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Brad E. Schlossman /Forum News Service, Published December 20 2013

Lamoureux sisters combine for four points as Team USA tops Canada in Grand Forks

GRAND FORKS – Monique Lamoureux says she’s been in a scoring slump.

Sometimes, a trip home can fix anything.

Monique Lamoureux and her twin sister, Jocelyne, each scored a goal and added an assist in their homecoming, helping Team USA beat Canada 4-1 on Friday night in front of 5,559 in Ralph Engelstad Arena.

The night started with a tribute to the Grand Forks natives and former University of North Dakota standouts on the big screen and it ended with them celebrating a win in the pre-Olympic contest, which they think might be their last in this rink.

“I thought they were spectacular,” American coach Katey Stone said. “What a great night for them. They were on their toes. They saw each other well. It’s almost like they never left this building. They had a lot of great energy and memories here. I couldn’t have been happier for them to have the kind of night that they did.”

Late in the first period, Monique collected a puck in the slot area and held onto it until the goaltender went down. She stayed patient, moved toward the goal line to open up shooting space and eventually scored to tie the game 1-1.

The U.S. blew the game open in the second, starting with an outstanding pass by Gigi Marvin to set up Brianna Decker for the go-ahead goal. Less than two minutes after Hilary Knight made it 3-1, Jocelyne got her goal, sniping a rebound of one of Monique’s shots at 15 minutes, 35 seconds.

“I’d say that’s quite the homecoming,” Jocelyne said. “It was a fun win, we played really well.”

The largest crowd ever to see a women’s hockey game in North Dakota got to see the intensity of the U.S.-Canada rivalry, which was a rematch of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games gold medal final.

At the end of the game, Team USA became irked at Canadian forward Brianne Jenner for a high hit on USA defenseman Josephine Pucci. So, after Jenner came out of the penalty box, Jocelyne finished a check on Jenner, starting a line brawl.

Ten fighting majors were handed out, including ones to the three local players – Jocelyne, Monique and Marvin.

“I’m not a proponent of fighting in hockey,” Stone said. “I am a proponent for standing up for yourself. If players are going to take cheap shots at our players, there’s going to be an answer for that. We will not get pushed around. We will, at the end of the day, prepare to play any game we have to play. We’ll go hard, we’ll play clean, but if the game gets out of hand, we’ll manage that as well.”

Canada holds a 3-2 record in the five pre-Olympic games, but the Americans have won both games by a combined score of 9-2 since former coach Dan Church resigned last week.

FIRST PERIOD: 1, C, Irwin (Ouellette, Hefford) 17:22. 2, USA, M. Lamoureux (J. Lamoureux, Duggan) 19:49.

SECOND PERIOD: 3, USA, Decker (Marvin, Coyne) 8:37. 4, USA, Knight (Stack, Carpenter) 13:24. 5, USA, J. Lamoureux (M. Lamoureux, Duggan) 15:35.

THIRD PERIOD: No scoring.

SAVES: USA, Schaus 4-6-7–17. C, Szabados 9-7-11–27.

Schlossman writes for the Grand Forks Herald