With the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremony tomorrow night, four former or current Fighting Sioux hockey players are in Vancouver to represent their countries.
Former Fighting Sioux hockey players Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks, Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils, and current Fighting Sioux women's hockey players Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux. Parise and the Lamoureuxs will play for Team USA, while Toews will play for Team Canada.
Toews, the 21-year old captain of the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks, has 19 goals and 28 assists this season, leading the team to first place in the NHL Central Division and the second most points in the NHL with 83. Toews, a native of Winnipeg, played for the Sioux for two seasons (2005-07), scoring 40 goals and posting 85 points in leading the Sioux to a pair of Frozen Four appearances.
Parise, now in his fifth season with the New Jersey Devils, is an assistant captain with 26 goals and 32 assists this season. New Jersey leads the NHL Atlantic Division by one point with 75 points. Parise played for the Sioux from 2002-04, scoring 49 goals and amassing 116 points, leading UND to a MacNaughton Cup in 2004. He was also a two-time Hobey Baker finalist.
Parise and Toews are the 19th and 20th different Sioux players to play in the Olympic games. Two Sioux players have won a gold medal — Ed Belfour in 2002 for Canada at Salt Lake City and Dave Christian in 1980 for the United States at Lake Placid.
Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux are redshirts on the 2009-10 Sioux women's hockey team. The Grand Forks natives played for Minnesota last season, leading the Gophers to a 32-5-3 record and an appearance in the Frozen Four. Both played on the gold-medal winning USA Hockey Team at the 2008 IIHF World Championships and were the youngest members of the U.S. Four Nation's Cup Team in 2006.
The Lamoureuxs will be the second and third Sioux women's hockey players to play in the Olympics. Susanne Fellner played for Germany in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.
The USA women's team will take on China Sunday at 2 p.m. The game will be televised live on CNBC. The USA men open play Tuesday at 2 p.m. against Switzerland with the game being televised on CNBC. Canada opens play against Norway on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. and the game will be televised on MSNBC.
Another UND graduate will be competing on the ice during the Olympics. Natalie Nicholson, who graduated from UND in '01 and '08 with nursing degrees, is the lead of the U.S. women's curling team.