Oshie executes Russia at SO

Oshie executes Russia at SO

15 Feb 2014 | Davide Tuniz

After a tense game, cold-shoulder Oshie chills Russia


The classic of ice hockey Russia (including Soviet Union) and USA not happened in the history of Winter Olympics just four times in 22 editions: two teams didn’t cross the sticks just in 1984, 1992,1998 and 2010. Despite being just a preliminary group game, this can’t be a normal game: the beautiful Bolshoy arena sold out mantled by Russian flags with a few patches of stars and stripes and the presence of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in the stands prove that for Russians this is a “must-win” challenge. Russia on the ice with a new style shirt, very patriotic, with the arms of two dragons in the chest. Quick and Bobrovsky, as announced, in the goals. Game, as expected, begins very speedy and physical, with tough charges to intimidate opponents from both side. Columbus goalie gives an heartbreak for Russian fans when plays very jaunty a puck on a Backes attack. Radulov is the most active in the first part, threatening  Quick’s goals with insightful moves and speed entrances in Russian defense. Quick deflects a shot by Datsyuk after a beautiful action by Russian captain. As in game against Slovenia, Russia uses more the crystal talent of its superstar then a choral scheme, as the move of Tereshenko for the final shot by Popov deflected by Quick shows. US suffers the pressure in the central part of the first period, but has perhaps the best chance of the first part with few seconds left, when Bobrovsky made a difficult save on a bomb-shot by Kane. US played first period mainly with three lines, while Russia had an equal icetime  distributed between the lines. Russians opens second period surviving to a power play and Bobrovski blocked a dangerous shot by Shattenkirk. Russia earns a power play after five minutes – out Pacioretty – during which Ovechkin hit the bar. On the other side Van Riemsdyk doesn’t use at best a good assist by Kessel shooting on Bobrovsky. At 29.15 Russia opens the score with captain Pavel Datsyuk receiving a smart pass by Radulov and beating Quick getting in a soft US defense. Bolshoy Arena explodes and Ovechkin has two consecutive chances to double the score but Quick rebounds both. Backes, coming out from penalty box, barely misses the net deflecting a shot from long range at 36. US build the draw during a power play with Cam Fowler get in the net (with the skate?) a shot by Van Riemsdyk, sealing a period of pressure that have produced a couple of chances with same Van Riemsdyk. Period closes with a penalty for team US, following by another at the begin of third, both not used by Russia, confirming team has one of the worst power play efficiency of the tournament. US instead takes advantage of superiority and at 49:27 with Radulov in the sin-bin, takes the lead: Joe Pavelski scores on Kane assist, finding an unprepared Russian defense.

Joe Pavelski goal

Pavelski again could ice the game but his initiative is frustrated by a beautiful Bobrovsky save. It need the heart of the captain to restore the draw: Pavel Datsyuk literally invents the 2-2 goal with a precise shot in the Quick’s corner using the “dirty work” by Radulov stationing in the front f the cage to avoid the view. The bear is awake: Russia puts pression on opponent and Markov has a beautiful goal disallowed because the goal was moved.  Ovechkin complained a lot in post-game interview about this episode: "I don't know what happened there but it was definitely a goal. Nobody on Russia's team touched the net but the goalie touched the net so that the net moved off its mooring. The referee had to see it. He should have given Quick a two-minute penalty he said. Russia takes then a dangerous penalty  at the end of period so regular time finishes with US threatening Bobrovski cage. After two minutes in the overtime Kane has a gigantic chance in a one-to-one with Bobrovski but Russian goalie hypnotizes him and save his team. One minute later Ovechkin could became the hero but Quick blocks his central shot. Kane again has a chance before the shoot-outs but Russian squeezes him between the giant defenders.

TJ Oshie decisive goal

US starts SO ballet with TJ Oshie, he scores, Malkin misses the net, Van Riemsdyk has his shot blocked by Bobrovski, Quick deflects Datsyuk try, Pavelski and Bobrovski deflects, Kovalchuck scores the last chance for the delirium of fans, but misses the second shot. Oshie this time doesn’t score, Datsyuk, who else, scores the Russian advantage, but Oshie again silenced the Arena that explodes again when Kovalchuk scores his try. Oshie again postpones the celebration. Datsyuk misses the net; Oshie – again – but this time Bobrovski says niet! Kovalchuk misses again while the executioner Oshie closes the question with a beautiful goal. Great game at Bolshoy, both team has chances to win and a never-ending series of shot-out proved US and Russia are among the top favorite for gold medal

After the game T.J. Oshie was obviously the most wanted: "My hands are a little tingling, my feet are tingling. It was pretty nerve-racking out there. We knew it would take 65 minutes and then some to win. I did feel pressure a little bit, but then the puck hits your stick and you start skating. It's just you and the goalie. I was fortunate enough to keep Bobrovsky guessing and Jonathan (Quick)  did his great job."

Questioned on when he knew he would be the constant shooter: "I kept looking back seeing if anyone else was going to go. I told some of the boys on the last couple 'I'm running out of moves here'. So it was a little nerve-wracking, but I got through it." Oshie said. His teammate Ryan McDonagh admits that: "I've never seen anything quite like that. I never knew he had that in his repertoire, all those moves. He was put there, and he came through on a big stage, so it was great to see."

Sergei Bobrovsky played a great game in the net for Russia but takes 4 goals in the SO from Oshie:  "Of course it's disappointing when the same person scores four goals on you. But what can you do? Today he won, tomorrow will be a new day."

Defender Fyodor Tyutin is positive despite the loss: "The match was very good. We are a very good team, we tore them up, but there was a little bit missing. There's nothing scary about that. We need to go forward", even more optimistic Ilya Kovalchuck: We played good and showed our character by equalising the game at the end and now we will be getting ready for the future."Everything is OK, it’s only a preliminary game, everything will be decided in the semifinal and the final. Nothing terrible has happened.

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