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VIRG FOSS: A question with no easy answer

Virg Foss portrait

Not since Warroad's Cal Marvin and a few friends talked athletic director Glenn "Red" Jarrett into sanctioning a men's hockey team at UND 55 years ago has anyone made such a dramatic impact on the program as the Lamoureux twins.

Jocelyne and Monique of Grand Forks are two superstars and world elite players, that's been proven. They put UND hockey on the fast road to success when they transferred from Minnesota to their hometown university after their freshmen seasons.

The two juniors rank among the top three scorers in the nation. They are a big reason why the Sioux are in strong position to earn their first NCAA tournament bid.

But as great as they are, that creates a nightmare of sorts for UND, no doubt. Brad Schlossman outlined the issue in his Friday feature in the Herald.

The Patty Kazmaier award is the women's equivalent of the Hobey Baker in men's hockey, both annual awards going to the nation's best player.

There's no question that Monique and Jocelyne are strong candidates for the award, if not the two leading choices.

That's where double trouble comes in for the twins.

What does UND do if both are finalists for the award? Push one over the other among voters? And if so, which one? Their statistics are remarkably similar, so there's no edge there.

In my time covering Sioux hockey, I had the great honor of serving two different terms on the committee that chose the Hobey Baker winner.

And that's where I see double trouble ahead for the Lamoureux twins.

In one of the years I was on the committee, one of the Boston colleges had two forwards among the 10 finalists.

Since I had not seen either one play, but was very impressed by what I had read and heard about both of them, I called their coach. I asked him which one he would push most for the award.

He said he could not choose one over the other. As a committee member, I felt I could not in that case, either, and didn't vote for either one. Perhaps other voters felt the same, I don't know. I never asked. I do know neither won the award.

If Jocelyne and Monique are indeed finalists for the Kazmaier Award, that same problem would face voters. How would one pick Jocelyne over Monique, or vice versa?

An impossible situation and no doubt would hurt them both in the voting. What a cruel twist of fate it would be if neither wins the award because both are so worthy of it.

I suppose precedent could be set and co-winners could be named if the twins do finish 1-2 among the finalists. Some agreement would likely have to be in place if indeed they earn the most votes.

Co-winners have not happened in the past, in men's or women's hockey, So while it would be one way around a very sticky problem and solve a family crisis of sorts, I don't see it coming about.

I don't see this issue being a problem with either twin. They are world-class young women as well as world-class athletes.

One thing we've all seen over the years is the incredible closeness and bond among all the hockey-playing Lamoureux kids.

So while this situation creates a bit of a sticky wicket for UND and a major problem for voters, I suspect the twins will handle all this with the same skill and grace as they have everything else in the great game of hockey.

Foss is a Hall of Fame journalist who reported on sports for 36 years for the Herald until his retirement. He writes a weekly column from October through April. Contact him at or at (701) 772-9272.