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Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, Monique Lamoureux-Morando retiring from national team

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Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando, veterans of the U.S. women’s national hockey team, announced their retirement Tuesday.

 ”We’ve always prioritized hockey; we missed funerals, birthdays, weddings,” Lamoureux-Morando told ESPN. “Last year we had a shift in perspective, and we felt like we were missing life events because of hockey. … I’m due in [five] weeks now — I’m having another boy. So there’s obviously the timing of getting back into shape for another Olympics, when I don’t have ample amount of time. Taking everything into account, it was a tough decision to walk away, but the right decision for us.”

 In 2018, the twins helped Team USA to its first Olympic women’s hockey gold in 20 years by defeating rival Canada in the final. Lamoureux-Morando scored the game-tying goal in the third period, and Lamoureux-Davidson’s shootout goal – a flashy move she and her skills coach dubbed Oops! … I Did It Again – sealed the victory. They also won a pair of Olympic silver medals, in 2010 and 2014, and seven medals from World Championships – six gold and one silver.

 ”When you step on the ice and you get to play against them, you can tell right away they want to win,” Canadian team captain Marie-Philip Poulin said. “They’ll do anything in their power to do it. It’s tough to play against them, but over the years there’s been mutual respect. The one thing I value is how hard they compete.”

 Lamoureux-Davidson and Lamoureux-Morando, 31, also were key leaders in 2017 as players challenged USA Hockey for equitable support and similar treatment as the men’s and boys’ programs.

 ”We would all sit around and talk about things, but we didn’t necessarily have the resources to incite change,” longtime teammate Hilary Knight said “The twins were bold enough to make the connections and explore avenues; they were a galvanizing force for our team in 2017 to get us to where we wanted to be.” 

 After threatening to boycott the upcoming World Championships, the women and USA Hockey agreed on a landmark, four-year contract that included increased pay and promises for the same travel arrangements and insurance coverage as the men. Additionally, USA Hockey vowed to increase its fundraising and programming for girls’ youth programs.

The twins also made a massive push to include maternity leave in the contract — something that had existed before, but was left out of their previous agreement. Lamoureux-Morando and Lamoureux-Davidson became the first two players to use those new maternity benefits when they each gave birth to sons in 2019. The twins received full stipend payments from USA Hockey through their pregnancy and were guaranteed to be invited to two camps postpartum.

 ”We always had this goal, leaving the locker room and jersey in a better place than when you found it. I think Jocelyne and I can truly say we were able to do that,” Lamoureux-Morando said. “When we reflect on our careers, going through our gender equity dispute with USA Hockey — then playing in the World Championships on two days of practice, then winning – is a moment we’ll always be so proud of. We changed the landscape and will continue to change the landscape for women’s hockey players, and players around the world. That and the Olympic gold medal are a close 1-2.” 

 At 5-foot-6 with a physical brand of hockey, the twins are what Knight calls “do-or-die homies you want on the ice with you.” They were also often applauded for their adaptability. Lamoureux-Morando, for example, was constantly being bounced around from defense to forward. 

 ”As teammates, they were just resilient,” Knight said. “There was a point in time, and I don’t even know if I should be sharing this to be honest, but I didn’t know if they would make the Olympic team in 2018. Their talents weren’t being showcased the way we all saw them showcased, and obviously the way everyone in the world saw them showcased in 2018.” 

 Added Angela Ruggiero, a Hockey Hall of Famer, who briefly overlapped with the twins in the national team program: “Those two are my little sisters. I saw so much of myself in them in some ways. … I saw a desire to make an impact, right out the gate. They were never just content. They always wanted to be better.”

 The twins say they would like to stay involved in hockey. They are releasing their first book, “Dare to Make History,” later this month. They also plan to keep advocating on behalf of their college program, the University of North Dakota, which cut its women’s hockey team in 2017.

 ”That happened like the day after we signed our contract in 2017, which was pretty crushing,” Lamoureux-Davidson said. “Monique and I want to continue to be a voice for that program, and help bring it back in a positive way.”

 One other piece of business: the women’s national team’s contract with USA Hockey expires in April. 

 ”We’re going to be involved in the negotiations,” Lamoureux-Morando said. “Hopefully securing the next contact for the next group of players coming up will be our final stamp as players in the program.” 

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