It's a huge coup for the fledgling North Dakota women's program, as they have picked up two prominent transfers from longtime national power Minnesota.
Twin sisters Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux decided to attend the University of Minnesota to play hockey together, and they were the Gophers' top players during a Frozen Four run in 2008-2009. The pair, from Grand Forks, aren't sticking around to try to build on that success, however.
After a year training for and -- they hope -- competing in the Winter Olympics for Team USA, the Lamoureux sisters are going to follow their bloodlines back to North Dakota. Both their father and older brother were goalies for the North Dakota men's team, so there is reason to think the Lamoureuxs have no ulterior motives.
Whatever the motives, neither the sisters nor their now-former coach are talking publicly.
"I can't get into the specifics about it -- I was definitely shocked when they informed me," Gophers coach Brad Frost said.The transfer system exists for a reason. You don't want to keep kids from moving on if they are dissatisfied with their college choice. At the same time, you don't want them freely jumping from one school to the next because the coach puts in an undesirable set of rules or something. The Lamoureuxs sit out a year of eligibility, which happens to perfectly coincide with the run-up to the Olympics, and they return to the collegiate ice in the fall of 2010.
... "We feel this is in our best interests. It's what is right for us," Jocelyne Lamoureux said. "Obviously, the Fighting Sioux runs in our family. But Monique and I made the decision, and we have no parting jabs for Minnesota."
(Just a note of clarification, and thanks to Andrea for the e-mail on this: Women's hockey players are not subject to "normal" NCAA Division I transfer rules, but it is the WCHA that has an agreement among its league members that says in-conference transfers will sit out a year before playing.)