Fortier ECHL March Player Of The Month

PRINCETON, N.J. - Francois Fortier of the Mississippi Sea Wolves is the Sher-Wood East Coast Hockey League Player of the Month for March. The 5-11 and 205-pound Fortier had 12 goals, 17 assists and 29 points while helping Mississippi go 10-3-2 to finish second in the Southwest Division, securing home ice for the Sea Wolves semifinal matchup with Pensacola. He had 10 multiple-point games and was held scoreless only two times in 15 games. He had four points (1g-3a) in a 5-4 win against Mobile on March 8 and scored the game winner and four points (1g-3a) in the final regular season game, a 4-3 overtime win at Baton Rouge. "What a great surprise," said Fortier, a native of Beauport, Quebec. "As a team, we worked hard to finish second in the Southwest Division. We accomplished that goal and this award is something that our whole team can take pride in." The 22-year-old Fortier led the Sea Wolves and ranked fourth in the ECHL with 55 assists while ranking second on the team and fourth in the ECHL with 91 points. His 36 goals ranked second on the Sea Wolves to Steffon Walby, who was second in the ECHL with 42 goals. In 2000-01, Fortier scored 18 points (7g-11a) in 56 games in the American Hockey League with Hartford and Quebec and had six points (1g-5a) in seven games with Charlotte in the ECHL. Last night, Mississippi eliminated Pensacola by winning 3-2 in overtime to take the best-of-five Southwest Division Semifinals three games to none. The Sea Wolves advance to the Southwest Division Finals of the 2002 Kelly Cup Playoffs and will play the winner of the Jackson-Louisiana series.