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UND players key Team USA’s rout

Team USA's Monique Lamoureux (7) scores on Switzerland goalie Florence Schelling during the first period of their women's preliminary-round game at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia on Monday.(USA Today Sports photo)

The U.S. looked a bit timid and unsure early Monday morning.

Monique Lamoureux changed all of that.

The Grand Forks native opened up the floodgates with a goal midway through the first, setting Team USA on course for a 9-0 rout of Switzerland in Olympic women’s hockey pool play at Shayba Arena in Sochi, Russia.

Monique finished the game with two goals, both set up by her twin sister, Jocelyne.

“We communicate really well and she just has the knack for hanging out in the quiet areas and I kind of know where she’s going to be without having to really focus on making a conscious effort of finding her,” Jocelyne said. “So it’s a tribute to playing together pretty much in every sport we’ve grown up doing.”

Teammates Kendall Coyne and Amanda Kessel also had two goals each for the Americans, who improved to 2-0 in the tournament. Alex Carpenter, Hilary Knight and Brianna Decker also scored for Team USA. Warroad’s Gigi Marvin registered a plus-three on the back end.

“I think doing the little things set us apart,” Monique said.

The little things helped the Americans get on the right track against the Swiss.

After a slow start, Jocelyne helped force a turnover deep in the Swiss zone. Then, she found her sister cutting to the net. Monique sent a shot five-hole on Swiss goalie Florence Schelling, a former Patty Kazmaier Award finalist from Northeastern, for a 1-0 lead at 9:20.

Decker and Kessel immediately followed with goals of their own to give the Americans three tallies in just 55 seconds – the fastest three goals in Olympic history. By the end of the first, Team USA led 5-0.

The Lamoureuxs connected for another goal in the second period. Jocelyne held the puck below the end line and found Monique standing on the inside of the right circle. Monique fired a wrist shot off of Schelling’s shoulder and in to make it 6-0.

“It’s awesome. Honestly both goals were a product of Jocelyne and (Meghan Duggan) working the puck down low really well and me just finding the open spot in front,” Monique said. “My success is totally reflected on them and how well they were doing in the corners.”

The twins have now combined for 20 career points in Olympic Games. Jocelyne has 98 with USA Hockey for her career, two shy of joining Monique in the Century Club.

“Those girls are really tough to play against,” NBC analyst Pierre McGuire said during Monday’s game. “I’d want them on my team. They are nasty to play against.”

Final shots on goal against the Swiss were 53-10 in favor of USA.

With the win, the Americans clinch a spot in the semifinals of the tournament. The U.S. has one final pool play game remaining against Canada at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The winner of that game will clinch the No. 1 seed for tournament play — and may be able to avoid playing a dangerous Finland team in the semifinals.

“I’m very happy with our game today starting from the goaltender out,” USA coach Katey Stone said. “We moved the puck well, controlled the pace and had a great overall effort.”

Brad Elliott Schlossman

Schlossman is in his 12th year covering college hockey for the Herald. In 2016, he was named the top beat writer in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He has voted in the national college hockey poll since 2007 and has served as a member of the Hobey Baker and Patty Kazmaier Award committees.

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