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Olympian Jocelyne Larocque returns to Markham Thunder

Larocque is the first 2018 Olympian to return to a professional North American team this season.

Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 6 - United States v Canada Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Today the Markham Thunder announced that captain Jocelyne Larocque, 29, is returning to the team after winning silver with Team Canada in Korea. This is Larocque’s fourth season with the Thunder franchise.

From the CWHL’s press release:

Jocelyne Larocque, 2018 Olympic silver medalist, will return to captain the Markham Thunder. She will play her first games of the 2017-18 CWHL season during Rogers Hometown Hockey Weekend in Markham on March 3rd and 4th. This is also the only time for hometown fans to be able to see her play in person this regular season.

Larocque was second among Canadian defenders in average ice time (21:40 TOI/GP) in PyeongChang, trailing only Laura Fortino. Unfortunately she made headlines for removing her silver medal prematurely, according to IOC standards and regulations. Larocque issued a formal apology and made it clear she meant no disrespect to the IOC, Hockey Canada, the Olympic organizers in PyeongChang, her teammates, or fans.

“In the moment, I was disappointed with the outcome of the game, and my emotions got the better of me,” Larocque stated in her apology. “I’m proud of our team, and proud to be counted among the Canadian athletes who have won medals at these Games.”

Larocque joins a Markham blue line that has recently been bolstered by former USWNT player and NWHL star Megan Bozek. In six games with Markham this season Bozek has one goal — scored on the power play — and four assists.

The Thunder are currently in a heated race for the CWHL’s final playoff spot with the Vanke Rays. The addition of Larocque could give Markham the edge it needs with the regular season drawing to a close. She’s invaluable to the Thunder’s blue line and is capable of playing a ton of minutes against the opposing team’s most dangerous skaters.

Larocque’s first game back with the Thunder on March 3 is being streamed by the league.