NORTHFIELD, Vt. – After tying Salve Regina in its previous two meetings, the Norwich women's ice hockey team made sure it didn't happen for a third time in a row.
Powered by a goal and two assists from senior forward Julie Fortier (Saint-Malachie, Quebec), the Cadets (21-2-1, 16-0-1 ECAC East) jumped all over the Seahawks with four goals in the first period en route to a 6-0 shutout win on Friday afternoon at Kreitzberg Arena.
Just under five minutes into the game senior defenseman Sarianne Lynn (Wethersfield, Conn.) redirected an initial shot from Amanda Wilks (Winnipeg, Manitoba) at the point past Salve Regina goalie Rebecca Simmons to give Norwich a 1-0 lead.
Fortier tallied the second assist on the goal to record her 164th point of her sparkling career in the Maroon and Gold to surpass Sophie Leclerc's previous mark of 163.
Fortier added to the lead less than five minutes later when she slammed home her nation-leading 25th goal of the season into a wide open net off a pass from behind the goal from Kaycie Anderson (Maple Plain, Minn.) to increase the lead to 2-0. Wilks also picked up an assist on the goal.
Senior captain Melissa Rundlett (Saco, Maine) made it 3-0 at the 15:43 mark of the first period when she notched her 14th goal of the season off a pass from Fortier to beat Simmons.
Sophomore forward Renee Lortie (Cornwall, Ontario) added her 17th goal of the season to cap the Cadets' offensive explosion in the opening 20 minutes and make it 4-0 heading into the first intermission.
Junior forward Jillayne DeBus (Howell, Mich.) threaded a pass from the side of the net to Lortie who knocked the puck into the left side of the cage before Simmons could get across the crease. Freshman forward Tyne Gove (Berwick, Ontario) also recorded an assist on the goal.
After a scoreless second period, Lortie increased the lead to 5-0 at the 8:34 mark of the third period with her second goal of the night and 18th on the year. DeBus and Gove once again combined to pick up the assists.
Anderson capped the scoring with her 18th goal of the year when she followed up on her own rebound and slid the puck behind Salve Regina's back-up goalie Ali Muehlbronner who came on to relieve Simmons at the start of the third period.
Coming into Friday's game, Simmons had made a total of 97 saves against Norwich in the last two meetings between the two teams which resulted in 1-1 ties each time at Salve Regina's St. George's Rink in Rhode Island.
However, the Cadets used the wide ice at Kreitzberg Arena to their advantage and overwhelmed Salve Regina (10-9-5, 6-7-4 ECAC East) with their team speed before the Seahawks could set up their trademark trap.
Norwich sophomore goalie Kelly Fisk (Hannibal, N.Y.) stopped all seven shots she faced to pick up her single season program-record sixth shutout of the year. She also improved to 14-1-0 on the season.
Simmons made 21 saves for Salve Regina in two periods before being pulled. She fell to 7-7-2 on the year.
Fortier now has 87 goals and 79 assists for 166 career points. She holds the career goals and points records and will now set her sights on Leclerc's single-season records for goals (26) assists (28) and points (54). She currently has 25 goals and 21 assists for 46 points.
Norwich extended its ECAC East regular season unbeaten streak to 38 straight with the victory. Salve Regina is the only team in the last two seasons to put a blemish on the Cadets' conference record.
The Cadets return to action on Saturday when they take on Holy Cross at 1 p.m. at Kreitzberg Arena in the regular season finale. NU has already locked up its second straight ECAC East regular season title and will have home ice throughout its duration in the ECAC East playoffs.
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