Lamoureux twins see door is opening for women in hockey

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As part of the NHL’s celebration of Gender Equality Month, NHL.com will be featuring women in hockey throughout March. Today, recently retired United States players Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando.

 

 

Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando have things planned out in the short term, including promoting a book about their lives.

Beyond that, the twin sisters and recently retired United States women’s hockey players plan on staying involved in the game but are keeping all their options for the future open on and off the ice at a time when they see increasing opportunities for women in the sport.

“We’re both passionate about the game and love the game,” said Lamoureux-Davidson, who won a gold medal with her sister at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. “We’re still students of the game and we watch hockey just because we enjoy it. If we can stay involved in some capacity, big or small, we’re all about it. Now that we’ve announced our retirement (Feb. 9) we can start to explore some of those options.”

Their success has opened doors for them, and the growth of women throughout various areas of hockey gives them a variety of options.

In the NHL, former teammate Kendall Coyne Schofield is a player development coach for the Chicago Blackhawks; Cammi Granato is a professional scout, and Alexandra Mandrycky is director of hockey strategy and research for the expansion Seattle Kraken; Blake Bolden is a professional scout for the Los Angeles Kings; and Hayley Wickenheiser is assistant director of player development for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Outside the NHL, Theresa Feaster was part of the coaching staff that helped the United States win the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship and is director of hockey operations for the men’s hockey team at Providence College; Noelle Needham, a former Maple Leafs amateur scout, is assistant general manager of Chicago of the United States Hockey League; and Hayley Moore is vice president of hockey operations for the American Hockey League, overseeing officiating and league discipline.

Lamoureux-Davidson has been helping coach an under-15 girls team in the sisters’ hometown of Grand Forks, North Dakota, and said working with players on or off the ice remains intriguing for her.

“You try to help them understand a certain play and a light bulb goes off and they finally get it, so that’s really rewarding,” she said. “The coaching aspect, and then we both have a degree in kinesiology and our master’s in exercise science. I worked as a strength coach for the University of North Dakota women’s team before they cut their program [and am] very passionate about the training aspect that goes into not just hockey but athletics in general.

“I love the coaching aspect of it, whether that’s in the weight room or on the ice. They’re very similar, but I would say I have pretty good knowledge and skill set in both arenas.”

Lamoureux-Morando is less sure of her future, in part because she gave birth to her second child Wednesday. But she hopes women finding footholds in different areas of the game will give her more options when she feels ready to get involved.

“When you look at the NHL and women getting positions, I think they’re behind other sports, but the door is opening,” she said. “It’s not as open as you’d want it to be quite yet. … I think those roles are going to continue to open and more barriers are going to continue to be broken with females getting hired in the sport.”

Video: Lamoureux sisters on retiring from USA Hockey

The 31-year-olds will begin exploring those options in earnest at some point. But they are looking to the past for now, having released their book, “Dare to Make History: Chasing a Dream and Fighting for Equity,” on Feb. 23.

The book tells the story of the twins, the youngest of six children, and their growth from the ponds and rinks in Grand Forks to playing for the United States at the Olympics three times, including 2018, when Lamoureux-Davidson scored the deciding goal in the sixth round of the shootout for a 3-2 victory against Canada in the gold medal game after Lamoureux-Morando tied it with 6:21 remaining in the third period.

The forwards also helped the United States win a silver medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and 2010 Vancouver Olympics, and win the IIHF Women’s World Championship in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

But for all their accomplishments on the ice, the sisters wanted to show in the book that their path to success wasn’t always smooth.

“It would be a disservice to paint a picture that everything in our lives was perfect growing up and everything, that we didn’t go through any challenges growing up,” Lamoureux-Morando said. “I think we paint a pretty realistic picture of what we went through as kids growing up and through our hockey careers. Nobody wants to read a book about how your life is perfect and you didn’t have to go through any challenges. So we paint a picture of what we went through as kids, and something that we talk about, that we think really shaped us, is one of our brothers (Jacques Lamoureux) struggled with mental illness. … Having not struggled with mental illness ourselves, we went through it as a family and had to go through it as a family member watching your sibling go through it. That event in our lives I think really shaped us in a different way.”

What the sisters want most is for people to understand a big part of their journey is a belief taken from one of their coaches: It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.

“We chased gold medals and we set out to accomplish something big and dreamed big,” Lamoureux-Morando said, “but along the way what’s most important is how you treat people, how you make a positive difference in the lives of people around you. With the platform that we have because we excelled at hockey, we excelled on the Olympic stage, we have an opportunity to give back and give back in an impactful and meaningful way. What a disservice to that platform if we don’t take advantage of that.”

Part of giving back will come from staying involved in hockey. There’s also the Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux Foundation, which is focused on helping children in North Dakota have access to basic necessities such as clothes, school lunches and internet access for remote learning.

“We want to try to alleviate stress for kids in the basic sense of making sure their basic needs are met so that they can focus on school and they can reach their full potential in school and in life and do great things,” Lamoureux-Davidson said. “We don’t want kids worrying about having the appropriate clothes or young girls having the appropriate feminine products. Those are things kids shouldn’t have to worry about, and unfortunately that’s not always the case.”

The book, their families and their foundation will take up a lot of time, but the tie that binds their past and their future will be hockey.

“We’re saying goodbye to our playing careers,” Lamoureux-Davidson said, “but we’re not saying goodbye to the sport.”

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