UND hockey twins chasing history at Women’s WorldsGRAND FORKS — University of North Dakota women’s hockey coaches Brian Idalski and Peter Elander sat in the stands at the IIHF Women’s World Championship and started keeping detailed stats on their players, Monique Lamoureux-Kolls and Jocelyne Lamoureux.
By: Brad Schlossman, The Dickinson Press
GRAND FORKS — University of North Dakota women’s hockey coaches Brian Idalski and Peter Elander sat in the stands at the IIHF Women’s World Championship and started keeping detailed stats on their players, Monique Lamoureux-Kolls and Jocelyne Lamoureux.
“We figured out their line was scoring every three shifts,” Idalski said. “That’s ridiculous.”
While the Americans have rolled to a semifinal matchup today against Switzerland at 5 p.m. in Burlington, Vt., Lamoureux-Kolls has put together one of the greatest offensive performances the world tournament has ever seen.
She already has 14 points (in three games), which is tied for the most at the Worlds since 1990 — the first year the tournament existed. She still has two games to go.
And Lamoureux-Kolls is doing it in a year where the IIHF introduced a new format designed to force the top teams to play each other throughout the tournament instead of beating up on weaker opponents.
Lamoureux-Kolls tallied three goals and three assists during Team USA’s shocking 9-2 rout of Canada to open the tournament. She added a goal and an assist in a 9-0 win over the Russians and three more goals and assists in an 11-0 blowout of Finland.
Lamoureux-Kolls’ 14 points leads the tournament. Lamoureux is fourth with seven points and their linemate, Boston College graduate Kelli Stack, has 11 points.
“The three of us are playing really well,” Lamoureux-Kolls said. “We’re playing our best hockey. We’ve taken it to heart over the last couple of years to put in the work and the effort to be top players and I think we’re showing that now.”
Lamoureux-Kolls, who was named the tournament’s best forward a year ago, is on track to earn that honor once again.
The record for most in the Worlds is 23, tallied by Cindy Curley in 1990. Curley’s teammate, Tina Cardinale, is in second with 15. Lamoureux-Kolls will match that with her next point.
“They’ve played really well,” Idalski said. “They were rolling three lines against Canada and they’ve been playing four lines consistently in the games against Finland and Russia. So, the fact that they were still putting up a lot of points in limited ice time, I think that’s pretty special.”
Their line, nicknamed the Stacksicles, has 13 goals, 32 points and a plus-25 rating in three games.
“It’s a blast,” Lamoureux-Kolls said. “Kelli adds a different aspect to our line. Joce and I are more north-south players, more power forwards than finesse. She adds that extra thing to our line. She’s fast, drives wide and always seems to have time to make a play with the puck. We’ve developed chemistry over the last year and a half and it’s definitely a lot of fun to be a part of.”
Lamoureux-Kolls knows the most difficult tests are yet to come. The Swiss feature goalie Florence Schelling, who was one of the top three finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Award as the women’s player of the year. She played for Northeastern.
Canada, which takes on UND rookie Michelle Karvinen and the Finnish team today, will likely be waiting in the final.
“Canada has older kids who are going to get stronger as the tournament goes on,” Idalski said.
Schlossman is a sports reporter for the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.