The largest crowd ever to see a women’s hockey game in North Dakota got to see the intensity of the U.S.-Canada rivalry Friday night in a rematch of the 2010 Winter Olympics gold medal final.
At the end of the game, won 4-1 by the United States, Team USA became irked at Canadian forward Brianne Jenner for a high hit on U.S. defenseman Josephine Pucci. After Jenner came out of the penalty box, Jocelyne Lamoureux finished a check on Jenner, starting a line brawl.
Ten fighting majors were handed out, including ones to three players with tied to the University of Minnesota: Jocelyne Lamoureux, Monique Lamoureux and Gigi Marvin. The Lamoureuxs are twins who played for the Gophers before transferring to North Dakota.
“I’m not a proponent of fighting in hockey,” U.S. coach Katey Stone said. “I am a proponent for standing up for yourself. If players are going to take cheap shots at our players, there’s going to be an answer for that. We will not get pushed around. We will, at the end of the day, prepare to play any game we have to play. We’ll go hard, we’ll play clean, but if the game gets out of hand, we’ll manage that as well.”
This is the second line brawl the teams have had during pre-Olympic games. The first one happened in Burlington, Vt. But there was more bad blood than that in place.
“That player that hit Pucci took her out for a season two seasons ago,” Monique Lamoureux said. “She took a headshot at her. We’re going to stick up for our teammates. We’re going to protect them. Jocelyne obviously body-checked her. I thought that was clean. If you’re going to take a headshot at one of our players, there are consequences for playing like that.”
Jocelyne said she expects the intensity to carry over to the next two meetings between the teams. They play in the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Saturday and in Toronto on Dec. 30. After that, the teams won’t play each other until Sochi.