GRAND FORKS, N.D. – For eight current and former North Dakota hockey standouts, the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea were an opportunity to prove their mettle.
For six of them, it was also an opportunity to win a medal.
The men’s and women’s hockey tournaments concluded this weekend in Pyeonchang and UND multiple student-athletes were able to carve out a piece of history for their respective countries.
For sisters Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando, who starred at North Dakota from 2010-11 to 2012-13, the history came with becoming the first born-and-raised North Dakotans to win Olympic gold in any sport. Both played central roles in the United States’ stirring 3-2 overtime win over Canada in the final, Monique tying the game in the waning moments of the third period and Jocelyne delivering the game-winner with a monumental shootout goal.
It represented the peak of the mountain after a four-year climb for the Lamoureuxs, who were forced to settle for silver medals with heart-wrenching losses to Canada in each of the two previous Olympic games.
In the aftermath, both took center stage globally with a whirlwind of a media blitz and worldwide acclaim.
For Genoway, the road to a bronze medal with his native Canada was a more unlikely – albeit every bit as satisfying – a story. After a standout career at UND in which he was an All-America defenseman, Genoway played one NHL game with the Minnesota Wild. In the six years since, Genoway’s career path has taken him from Houston to Russia to Finland and back to Russia, where he currently plays for Tolyatti of the KHL.
With the NHL players declining to send their players to the Olympic games, the likes of Genoway and other professional journeymen were called upon to represent their countries. Genoway played in every game for Canada, logging heavy minutes throughout, on the way to a 6-4 win over the Czech Republic in Saturday’s bronze medal game.
Genoway became the 13th UND men’s hockey player to medal at the Olympics and the first to win a bronze.
Genoway's wasn't the only bronze medal by former UND hockey players, as former letterwinners Michelle Karvinen, Emma Nuutinen and Susanna Tapani also did it for Finland in the women's tournament. It was the second such Olympic bronze for Karvinen, who also won one in 2010 in Vancouver. She finsihed this year's games as her team's leading scorer. Also on the women's side, former UND standout Johanna Fallman skated for Team Sweden.
Hoff was the only current student-athlete representing UND in either tournament, playing for his native Norway. After sitting out the first two games of the tournament, the Oslo native got into the lineup the rest of the way, including a stunning 2-1 upset of Slovenia in the qualifying round.
That victory, which sent the Norwegians into the quarterfinals, was Norway’s first Olympic win since 1994 – when Hoff’s father was on the team.
It was also noteworthy for another reason: Hoff was the first active UND men’s hockey player to compete in the Olympics since Dave Christian was a member of the United States’ famed “Miracle on Ice” gold-medal winning squad.
Hoff was back in the lineup for UND later in the same week, having met with his teammates in Oxford, Ohio on Thursday night in time for the Fighting Hawks’ NCHC game against Miami on Friday.
The sophomore forward was all smiles upon his return, as were the masses of UND hockey fans everywhere.
UND Men’s Hockey Olympic Medalists
1952: John Noah (USA, silver)
1956: Gordon Christian (USA, silver), Dan McKinnon (USA, silver), Ken Purpur (USA, silver)
1972: Mike Curran (USA, silver)
1980: Dave Christian (USA, gold)
1992: Dave Tippett (CAN, silver)
1994: Greg Johnson (CAN, silver)
2002: Ed Belfour (CAN, gold)
2010: Zach Parise (USA, silver), Jonathan Toews (CAN, gold)
2014: Jonathan Toews (CAN, gold)
2018: Chay Genoway (CAN, bronze)
UND Women’s Hockey Olympic Medalists