Gold medal game arrives

In the summer of 2009, I talked to one prominent college hockey coach, trying to gauge whether the Lamoureux twins could make Team USA for the 2010 Vancouver Games.

The coach’s response?

“Yes.”

Why?

“They need them against Canada.”

The coach went on to explain that the Americans are talented enough to win against pretty much everyone, but that Canada brings a totally different challenge. Canada is tough, gritty and physical.

A lot of the American skill players cannot play that game. The Lamoureux twins can.

Needless to say, that coach was correct, and the Lamoureux twins did make Team USA in 2010.

That brings us to today. The Americans are once again competing for gold. If the game is not called tight, it will get physical. That’s what happened in the pool play game between the teams.

But surprisingly, the U.S. coaching staff played Monique Lamoureux just 12 minutes. Jocelyne played 15 minutes. They ranked eighth and ninth of 11 forwards in ice time in that game. If the game gets physical again, I don’t think we’ll see that again.

Although the twins haven’t seen as much ice time as they did in Vancouver, Monique leads the team in goals and Jocelyne leads the team in assists. And their line, along with former Wisconsin forward Meghan Duggan, could be a major key in today’s gold medal game.

A few key stats heading into today’s final:

  • Canada has not allowed an even-strength goal this tournament. It allowed one even-strength goal in the 2010 Games and none in the 2006 games. That’s remarkable.
  • The last time the U.S. scored an even-strength goal against Canada in the Olympics was in 1998 during pool play.
  • The Lamoureux twins have not been on the ice for a goal against this tournament.
  • Canada is expected to start Shannon Szabados in goal, the netminder who blanked the U.S. in the 2010 gold medal game. Charline Labonte was the goalie who beat the U.S. earlier this tournament, though.
  • The U.S. virtually only played nine forwards against Canada the first time around. They perhaps wore out. The U.S. got outshot 12-3 in the third and gave up all three goals in the third. Watch the ice time for Julie Chu and Lyndsey Fry, and watch to see if the U.S. wears down in the third again.
  • Canada’s Marie-Philip Poulin is the women’s version of Jonathan Toews. She scored both goals in Canada’s 2-0 win in the gold medal game in Vancouver. She is dominant on draws and could be key for Canada in this one again.
  • Warroad’s Gigi Marvin leads the team in ice time and shots on goal. She will become Warroad’s first two-time Olympic medal winner today.

North Dakota’s Olympic medalists

On Thursday, regardless of the result, Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux will become the first North Dakotans ever to win two Olympic medals. They also could become the first North Dakotans to win gold.

Here’s our list of North Dakotans winning Olympic medals. Let me know if I’m missing anyone.

1956 — Ken Purpur, silver, men’s ice hockey
1956 — John Bennett, silver, long jump
1960 — Cliff Cushman, silver, 400 hurdles
1984 —  Virgil Hill, silver middleweight boxing
2010 — Jocelyne Lamoureux, silver, women’s ice hockey
2010 — Monique Lamoureux, silver, women’s ice hockey

U.S. to play for gold again

The Lamoureux twins, who have been working four years to get another shot at gold, will have it on Thursday morning.

Monique scored a goal, Jocelyne set it up, Warroad’s Gigi Marvin added an assist and the Americans easily beat Sweden 6-1.

Team USA outshot the Swedes 70-9 in the game, including a 29-1 margin in the first period.

Jocelyne Lamoureux joined her twin sister, Monique, in the USA Hockey Century Club as she tallied her 100th point in a USA jersey with her assist.

For a full story, see the Herald site here.

Lamoureuxs kick-start rout of Swiss

Monique Lamoureux scored two goals, Jocelyne Lamoureux set both of them up and Team USA routed Switzerland 9-0 in pool play on Monday morning.

The Americans were actually on their heels for a few shifts early in the game, and Switzerland even generated a power play, but Monique’s goal at 9:20 of the first period set the Americans on course for a blowout.

For a full story, see the Herald site here.

A few notes:

  • The Lamoureuxs now have combined for 20 career Olympic points.
  • Jocelyne registered Points No. 97 and 98 while wearing the USA sweater in her career. Two more and she will join her sister in the USA Century Club.
  • Warroad’s Gigi Marvin registered a plus-three in the game.
  • Unless Finland beats Canada by two-plus goals, then Wednesday morning’s winner of USA-Canada will earn the No. 1 seed for the tournament.

U.S. wins 3-1; Tapani scores for Finland

Team USA won its opener today 3-1 over Finland in a game that had quite a UND flavor to it.

The lone Finland goal was scored by UND’s Susanna Tapani, who buried a great feed from her UND teammate, Michelle Karvinen.

Grand Forks natives and UND grads Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux were held without a point, but had four shots on goal and Jocelyne hit the post once.

The Americans can clinch a spot in the semifinals if they beat Switzerland on Monday morning.

There’s a quick-file story posted on the Herald site here.

USA 3, FINLAND 1
First period — 1. USA, Knight :53
Second period — 2. USA, Stack (Knight, Bozek) 7:42; 3. USA, Carpenter (Schleper) 15:59 (pp)
Third period — 4. FIN, Tapani (Karvinen) 15:22 (pp)
Goalie saves — FIN: Raty 40, USA: Vetter 14

Lamoureuxs featured on SI

Grand Forks natives and former UND standouts Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux are featured in the latest Sports Illustrated and are also featured in a video extra on the magazine’s website.

Check out the feature here.

The Lamoureux twins depart for Sochi tomorrow with a stop in Germany. You can follow them on Twitter during the tournament.

Jocelyne — www.twitter.com/jocelyneusa17

Monique — www.twitter.com/moniquelam7

UND players react to selections

Three of the four UND players who were officially named to the U.S. Olympic team today took to Twitter to react to their selections (Zach Parise doesn’t have Twitter).

 

Sources: Lamoureuxs, Marvin make final roster

Multiple sources have confirmed to the Herald that the U.S. has set its roster for the Sochi Games, barring any significant injuries in the next week.

Grand Forks natives Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux are on the final roster, as is Warroad’s Gigi Marvin.

After the exhibition game in Grand Forks, USA Hockey released former Ohio State defenseman Lisa Chesson and Wisconsin forward Anne Pankowski, according to multiple sources. Those are the final two cuts.

USA Hockey isn’t planning on announcing the final roster until Jan. 1 at the Winter Classic. But it will probably be obvious Friday when only 18 skaters are in St. Paul.

Goaltenders

29 Brianne McLaughlin, Sheffield Village, Ohio, Robert Morris
30 Molly Schaus, Natick, Mass., Boston College
31 Jessie Vetter, Cottage Grove, Wis., Wisconsin

Defensemen

22 Kacey Bellamy, Westfield, Mass., New Hampshire
9 Megan Bozek, Buffalo Grove, Ill., Minnesota
19 Gigi Marvin, Warroad, Minn., Minnesota
23 Michelle Picard, Taunton, Mass., Harvard
24 Josephine Pucci, Pearl River, N.Y., Harvard
15 Anne Schleper, St. Cloud, Minn., Minnesota
2 Lee Stecklein, Roseville, Minn., Minnesota

Forwards

25 Alex Carpenter, North Reading, Mass., Boston College
26 Kendall Coyne, Palos Heights, Ill., Northeastern
13 Julie Chu, Fairfield, Conn., Harvard
14 Brianna Decker, Dousman, Wis., Wisconsin
10 Meghan Duggan, Danvers, Mass., Wisconsin
18 Lyndsey Fry, Chandler, Ariz., Harvard
28 Amanda Kessel, Madison, Wis., Minnesota
21 Hilary Knight, Sun Valley, Idaho, Wisconsin
17 Jocelyne Lamoureux, Grand Forks, N.D., North Dakota
7 Monique Lamoureux, Grand Forks, N.D., North Dakota
16 Kelli Stack, Brooklyn Heights, Ohio, Boston College

USA-Canada ends with brawl

Here’s the ending to tonight’s game in The Ralph. Ten fighting majors were assessed, including ones to former UND stars Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux and to Warroad’s Gigi Marvin.

This is the second brawl between the teams in five pre-Olympic games.

The U.S. was irked at Brianne Jenner for an elbow high on Josephine Pucci late in the game. When Jenner got out of the box, Jocelyne body-checked her, starting the fracas.

Below is video of the incident and quotes.

U.S. coach Katey Stone: “I’m not a proponent of fighting in hockey. I am a proponent for standing up for yourself. If players are going to take cheap shots at our players, there’s going to be an answer for that. We will not get pushed around. We will, at the end of the day, prepare to play any game we have to play. We’ll go hard, we’ll play clean, but if the game gets out of hand, we’ll manage that as well.”

U.S. forward Monique Lamoureux: ”That player that hit Pucci took her out for a season two seasons ago. She took a headshot at her. We’re going to stick up for our teammates. We’re going to protect them. Jocelyne obviously body-checked her. I thought that was clean. If you’re going to take a headshot at one of our players, there are consequences for playing like that.”

Canada coach Kevin Dineen: “That’s something that takes a little getting used to. That’s my first snap shot of this series. I know it has a lot of history to it. These teams have been going at it for a long time. You look at the incidents and they were certainly the aggressors. The ref certainly got the calls right. It was late in the game. I’m not a big fan of that stuff late in the game. But I like that when we were attacked like that, we all stood up for each other.”

Friday morning reading

Monique Lamoureux said that when players head to practice, they often say the line, “Off to tryouts today.”

That’s essentially what the last five months have been for these players.

There are only three games left to make an impression and the first one is at 7 p.m. tonight in Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Read about the game in this Herald story.

The U.S. has two cuts left to make and coach Katey Stone was not tipping her hand during interviews Thursday. She very well may not know yet.

There are 12 forwards and 8 defensemen left on the roster. Logic would tell you that the final two cuts will be defensemen. That’s especially the case when you consider that the U.S. only has 11 healthy forwards right now with Amanda Kessel being out with injury.

If there’s a pinch, the Americans have a couple of players who are capable of playing two positions. Forwards Julie Chu and Monique Lamoureux have played defense before. And defenseman Gigi Marvin played forward most of her career, including at the 2010 Olympic Games. Read about Marvin in this story.

The Lamoureux twins are expected to play on a line with former Badger standout Meghan Duggan in tonight’s game.

It will be interesting to see how the U.S. manages the eight defensemen, as well as playing one forward short.

Come back around 6:45 p.m. tonight and I’ll probably fire up a live chat for anyone that wants to join. Also, the game will be nationally televised in the U.S. on NBC Sports Network and in Canada on TSN2.