The last goal Monique Lamoureux-Morando scored in Olympic play kept alive the United States' gold medal hopes in the 2018 Winter Games, tying the score in the third period of the championship game.

The last goal Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson scored in Olympic play was the spectacular shootout tally that gave the United States a 3-2 victory over Canada for gold in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

So, it was only fitting Tuesday when the twins from Grand Forks, N.D., — sitting side-by-side — announced their retirements as players but still vowed to keep making an impact on hockey.

"We feel so blessed just to play the sport as long as we have," Jocelyne said on a video conference. " … We've traveled the world, met some amazing people. To be able to chase a dream with such amazing teammates over the last 15 years has been a dream come true."

Added Monique: "As athletes, you set out and strive to be the best, to be elite — the pursuit of being great as an athlete. We also realize the pursuit of being a great person and a great advocate is just as important if not more important."

The Lamoureux sisters, 31, played in three Olympics — winning silver in 2010 and 2014 — and helped Team USA win six world championships. Jocelyne's shootout goal — dubbed, "Oops, I did it again" — gave the United States its first Olympic gold medal since 1998.

"To cap off our national team career with a win in 2018 in the way that we did it is obviously special for us," Jocelyne said, "but it's how we did it and how our team did it that makes it so special."

Full circle

The twins played hockey on boys' teams while growing up in Grand Forks, then went on to play three seasons at Shattuck-St. Mary's in Faribault, leading the prep school to three national titles. They began their college careers with the Gophers in 2008-09, combining for 67 goals and 73 assists for an NCAA Frozen Four team.

In May 2009, the Lamoureux twins stunned the college hockey world by transferring to North Dakota, a program that was in its eighth season and had yet to have a winning record.

"We feel this is in our best interests. It's what is right for us," Jocelyne told the Star Tribune at the time. "Obviously, the Fighting Sioux runs in our family. But Monique and I made the decision, and we have no parting jabs for Minnesota."

Over three seasons, the twins led North Dakota to a 68-37-7 and two NCAA tournament appearances. Jocelyne finished her career with 285 points (125 goals, 160 assists), a WCHA record since tied by the Gophers' Hannah Brandt. Monique had 265 career points (113 goals, 152 assists), good for third on the conference points list.

"They were two of the most competitive players I've ever seen, and they were extremely passionate about hockey," Gophers coach Brad Frost said. "They had each other to push each other."

Paying it forward

Both Jocelyne and Monique are proud of how women's and girls' hockey has grown.

"In 2010, everybody but one player on our [national] team had to play on boys' teams growing up. In 2018, you take that same poll, and it was about half and half," Jocelyne said. " … That speaks of the opportunities girls have today and the competitiveness."

Jocelyne was instrumental in the national team's threat to boycott the 2017 world championship over a wage dispute. The women's team and USA Hockey struck a deal that more than tripled the $1,000 per month players had received. "She's never afraid to have a tough conversation, never afraid to do the things that might stand out," Monique said of her sister.

Jocelyne, especially, has been active in the Professional Women's Hockey Players Association, the group comprised of North American players trying to establish a professional league that is on stronger financial footing than the National Women's Hockey League. She was encouraged by last week's news that the PWHPA has entered in formal partnerships with the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers that will include Dream Gap Tour games in each team's arena.

"The next big step for women's hockey is having a sustainable profession league where all the best players are playing," Jocelyne said. " … To grow the game at faster pace, we need something exciting during the season, all year around, for fans to watch.''