American twins will have some sisterly company at Olympics
Just call it a sister thing. Whenever another hockey team has sisters on the rosters, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando take notice.
The U.S. Olympians are twins themselves. Combine that with how few sisters play hockey or reach national teams playing internationally and it's easy enough to notice whenever sisters are dressing up for another country.
"It's just cool to see," Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson said.
The Lamoureux sisters will have some sisterly company at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games. Teammate Hannah Brandt's sister, Marissa, plays for the unified Korean women's team. Switzerland has two sets of sisters on the roster with Nina, Isabel and Monika Waidacher, plus twins Laura and Sara Benz. Canada nearly had its own sister act with Sarah and Amy Potomak. But neither made the Olympic team.
Being sisters definitely can provide an edge in hockey.
"When we get the opportunity to be on the ice together, there's a chemistry that just never goes away." That's according to Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson. "It's always there. So whenever we have an opportunity to have a couple shifts together or if we're ever put on a unit or line together, it's always there. And we've pushed each other every day whether it's workouts or during on-ice training. It's just that accountability that we've always had growing up."
Even though women's hockey didn't debut at the Olympics until 1998 in Nagano, playing hockey simply was something the Lamoureux sisters were bound to do. They were born in Fargo, North Dakota. Their father, Pierre, played for the University of North Dakota. And all four of their brothers played hockey in college, with Jacque a Hobey Baker finalist in 2009 with Air Force.
The Lamoureux sisters played a year in college at Minnesota before switching to North Dakota for their final three seasons. Their last season was in 2012-13. They have played internationally for the United States since 2006. Both play forward, though Monique also plays defense. Now 28, the sisters credit each other for their long success, which now includes a third Olympic berth.
"That's part of the reason we've pushed ourselves to this level and been competing at this level for quite a long time is that built-in accountability day-in, day-out even if we're not with the team," Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson said.
Monique Lamoureux-Davidson calls it the benefit of having grown up together playing every sport together on the same team, even though they haven't played together on the ice as much as people might think. Coaches have often spread the skill by playing them on separate lines.
"It's just that thing when we're on the ice together, we have that undeniable chemistry," she said.
And the American sisters definitely have an Olympic edge having won silver medals in both 2010 and 2014. Jocelyne has 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in 10 Olympic games, while Monique has 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in the same span. The U.S. women's team left last Wednesday for South Korea chasing the gold medal that eluded the Americans in Sochi. At those Games, the United States blew a 2-0 lead to Canada in the final.
For Monique, she's chasing simple fulfillment.
"The last four years we've been kind of chasing down this dream of being Olympic champions, and nearly every single day your day is scheduled around being the best athlete you can be," she said, "and you change up your plans, you do everything you can to be the best athlete, best leader, best team you can be."
Jocelyne can't wait for the opportunity to represent the United States once again in the Olympics with pride, emotion bubbles up whenever she thinks of the Winter Games. It's what the sisters have been working for most of their lives. And there's one ultimate goal.
"It's gold," Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson said. "We've come up short the last two Olympics and our ultimate goal is just to play our best. If we can do that, we truly believe we can come out on top."