Eighteen-year-old Philippe, who'll become a record-setting goalie at North Dakota and then the 2008--09 Goaltender of the Year in the East Coast Hockey League, is in the yard whipping a tennis ball against the back of the house, just one in his daily series of hand-eye drills.
Jacques, a 16-year-old sniper destined to lead the country in goals as an All-America center at Air Force in 2008--09, is blasting pucks off a Plexiglas sheet toward a target on a tarp hanging between the garage and a shed.
Pierre-Paul, 15, who'll play brick-wall defense in the highest-level juniors and at the University of Manitoba, is stickhandling a wooden ball through an obstacle course on the garage floor and urging his siblings nearby, Go harder!
That muffled clang? Fourteen-year-old Mario, clenching the already scar-webbed jaw that he'll thrust anywhere when he becomes North Dakota's scrappiest Sioux, is bench-pressing a barbell in the basement.
Just about then, when the neighbors are wondering where exactly their own children went wrong, they catch sight of two little blonde dervishes in the garage. Monique, 13, is pistoning up-two-down-ones and in-in-out-outs through the rope squares of the family's agility ladder, honing the thighs and calves that'll make her the nation's third-leading goal scorer and a second-team All-America as a freshman at Minnesota in 2009. Her identical twin, Jocelyne—she'll be fourth in the country in total assists and points as a freshman at the same school—is a blur hopping on and off a stack of cinder blocks, each sister pushing the other so hard that seven years later they'll both be on the U.S. women's Olympic hockey team, which you'll be watching next month in Vancouver.
Six teenage sibs on a summer morn: Three forwards, two defensemen, a goalie. A royal flush.
There goes the man who drew the hand from the deck, Dad rattling off in his pickup with the 32-foot ladder to climb onto four-story roofs and install audio systems he had designed. And here comes Mom in her visor, back from her 10-mile run—a light day.
Whooo. Way too much grunting and gung-ho at that house, Grand Forkers cluck. Nobody's got a family like that. Something's got to give. They're absolutely right ... and all wrong. They're not factoring in the ditch.
Let's get this straight: Both you and your spouse are going to need the right double helixes to have even a prayer of hatching your übertribe. Not that Pierre Lamoureux went trolling for blue-ribbon eggs or plotted to beget a hockey team. He left home on the outskirts of Edmonton, Alberta, to walk on as a goalie at North Dakota in 1979, ended up as a backup on two of the Fighting Sioux's seven NCAA championship teams ... and got lucky. He fell in love with a Grand Forks girl, a coed named Linda Soli who was just as good in water as he was on top of it. Pierre married the former North Dakota high school state champ in the 200 and 500 freestyles and the 100 backstroke and butterfly on a Saturday in 1983, graduated from UND the following day, started his new 12-hour-a-day job a few months later ... and then got really busy: He and Linda had six kids in five years. "This place is a zoo!" Pierre's mother, Henriette, yelped when she visited to help Linda with yet another newborn.
"I prefer to call it a circus," replied Linda, who promptly took the show on the road. Double-checking her day planner and the master hockey schedule that Pierre carefully etched each month, Linda would funnel the runts into their red "hillbilly" van—a used Fighting Sioux team vehicle, appropriately—and settle in for a half-dozen hours a day behind a car dashboard pocked with sticky notes reminding her where in hell to go next to get all those kids from hockey to baseball to soccer to football to taekwondo to swimming, only to discover that left too much idle time for the Missies, as Linda christened the twins. And so, along with those sports, the girls added nine years of dance and gymnastics lessons, five years of piano, a splash of figure skating, a dollop of track, a dash of oboe and sax and ... why couldn't they take violin, they sobbed, until Mom relented, crisscrossing town so many times that she'd meet herself on the way.