American twins key women's hockey gold-medal win over Canada

Lamoureux sisters make their dreams come true

American twins key women's hockey gold-medal win over Canada
After scoring the shootout winner in the gold-medal game against Canada, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson basked in cheers from American fans with her twin sister, Monique, background, trailing right behind. © Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

By Devin Heroux, CBC Sports

The Americans blasted out of their bench and onto the ice as if they had been shot out of a cannon. The celebration was on, a Stars-and-Stripes explosion of sticks and gloves firing into the air, 20 years in the making.

Before goalie Maddie Rooney's save sealed the United States' first Olympic hockey gold medal since 1998, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson supplied the decisive goal with a jaw-dropping shootout move that sent the U.S. to a 3-2 victory over archrival Canada in the women's title game in South Korea.

"I knew what I was going to do with it," Lamoureux-Davidson said. "I was told at the fourth shooter I was going to be sixth if it came to that. Coach asked if I wanted to take it and I said 'absolutely.' There's no better feeling than that."

Making the moment even sweeter was that her twin sister, Monique Lamoureux-Morando, scored on a breakaway with seven minutes left in the game to tie it at 2-2.

"To play a role on the scoresheet is special and for Jocelyne to score the winner makes it uniquely special for us," Monique said.

In a lot of ways, the Lamoureux sisters had been preparing for this golden moment their entire lives. They'd played it out, over and over, during their street hockey battles while growing up in Grand Forks, N.D.

Their oldest brother, Jean-Philippe Lamoureux, is a goalie. He would make them take shot after shot, deke after deke, on those streets.

"We've done goalie sessions with him where you shoot thousands of pucks and maybe score a couple of goals," Jocelyn said. "I'm just glad it all worked out today."

The sisters have experienced the agony of defeat in Olympic gold-medal games in the past. They were side-by-side for defeats to Canada in 2010 and 2014. They used those heartbreaking losses to motivate them.

"It took years to get this point and it's such a special group to be a part of. I can't imagine going into that battle with anyone else," Monique said.

The 28-year-old twins embraced after the game — a hug that lasted an eternity and represented a lifetime of hockey love and sisterhood leading to Olympic gold.

"It's been our dream to do this all together. Step-by-step, side-by-side," Jocelyne said.

Agony and ecstasy

The Americans' victory marked their first Olympic gold-medal win since they beat the Canadians in the first-ever women's Olympic hockey championship game in 1998.

Canada had a 24-game unbeaten streak at the Olympics before this loss.

"It sucks that it had to come down to a shootout," Canadian goalie Shannon Szabados said. "I thought we battled hard. Tough one to swallow but proud to represent Canada."

The Canadians sat on their bench, slumped over, many of the players crying as the Americans continued to celebrate after the win.

U.S. players skated around the ice draped in American flags, waving their arms at the crowd wildly. They soaked up every second of the moment. "U-S-A! U-S-A!" chants rained down from the stands.

"I knew how intense this battle was and I knew the pain in the last losses," Rooney said. "It was a huge motivator. To do it with these women is incredible."

Rooney, 20, had just been born the last time the United States captured gold. Now she's an Olympic champion.

"That's just crazy to hear," she beamed. "I can't even describe how I feel right now."

Silver lining

It was such a strange, foreign and uncomfortable moment for so many of the Canadian women as the silver medals were put around their necks.

Meghan Agosta had been on the golden side of this moment three times previously. Now, devastated, she searched for a silver lining.

"When it comes down to a shootout it could have gone either way. We all need to lift our heads and be proud of ourselves for how hard we worked."

And then there was the captain, Marie-Philip Poulin. She had been so clutch in so many of the key moments over the last two Olympics. She scored the only two goals for Canada in its 2-0 win in Vancouver.  And nobody will ever forget her game-tying goal and overtime winner against the Americans four years ago.

She scored a goal against the Americans in this final but was stopped in the shootout.

"This is tough. You work so hard for this moment and we came up short in the shootout," she said. "All throughout the year we prepare for that moment. We were prepared. It's sad to lose that way."

The Canadians skated off the ice after the American anthem played and their flag was raised to the rafters.

Journey's Don't Stop Believin' blared over the speakers as the Americans continued to celebrate, Olympic champions at last.