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Olympic hockey: Lamoureux nets 3; US on to final

Grand Forks natives Jocelyne Lamoureux (left) and Monique Lamoureux skate at the U.S. national team festival on Saturday in Blaine, Minn. The twins, who will play college hockey at UND next season, were selected to the U.S. national team on Monday. Photo submitted to the Herald by Brad Olson.

GRAND FORKS - On the 30-year anniversary of the "Miracle on Ice," the Lamoureux twins made sure there wasn't another one.

Grand Forks native Monique Lamoureux scored three goals and twin sister Jocelyne had two assists as the heavily favored Americans trounced Sweden 9-1 to advance to the gold-medal game at the Winter Games.

"It was awesome, very exciting," said Monique, who jumped up and down twice after finishing the hat trick late in the third period. "If you saw my celebration for the third goal, I think you could tell I was excited. I'm a little embarrassed about it now, but you really couldn't ask for anything more than a hat trick in a semifinal game."

The U.S. will play Canada for gold at 5:30 p.m. Thursday (NBC-TV).

The Swedes, who upset Team USA in the semifinals at the 2006 Turin Games, didn't stand much of a chance in Vancouver.

Monique set the tone by scoring a flashy goal 7 minutes, 14 seconds into the first period.

She caught a pass from teammate Jenny Potter at the top of the left circle, sprinted around a Swedish defenseman on the outside and slammed the puck into five-hole from the top of the crease for a 1-0 lead.

"I knew I was going to be able to beat the defenseman wide," Monique said. "Usually, when I make a play like that, I like to (carry it across the crease) and shoot on the far side, but I could tell I was too low to make it all the way across. I was hoping the five-hole would open up.

"I got knocked over, so I didn't even know it went in until I turned around."

At the start of the third period, Monique sniped a goal from the right circle to make it 6-1. She finished the hat trick by banging in a rebound from the top of the crease with 2:41 remaining in the game.

"I knew I had two goals, but I really wasn't thinking about getting a hat trick," Monique said. "It's a semifinal game. If a pass was there, I was going to make a pass. I was fortunate enough to be in position to get that rebound goal, though."

Her sister had a nice game as well. Jocelyne set up Angela Ruggiero and Karen Thatcher for goals in the second period and finished with a team-best plus-four rating.

The twins, who are nine days away from being the two youngest players on the team, continue to be among the tournament's best players.

Monique now has four goals, six assists and 10 points in four games. She's one point away from leading the Americans in scoring. Jocelyne has two goals, four assists and six points, while holding down the best plus-minus of any American forward (plus-10).

Gigi Marvin of Warroad, Minn., was scoreless against the Swedes and has three points for the tournament.

The area trio, who attended the first two periods of the American men's 5-3 victory over Canada on Sunday night, will now turn their attention to the host country. Team USA is searching for its first women's hockey gold since 1998.

"Today was very exciting," Monique said. "We had a good crowd and we played really well. I'm really excited for Thursday now."