The Patty Kaz dilemma: Lamoureux twins emerge as top candidates for prestigious award
UND has never had a finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award, which goes to the top player in women's hockey. This year, the Sioux may have the top two candidates for the award -- and it may present a big dilemma for the school. Jocelyne Lamoureux i...
UND has never had a finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award, which goes to the top player in women's hockey.
This year, the Sioux may have the top two candidates for the award -- and it may present a big dilemma for the school.
Jocelyne Lamoureux is the leading scorer in the country with 70 points in 29 games. She is six points ahead of the next closest player, Wisconsin sophomore Brianna Decker. In conference games, Lamoureux has a nine-point edge on Decker.
Her twin sister, Monique Lamoureux-Kolls, is the third-leading scorer in the country with 63 points -- and she's playing defense. The next highest-scoring defenseman in the country is Minnesota's Megan Bozek with 32 points. By comparison, Lamoureux-Kolls has 28 since Jan. 4.
They will undoubtedly be UND's first two top-10 finalists for the award, which will be handed out on March 17 in Duluth as part of the Frozen Four festivities.
"It's just a reflection of the growth of the program," UND coach Brian Idalski said. "If you look at Wisconsin and Minnesota and other top programs, they are perennially having two or three kids on the list. That's how you become a top program in the country, by having players of that caliber. It shows that we're in that group. We have those caliber players. We have that caliber team."
This is where the dilemma comes in. Voters may not know which twin sister to vote for, it could lead to them splitting votes and giving someone else a better chance to win.
Idalski points out that other schools have had two of the top three candidates before, but he acknowledges that the players generally had quite a few differences voters could pick out. They've never been identical twins, whose differences are only subtle.
The Lamoureux twins have career numbers that are eerily similar. They've both played in 102 games. They've both tallied 192 points. Lamoureux has 84 goals and 108 assists. Lamoureux-Kolls has 85 goals and 107 assists.
"I don't know how you separate them out, to be honest with you," Idalski said. "I equate it to having twin boys myself. How do you choose between your kids? We'll see what happens. It would be very difficult to do."
The twins have four regular-season games remaining -- at MSU-Mankato this weekend and at No. 2 Minnesota the next -- to build on their resumes. Currently, they have some eye-popping numbers:
• Lamoureux has 26 points in nine games since Christmas break. With 70 points, she's already eclipsed UND's school record of 57, which she set a year ago.
• Lamoureux-Kolls has 28 points in nine games since the break -- more than three points per game. And she's playing defense.
• The twins, both juniors, have more points than any junior, sophomore or freshman class in the entire country. That includes Minnesota-Duluth's highly regarded junior class of Audrey Cournoyer, Jessica Wong, Katherine Wilson, Pernilla Winberg, Vanessa Thibault and Mariia Posa.
• The Lamoureuxs have scored more goals than six entire Division I programs this season, and they've scored 20 more goals than St. Cloud State's team.
• The Lamoureuxs both were named WCHA scholar athletes for the second time on Thursday, which means they've maintained a grade-point average of 3.5 or better over the last year. Academics are part of the Patty Kazmaier Award.
If there is a defining trade for each of them, it is Lamoureux's skill and Lamoureux-Kolls' versatility.
Lamoureux has pulled off a few stunning moves, including a 360-spin move goal on former Patty Kaz finalist Noora Raty of Minnesota and a between-the-legs move to burn a Wisconsin defenseman.
"I think the skill is one thing," Idalski says. "There are a lot of players with skill. But the presence of mind, the confidence to try it in big games -- it's not like it's the 15th goal of a blowout -- against top opponents, in special situations? That's ridiculous. Nobody else does that. Nobody else is making plays like that on that kind of stage."
Lamoureux-Kolls has been invaluable to UND, which moved her back to defense as the team became thin at the position with injuries.
"The ability to transition the puck and stretch the ice out a little bit and her ability to jump in the transition has been huge," Idalski said. "She's everything you could ask for in an offensive defenseman and more. Statistically, she's producing at that pace while having the responsibility of playing against other teams' top offensive players and shutting them down. That's ridiculous. That's pretty unique."
While the some postseason awards are awaiting the Lamoureuxs, their focus will be elsewhere in the next month.
"I think everyone in our room would rather have a national championship," Idalski said. "But (Patty Kaz finalists) are part of being a top program. It would be nice for the program. I definitely think we have a couple of kids who are worthy of that."
Reach Schlossman at (701) 780-1129; (800) 477-6572, ext. 129; or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .