Saturday, February 15, 2014

T.J. Oshie: The New American Badass!

     In Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympic games, it was Zach Parise that captured the hearts of many Americans. His performance during the Men's Hockey tournament propelled him into the spotlight in the NHL and more importantly, for the time being, the entire nation! Parise registerd 8 points (4 Goals, 4 Assists) in 5 games, including a game tying goal in the Gold Medal Game with 24 seconds left against Canada. (Canada would go on to win in overtime).

     Flash forward to four years later and the USA has a new star and his name is T.J. Oshie! After coming off an impressive 7-1 win over Slovakia, USA faced Team Russia, on their own home ice too! Russia, who is heavy at the forward position featuring superstars Alex Ovechekin, Evgeni Malkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Pavel Datysuk. Russia was coming off an impressive win of their own in their first game, beating Slovenia 5-2. 

     U.S. Goalie Jonathan Quick also did a great job at limiting the high powered offense of the Russians to just two goals. Tied 2-2 at the end of regulation, neither team could score in overtime, forcing the game to be decided in a shootout. Enter T.J. Oshie! Oshie would start the shootout, beating Russian Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, giving USA a quick 1-0 edge. Oshie on his second attempt with the shootout tied 1-1, would miss his shot before Pavel Datysuk would score a goal to give Russia a 2-1 edge. Oshie though would get another shot right away and this time came through, knotting everything back up at 2-2.

     After Ilya Kovalchuk scored to reclaim the lead for Russia, Oshie again would go out and once more beat Bobvrosky and the shootout remained tied. After Datysuk was denied by Quick, Oshie was sent back out by Team USA Head Coach Dan Bylsma and grab the victory for USA. Oshie came in on Bobvrosky on the backhand, but his attempt would go wide, extending the game for another round of shootouts. Kovalchuk came back out for Russia but Quick denied him, giving the U.S. another chance to seal the game. As expected, Oshie would be back out to clinch the game for the Americans!
With the team riding on his shoulders, Oshie skated in on Bobvrosky and beat him going through the five-hole and gave the Americans a 3-2 victory of the Russians!

     Oshie who went 4-6 in the shootout, turned around and humbly pointed at Jonathan Quick giving him kudos for his performance. No doubt thought that it was Oshie who stole the show in the Team USA's shootout win over Russia.  The win gives the Americans a 2-0 record in the preliminary rounds and with a win over Slovenia, USA will receive a first round bye for the second consecutive Olympics in the medal rounds.
     T.J. Oshie now gives Team USA much more momentum. Not only were they able to defeat a Gold Medal favorite Russia, but as mentioned earlier on their own home ice! Oshie and USA will take and use all it can get and has put the rest of the world on notice! For now though, T.J. Oshie is the face of America and a testament to that is the fact that he gained 15,000+ followers on Twitter!

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