US defeats Russia in shootout

SOCHI, Russia — T.J. Oshie brainstormed while he skated to center ice, desperately trying to come up with one last move to end an epic shootout. He had already taken five shots at Sergei Bobrovsky, and the Russians were still even.

Yet Oshie was chosen for the U.S. men’s hockey team with just such a situation in mind, and the shootout specialist concocted one last clever goal to silence an arena filled with screaming Russian fans.

Oshie scored four times in the shootout and got the winner in the eighth round, leading the United States past Russia 3-2 Saturday in the thrilling revival of a classic Olympic hockey rivalry.

“I was just thinking of something else I could do, trying to keep him guessing,” said Oshie, the St. Louis Blues forward. “Had to go back to the same move a couple times, but I was glad it ended when it did. I was running out of moves there.”

International rules allow the same player to take multiple shots after the first three rounds of a shootout, and U.S. coach Dan Bylsma leaned on Oshie’s array of slick shots and change-of-pace approaches to the net. Oshie’s scored on the Americans’ first shot before taking the last five in a row, going 4 for 6 against Bobrovsky and finally setting off a celebration for the small group of U.S. fans at the Bolshoy Ice Dome.

“At some point, you think, ‘Does he have any more moves left?’” U.S. captain Zach Parise said. “But he did a good job. … That’s hard to do, to get in a goalie’s head and throw him off a little bit.”

Oshie was among the final selections for the U.S. roster, and though the 27-year-old from Warroad, Minn., has never had a 20-goal NHL season, he leads all American-born players with seven shootout goals for the Blues this season.

The U.S. men are only interested in the one that all but wrapped up an automatic berth in the quarterfinals next week.

“I think you’re going to see T.J. Oshie become a household name after that display he put on,” said David Backes, Oshie’s teammate in St. Louis. “The kids will be out on the pond probably in Minnesota right now, throwing a 5-hole on the goalie three or four times in a row.”

Cam Fowler and Joe Pavelski scored in regulation for the Americans in the marquee game of the preliminary round. Jonathan Quick made 29 saves and stopped five attempts in the shootout as the U.S. improved to 2-0.

Captain Pavel Datsyuk scored two goals in regulation and another in the shootout for the Russians, who rallied from a third-period deficit in a fast-paced game played in front of Russian President Vladimir Putin and an energized home crowd. The Russians also had an apparent goal waved off with 4:40 left because Quick’s net came off its moorings.

“The U.S. team is a good team and a good test for us,” Datsyuk said. “We played good, but the result is not good.”

The shootout finish was entertaining, but the entire game was international hockey at its most compelling — and the third period was a thriller.

Pavelski scored the tiebreaking goal for the Americans on a power play with 10:33 to play, but Datsyuk tied it with 7:16 left during a Russian power play, spurring Putin out of his seat to cheer.

After review, the officials waved off Fedor Tyutin’s apparent go-ahead goal because the net was loose, incensing the Russian crowd. Quick claimed he didn’t even realize the net had come unmoored several seconds earlier.

“So it’s just, I guess, a lucky break,” Quick said. “You need to catch some breaks to win games.”

Both teams had quality scoring chances in overtime, but Bobrovsky denied Patrick Kane on a breakaway in the most hair-raising moment.

Oshie started off the shootout with a low shot between Bobrovsky’s legs, and the next four shooters missed before Ilya Kovalchuk scored in the third round. Datsyuk and Kovalchuk scored in the fifth and sixth rounds, respectively, but Oshie tied it twice in dramatic fashion.

Datsyuk and Oshie both missed in the seventh, and Quick denied Kovalchuk again before Oshie ended it.

“It was a good game, very interesting,” Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin said. “Two, I think, best teams played, and showed OK hockey. But shootouts is lucky.”

Although the game had little impact on the medal race in Sochi, the finish woke up the echoes of a U.S.-Russia rivalry best known for the “Miracle on Ice” at Lake Placid in 1980, when a team of American college students stunned the Soviet Olympic team.

The sociopolitical impact of that game is long gone, and the nations have already met three previous times in the Olympics since NHL players joined the games in 1998. Several players on both teams are teammates in the NHL, and this result only helped determine positioning for next week’s elimination games.

But the Sochi Games are extraordinarily important to the Russian players, and the arena was packed to overflowing with fans of both nations jovially posing for photos and comparing their colorful sweaters. The Russians waved hundreds of flags, blew horns and banged drums from the first moments of warm-ups.

SOCHI SCENE:  Who is T.J. Oshie?

SOCHI, Russia — On an American men’s hockey team with plenty of stars, T.J. Oshie often gets lost in the crowd. He was one of the last players picked for the roster and never has had a 20-goal season in the NHL with the St. Louis Blues.

After he scored four shootout goals to carry the Americans to a thrilling 3-2 victory over the Russians in the Sochi Olympics on Saturday, everyone is going to want to know more about him.

FULL NAME: Timothy Leif Oshie.

BORN: Dec. 23, 1986.

GREW UP: Warroad, Minn., population 1,770.

AMATEUR CAREER: Oshie was born in Everett, Wash., but as a boy moved to Warroad in hockey-crazed Minnesota. Oshie starred at Warroad High School, a tiny powerhouse in the northwest corner of the state, right near the Canadian border. He led the Warriors to two state titles before playing three years in college at North Dakota.

PRO CAREER: Oshie was a first-round draft choice by the Blues in 2005. His entered the league in 2008, but his best season came in 2011-12 when he scored 19 goals and had 35 assists to help the Blues make the playoffs.

QUOTABLE: “I think you’re going to see T.J. Oshie become a household name after that display he put on. The kids’ll be out on the pond probably in Minnesota right now, throwing a 5-hole on the goalie three or four times in a row. He does a great job for us in St. Louis. That’s part of the reason he’s on this team, along with some of the other things you can’t put on the stat sheet.” — Team USA teammate and St. Louis Blues forward David Backes.

— Associated Press

Business

Expanding Opportunity: Austin Ford Chrysler breaks ground on addition, renovation

Mower County

Volunteers are needed for the statewide bumble bee survey

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Convictions June 3-10

Mower County

MnDOT asks motorists, riders to safely share the road during motorcycle convention in Rochester

Mower County

City of Austin to spray for mosquitoes

Mower County

Ikes to host steak cookout

Education

Education: Accolades

Blooming Prairie

Education: Blooming Prairie Honor Roll

Mower County

In Your Community: Duplicate Bridge

Mower County

In Your Community: Mower County Senior Center

News

Family of bystander killed during Minneapolis police pursuit files lawsuit against the city

News

Supreme Court strikes down Trump-era ban on rapid-fire rifle bump stocks, reopening political fight

Agriculture

New influenza testing rule for dairy cows going to Minnesota fairs

Mower County

Warrant issued for Jeffer Lorenzo after he fails to show for sentencing

News

Unanimous Supreme Court preserves access to widely used abortion medication

News

Audit finds Minnesota agency’s lax oversight fostered theft of $250M from federal food aid program

Adams

Partnerships celebrated during community event for Mower, Fillmore solar installations

Mower County

Mayo Ambulance training program hopes to increase EMT numbers

Business

Workforce Development one of nine organizations to receive funding to train underrepresented workers for clean energy careers

News

Minneapolis police officer killed while responding to a shooting call is remembered as a hero

Mower County

Documentary follows AHS class across 50 years

Mower County

2024 Friendship Wagon Train coming to the area

Agriculture

New funding available for continuous living cover grants

Mower County

MDH inviting well users to seminar on nitrates