Lamoureux twins, Marvin make U.S. Women's Olympic hockey team
Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux have taken one big step toward Sochi.
The twin sisters from Grand Forks were introduced Monday as members of the U.S. Women's National Team, which is essentially the 2014 Olympic Team.
There will be four cuts from the 25-person National Team before the squad heads to the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, in February, but the twins are expected to make the final roster once again.
"I think I was a little less nervous about being on the team this time," said Jocelyne, who along with her sister led the U.S. to silver at the 2010 Vancouver Games. "We've been on the National Team for five or six years now. Still, that five years of experience doesn't seem to matter the night before. You hope you did everything you can to be on the team. Nobody has a safe spot."
Also returning to the team is Warroad, Minn., product Gigi Marvin, who played college at Minnesota. Marvin was a forward during the 2010 Games, but has been playing defense since then.
Marvin is one of the team's top offense producers from the blue line and figures to make the final roster as well.
"It's a good team," Monique said. "We have a lot of experience and some youth to the team as well. I would describe our team as a fast team up front and we have some big D-men on the back end who can shoot the puck and move well. All around, it's a very good team. We will play a fast-paced game and we'll be creative up front. I'm excited to see what we can do over the next couple of months."
Beginning in late August, the team will centralize in Boston and work out together in preparation for the Sochi Games.
They have six exhibition games planned against Canada, including one at Ralph Engelstad Arena on Dec. 20. That will likely be a preview of the gold-medal game.
In 2010, Canada beat the U.S. 2-0 to win the gold medal. The U.S. has rebounded to win the gold in two of the last three IIHF World Championships, though.
USA Hockey selected the National Team after viewing the players during their seasons and during a week-long camp in Lake Placid, N.Y.
UND coach Brian Idalski says he knew all along that the Lamoureuxs would be on the squad.
"They are the kind of players that you need when you play against Canada, with their grit and determination and their willingness to go to the hard traffic areas," Idalski said. "I think it's a natural progression for them to take more of a leadership with the club and the team."
The Lamoureuxs said this experience was a lot different than it was four years ago. This time, they were a lot closer to their teammates after playing with them the last five years. It made Monday a bittersweet day.
"This time, it was a lot harder on us emotionally," Monique said. "We've had five years of experience and training with teammates and making some really good friendships. It was tough to be happy when you see someone else's dream end. That aspect was emotionally tough for us today."
One of those players who was not on the final roster was Roseau, Minn., product Sarah Erickson, who helped the U.S. to gold at the World Championship in April.
"It was more emotional because of the friendships and relationships we've made," Jocelyne said. "It's more difficult to see (players get cut). But we're one step closer to our ultimate goal of winning a gold medal."