The Golden Girls: Lamoureux sisters give U.S. Olympic gold with dramatic goals
Time was ticking away late in the third period.
All signs were pointing toward a third-straight heartbreaking loss at the hands of Canada and Marie-Philip Poulin at the Olympic Games for the U.S. women’s hockey team.
The Americans trailed by a Poulin goal -- the same Canadian superstar who scored winners in the 2010 and 2014 Olympic finals.
But a pair of twin sisters from Grand Forks wouldn’t let it happen again.
Monique Lamoureux-Morando scored a dramatic, game-tying goal late in the third period to send the game into overtime.
Then, her twin sister, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, scored a dazzling sudden-death shootout goal -- turning Canadian goalie Shannon Szabados into a pretzel by faking a forehand shot, moving the puck to her backhand, then moving it back across to her forehand -- that will live forever in USA Hockey lore.
USA 3, Canada 2, final.
The 20-year drought at the Olympic Games is finally over for the Americans.
Olympic gold medals are coming back to North Dakota for the first time ever.
The Lamoureux twins are the first born-and-raised North Dakotans ever to win one.
A new one is headed to Warroad, too.
Gigi Marvin, who opened the shootout with a goal, is the latest from the small northern Minnesota town to win gold. She joins 1960 U.S. Olympians Bill and Roger Christian and 1980 Miracle on Ice team member Dave Christian in Warroad history. Marvin's gold came on the 38th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice.
The Lamoureux twins and Marvin were able to wash away the disappointment of gold-medal game losses in 2010 and 2014 with the thrilling win Thursday morning.
“I think in the locker room, we have this belief in our team,” Jocelyne told NBC’s Pierre McGuire after the game. “We knew we were going to get it done. There was no doubt in our locker room. We believed. We played this game 1,000 times in our minds. We didn’t care how we got it done as long as we got these (gold medals).”
The Lamoureuxs had to come up in the clutch for the Americans, who had lost five straight games to Canada going back to December.
Trailing 2-1 with less than seven minutes to go, USA forward Kelly Pannek hit Monique with a stretch pass as the Canadians were in a line change. Monique skated in alone and snapped a shot underneath the glove of Szabados.
“Kelly Pannek saw me and just threw it on my tape and I went in on a breakaway,” Monique said. “I was trying to shoot it over her glove, but it went just under her glove. It doesn’t matter as long as it went in. I was pretty excited. I think it really got our bench going. I think everybody knew we were going to tie it up there.”
After a scoreless overtime, which included a Canadian power play, the game went to a five-person shootout.
After the initial five shooters, it was tied 2-2. Marvin scored the opening shootout goal for the Americans and Amanda Kessel scored the other.
Although USA coach Robb Stauber could use one of the first five shooters again, he opted to go with Jocelyne.
She didn’t disappoint.
Jocelyne used a move she had spent countless hours practicing with former UND associate coach Peter Elander called the “Oops, I Did It Again,” after the Britney Spears song.
She skated in slowly on Szabados and faked a shot to get the goalie, who had never lost a game at the Olympics, to drop. It worked. Then, she moved the puck to her backhand, and Szabados attempted to move to her right in desperation, but Jocelyne quickly moved the puck back the other way and easily slammed it home.
“Shannon Szabados is the best goalie in the world and she faked her out not once, not twice but three times,” said NBC analyst Tessa Bonhomme, a former Canadian Olympian. “I’ve played against Jocelyne Lamoureux so many times. She knows how to get under my skin. I had a really hard time cheering for her all this time, but my goodness, the Lamoureux twins were my favorite players in this tournament. They were the engine driving this team.”
After Jocelyne’s goal, USA netminder Maddie Rooney of Minnesota Duluth turned aside Canada’s Meghan Agosta to seal the gold.
“I knew we were going to get it done,” Jocelyne said. “I threw my stick behind the bench because I knew Maddie was going to stop it. I think I blacked out.”
Jocelyne led the U.S. in scoring with five points and was the lone American player named to the all-tournament team. Monique finished with two goals and three points.
The Lamoureuxs, who have already won six gold medals at the Women’s World Championship, added Olympic gold to their resumes.
"I can't think of anybody more deserving,” said former UND coach Brian Idalski, who watched the game in Grand Forks. “People don't understand that those kids worked so hard for so many years to be prepared for that moment."
Idalski and the UND women’s hockey staff had a backstage pass to watching that work ethic for the past eight years.
They put in pre-dawn workouts. They sprinted around the Cushman Field track when nobody was around. They found ice time at Ralph Engelstad Arena to hone their skills with Elander.
“Those two deserve it more than anybody else,” former UND assistant coach Erik Fabian said. “They’ve worked longer and harder than anyone. They’ve dedicated their lives to winning a gold medal.”
The Lamoureuxs now have three Olympic medals. No other North Dakotans have ever won more than one.
The Olympic gold comes just 10 months after the Americans threatened to boycott the Women’s World Championship if USA Hockey didn’t pay the players during non-Olympic years and do more to support the women’s game.
They came to an agreement before Worlds and the U.S. went out and won gold at the World Championship, the Four Nations, and now, the Olympic Games.
The Americans hadn’t won gold at the Olympics since the inaugural year of women’s hockey in 1998.
The Canadians won the following golds in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014.
After the heartbreak in Sochi in 2014 -- the Americans led by two goals with less than four minutes to go and lost -- the tide seemed to turn.
The U.S. won three straight World Championships and Four Nations titles in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
But the U.S. dominance started to slip in the months leading up to the Olympics. Canada swept all four games in the December series and won the pool play game at the Olympics 2-1.
The Canadians appeared on track to win another 2-1 game in the final, but the Lamoureux twins changed that.
“It’s a dream come true,” Jocelyne said.