Super Seniors Adding to Their Legacies in WCHA Hockey

Mark StaffieriContributor IIFebruary 15, 2013

Megan Bozek image obtained from Jocelyne Lamoureux image obtained from
Megan Bozek image obtained from Jocelyne Lamoureux image obtained from

As the NCAA women’s hockey season winds down, two seniors in the Western Conference Hockey Association are solidifying their legacies as two of the greatest to grace the ice. While the WCHA’s Class of 2012 produced some remarkable graduates (Hilary Knight, Jen Schoullis, Natalie Spooner, Haley Irwin), two seniors are carving remarkable legacies in 2013. Megan Bozek of the Minnesota Golden Gophers and Jocelyne Lamoureux of the North Dakota Fighting Sioux are leaving the game on remarkable highs.

Employing great acumen and maturity, both are team captains with their respective programs. Despite the fact that they are rivals in the WCHA, they are both teammates on the US National Women’s Team. Their great leadership skills are very evident during the 2012-13 season campaign.

Jocelyne Lamoureux has maintained her remarkable scoring touch during the season. Held scoreless in only five games this season (of note, three were at the hand of the undefeated Minnesota Golden Gophers), Lamoureux, along with her twin sister Monique, will forever be remembered for bringing the program out of the doldrums and into national contention.

This season, Lamoureux has enjoyed her greatest success against the Bemidji State Beavers. In four games against the Beavers, she has accumulated an astounding 14 points (on the strength of three goals and 11 helpers). A February 9 performance versus the Beavers placed the 2012 Patty Kazamier Award runner-up into scoring immortality.

Lamoureux tied a WCHA record by logging six assists (also held by five other players) in one game. Her third assist of the game was even more historic as Lamoureux became the all-time leading scorer in WCHA history. Along with Jordan Slavin, she assisted on Layla Marvin’s goal at the 8:15 mark of the second period. As Marvin buried the puck past Abby Ryplanski for Lamoureux’s historic feat, Marvin made her own history. It was the first goal of her NCAA career.

By game’s end, Lamoureux’s six assists gave her 266 career points. The previous record holder was Wisconsin’s Hilary Knight (another teammate from the US National Team). Knight graduated in 2012 with a career mark of 262 points.

Heading into her final home game for the Fighting Sioux on February 16, emotions will run high for the accomplished Lamoureux (along with her twin sister). While this dynamic duo are a once in a generation phenomenon that spoiled North Dakota fans for three sensational seasons, their remarkable talents are destined to take them much further in the realm of women’s hockey.

As the team captain of a Golden Gophers team that has started 30-0 (an NCAA women’s hockey record), Megan Bozek is leaving her mark on the storied program. While she looks to become the captain of the first undefeated team in NCAA regular season women’s hockey history, she has also managed to reach some individual accomplishments.

Her farewell to the Golden Gophers faithful will be on February 16. Ridder Arena will host the Bemidji State Beavers in which will also be the farewell for fellow seniors Samantha Downey, Katie Frischmann, Mira Jalosuo, Becky Kortum and Noora Raty.

A road series against conference opponent Ohio State set the stage for such an accomplishment. During a February 9 victory against Ohio State, Bozek scored the 42nd goal of her career. With the goal, she surpassed Winny Brodt-Brown as the Gophers' all-time leading goal scorer among defenders.

In addition, her three points during the two game series against the Buckeyes helped Bozek accomplish a career high for points in one season. Last season, Bozek registered 42 points (15 goals, 27 helpers) in 39 games. In only 30 games this season, Bozek has already logged 44 points, while averaging a career high 1.47 points per game, respectively. As Bozek is eight goals away from 50 in a career, and nine assists away from the magical century mark, the remainder of the season should hold many more memorable moments.

Despite the historical run and the career highs, Bozek’s greatest accomplishment just might be her nomination for the 2013 Hockey Humanitarian Award. Since her freshman season, Bozek has worked tirelessly with various charities through the "M.A.G.I.C" (Maroon and Gold Impacting the Community) program at the University of Minnesota.

She has volunteered for groups such as "Feed My Starving Children" (a non-profit Christian organization which ships meals to malnourished children), and also HopeKids, an organization that organizes activities for children suffering from cancer.

Although Lamoureux and Bozek are both aiming for spots in the 2013 Frozen Four, the two are aware that the twilight of their NCAA careers will only mark the beginning of another chapter. Both comprise the future of USA Hockey, and will likely work together at Sochi 2014 towards bringing the US its first Winter Games gold medal since 1998 in Nagano.