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Lamoureux twins connect Kearney to Olympics
Jennifer Kardell
Antelope Staff
Courtesy photo
Monique (front left) and twin sister Jocelyne (front right) are the first of their siblings to compete at the Olympic level. Here they are featured with brothers Jacques, Pierre-Paul, Jean-Phillipe and Mario. In the middle are their parents Jean-Phillipe and Linda.

At the age of 20, Monique Lamoureux and her twin sister Jocelyne are gave the community of Kearney something extra to cheer about in this year’s Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The girls were part of the United States women’s silver medal ice hockey team and are among the youngest members.

Monique and Jocelyne may not have played in Kearney but do appreciate the support the community has given them because of their brothers who played hockey in Nebraska.

 “It’s awesome having the support of communities. For us, we have been away from home since we were 15, and we have the support from our hometown, and it means a lot when a town we haven’t been directly connected with supports us as well,” Monique said.

The girls even have their own support group on Facebook. “I didn’t know we had a fan page. It’s very humbling having people follow our progress throughout the Olympics,” Monique said.

 The name Lamoureux may seem familiar to hockey fans in the community. That’s because it is. Their older brothers Pierre-Paul and Mario Lamoureux played for the Tri-City Storm. Pierre played for only one season, but Mario played four years with the Storm and became quite the fan favorite. He even earned the “C” on his jersey, serving as the captain in his final year in Kearney.

The girls have a big reputation to live up to, with three of their brothers playing in the United States Hockey League. Pierre and Mario played for Tri-City and Jean-Phillipe for the Lincoln Stars. However, playing in the USHL was not the route for Monique and her sister, who played at the high school level for Shattuck-St. Mary’s.

“We never considered playing in the USHL. We knew we would have to make the transition to girl's hockey at some point, and Shattuck-St. Mary’s gave us a great opportunity to attend school there,” Monique said.

Competing at the Olympic level is a first in the family for the Grand Forks natives. Monique has had many special experiences while competing in Vancouver, and she is going every step of the way with Jocelyne.

“Having Jocelyne on my line is awesome. We know how to read off each other, and we don’t always have to look to make a pass. We are so familiar with each other that it makes it easy to split us up and put us back together on a line without having to adjust to each other.”

Monique was elated after scoring a hat trick in the semi-final game against Finland. “Nothing, in my hockey past, compares to this. Everybody loves to score a goal. Scoring three goals in the semifinal is amazing,” she said.

Monique and Jocelyne are currently taking online classes to make the switch from playing at the University of Minnesota to playing next season for the University of North Dakota. They will be joining Pierre and Mario at UND.

Four members of the Lamourex family will be on the ice at UND. Mario is on the men’s hockey team and Pierre serves as a volunteer coach. “I’m very excited for next year. It will be a lot of fun being around our family more. We will get a chance to see Mario play more often which has been extremely hard to do since high school,” Monique said.

The quest for gold unfortunately ended for the women’s hockey team on Feb. 25 when they lost to Canada, 2-0.

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