[Ed. – He’s 27 and taken, ladies. Up next for Team USA: Slovenia.]
“It just felt like [Oshie] was going to score every time,” [Coach] Bylsma said.
He scored on round one of the shootout, missed in round four, scored in five and six and then was stopped in round seven. He thought that might be it, that he’d given the Russians their chance. Quick brilliantly stuffed Kovalchuk, however, leaving Oshie last at-bats and that’s when the Russian fans, who’d seen enough of this guy, took panic to a new level.
“Every kid, every guy growing up wants to do the shootout,” he said. “It’s fun.”
The last one, the eighth round, started with the same east-west route before he shot it between Russian goaltender Sergei Bobrovski’s legs and it ended, for a fourth time, in the net. He immediately turned to a charging bench of teammates and pointed back at Quick, trying to direct them to go hug the goalie.
Only a couple listened. This was a two-man operation, but the goaltender is always there. We’ve seen that brilliance before. What T.J. Oshie did was something almost unfathomable: six penalty shots, five in a row with four goals to silence a deafening arena and beat these outrageous Russians on their very own ice at their very own Olympics.
“It is heartbreaking,” Bobrovski said.
“This is what the Olympics is all about,” Backes said. “Owning your moment.”
When it was all done, Oshie was able to admit that maybe he wasn’t as collected as he appeared, that the magnitude of this moment was inescapable. Even for him. …
Amid the madness that he’d created, amid this wild, furious night of hockey, he finished his media session quickly, taking just three minutes to express what will be replayed and celebrated for years. There was no need to gloat or go on or pat himself on the back. Later, he was told he was a freshly minted American hero.
“American heroes are wearing camo,” he said. “That’s not me.”