After a Tuesday off, Gophers hit the road for North Dakota

On a typical Tuesday afternoon, first-year Monique Lamoureux can be found lacing up her skates and prepping for another practice. Not this past Tuesday. She was in the sauna enjoying a day off from practice with a couple fellow first-years, her sister Jocelyne and Sarah Erickson. After a sweep against Harvard last weekend , coach Brad Frost gave the Minnesota womenâÄôs hockey team a day off from practice Tuesday. Monique said she slept in, did homework and relaxed in preparation for the teamâÄôs upcoming series against North Dakota. âÄúI think everybody just needed a day off just to wind down and just relax for a day,âÄù Monique said. The No. 2 Gophers (13-2-1 overall, 10-1-1-1 Western Collegiate Hockey Association ) travel to Grand Forks, N.D. to play North Dakota (8-5-1-0, 5-4-1 ) in their last series before a month-long break. Monique said her family is excited to watch her and her sister play in their hometown. âÄúI think when they get there, they might be a little hesitant to cheer for the Gophers since our family is pretty much pro-Sioux,âÄù she said. Playing against North Dakota will be something different for Monique and Jocelyne. Their family holds strong ties to the Sioux. Besides growing up in Grand Forks, their father, Jean-Pierre, was North DakotaâÄôs starting goaltender for two of their national championships. Their brother, Mario, plays for North DakotaâÄôs current team and their brother, Jean-Philippe, was North DakotaâÄôs starting goaltender in his junior and senior years before graduating last season. Monique said her family was supportive of her and her sisterâÄôs decision to wear maroon and gold instead of green and black. âÄúThey knew our top schools and when we decided to come to Minnesota, they were happy for us,âÄù Monique said. âÄúIt wasnâÄôt like they were going to hold it against us.âÄù Frost said he knows his team is heading into hostile territory, but is looking forward to the games after a successful weekend against Harvard. âÄúWeâÄôre excited to get up there and finish off the first half of our year,âÄù he said. North Dakota didnâÄôt play games last weekend but split with Duluth the weekend before, shutting out the Bulldogs 4-0 in the win. North Dakota swept St. Cloud State and Ohio State , teams Minnesota also swept. Against North Dakota, Minnesota holds a perfect 20-0-0 record, including two wins last February and March to advance to the WCHA Final Faceoff. In order to continue the streak, Monique said the Gophers need to shoot the puck more and the goals will follow. The Gophers fired at least 30 shots in all 16 games. Ironically, the Gophers put the most shots on net in their season-opener loss to Robert-Morris with 65 shots. On the season, Minnesota has outshot its opponents, 631-322 and outscored them, 65-23. Monique said she is excited to go and see her family, but first she must focus on the task at hand. âÄúWe need to just play our game and play up to our potential,âÄù she said.