There are a handful of Olympic memories that will always be etched in your mind.
One of those recent memories was when T.J. Oshie single-handedly defeated Russia at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.
That event was four years ago Thursday. The then-27-year-old Oshie was sent to the ice for an incredulous six times by United States head coach Dan Bylsma during the shootout period. In his first Olympics, round after round, the young American streaked back out on the ice to face Sergei Bobrovsky in between the pipes.
It was a moment that had fans at home drew comparisons to Kurt Russell’s performance as Herb Brooks in The Miracle.
Oshie went first, fourth, and then four more times. Connecting on four of his six shootout attempts, the right winger prevailed in the eighth round after a miss from Evgeni Malkin.
Billed as a rematch for Russia, hosting the U.S. team at the Olympics for the first time since the Miracle on Ice, the American squad prevailed once again. It wasn't quite as big as an upset as the win in Lake Placid, but it was a game that meant so much culturally on both sides of the ice.
It was only a preliminary round match but nevertheless, it was another United States win over Russia. Winning 3-2, it helped the Americans win the pool to advance to the tournament. Unlike in 1980, the U.S. Men’s Hockey team would not go on to medal; they lost in the bronze medal game.
This same athletic marvel is something that cannot be accomplished in NHL play. During international hockey, the coaches are allowed to re-use players after the first three rounds in the shootout. In the NHL, teams are not allowed to re-use a player until all eligible players have attempted a shot.
This year Oshie, 31, is at home with his fellow Washington Capital teammates after the NHL decided to not partake in this year’s Olympiad. Perhaps 2014 in Sochi will be the last time we see him dawn the red, white, and blue during Olympic competition.
But in the one (or six) chances, he gave the United States their second most memorable moment of the Winter Olympics.
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