockey after Sophie Leclerc was edged out by Rochester Institute of Technology's Sarah Dagg in 2011.

Fortier leads all of Division III in scoring with 30 goals and 23 assists for 53 points. Her 30 goals have already set a new program single-season record, eclipsing Leclerc's previous high of 26. Her total also ties her for 14th on the all-time NCAA D-III single-season goals scored list. She is just one point away from tying Leclerc's single-season points record of 54 set last year after the Barre, Vt. native led Norwich to its first national championship in just its fourth year as a program.

Fortier also broke Leclerc's all-time career points record of 163 on Feb. 17 against Salve Regina with an assist on the Cadets' first goal in a 6-0 win over the Seahawks. She currently sits with 92 goals and 81 assists for 173 points, which ranks her eighth on the all-time NCAA D-III career points list. She is four points away from tying Manhattanville's Cherie Stewart and Plattsburgh's Danielle Blanchard for sixth.

Fortier was named the ECAC East Player of the Year after leading the conference with 24 goals and 16 assists for 40 points in league games. She was also named First Team All-ECAC East for the second time in the last three seasons. She earned first team accolades in 2010 and then second team honors last season

"Julie is a dangerous offensive player that has consistently been a threat with the puck since her freshmen year," Norwich head coach Mark Bolding said. "She has long reach, hard shot, and very soft hands making her arguably one of the most talented and productive Division III players during her collegiate tenure.  Her long stride, great vision and hockey sense may not be seen again at Norwich for quite some time."

The three other finalists for the award are Gustavus Adolphus senior forward Allie Schwab, Amherst junior defenseman Geneva Lloyd and Wis.-Superior freshman forward Dani Schultz. All three were named their respective conference's Player of the Year.

The winner will be announced on Thursday night at the NCAA Championship Banquet in Rochester before the start of the 2012 NCAA Division III Women's Ice Hockey Championship that will be held at RIT's Frank Ritter Memorial Arena on March 16 and 17.

In January of 2007, the AHCA voted to rename the Division III Women's Player of the Year after Hurd, who was the recipient in 2005 to honor her legacy and impact on the women's Division III hockey world after she passed away in an automobile accident in the summer of 2006.

Laura Hurd Award Winners

2000 - Sylvia Ryan, Middlebury College
2001 - Michelle Labbe, Middlebury College
2002 - Sarah Moe, Gustavus Adolphus
2003 - Angela Kapus, Middlebury College
2004 - Molly Wasserman, Williams College
2005 - Laura Hurd, Elmira College
2006 - Emily Quizon, Middlebury College
2007 - Andrea Peterson, Gustavus Adolphus
2008 - Danielle Blanchard, Plattsburgh State
2009 - Kayla Coady, Elmira College
2010 - Isabel Iwachiw, Trinity College
2011 - Sarah Dagg, Rochester Inst. of Tech.

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-CADETS-