Team USA's Oshie becomes an overnight sensation

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 19, 2014 - 9:32 AM

Warroad’s T.J. Oshie might end up as the breakout star of these Winter Olympics.

T.J. Oshie was hardly a recognizable name when the Olympics began. Even die-hard hockey fans probably knew little of Oshie beyond basic details about his career. Not anymore.

As Team USA prepares to play the Czech Republic in the quarter­finals of the Olympic men’s hockey tournament Wednesday, Oshie has become one of these Games’ unexpected stars. His one-man shootout display in a thriller against Russia on Saturday brought overnight celebrity to the unassuming kid who once starred for Warroad High School.

Oshie gained more than 130,000 new Twitter followers in 24 hours. President Obama sent him a congratulatory tweet. He has made series of national media appearances, including a segment on the “Today Show.”

People now know that his real name is Timothy Leif and that he has a drop-dead gorgeous fiancée with a baby on the way. And in a spinoff of his last name, some are referring to these Games as the “Soshie” Olympics.

Oshie’s entire life has gone viral.

“I don’t mind it as long as it doesn’t get in the way of how me and my teammates play the game,” Oshie said after practice Tuesday. “It hasn’t been too tough. I’ve been a little bit busier than I expected, but that’s OK. Anything that can grow our sport a little bit is all for the better.”

OK, so some of this newfound celebrity is nuts, such as one unusual question he received Monday.

“Someone asked how I would respond to them saying that their wife would leave him in two seconds for me,” Oshie said. “It was weird. I’m not that cool.”

Oshie seems appreciative of the attention, but he has also tried to steer the conversation back to his team. He asked reporters to remember that goalie Jonathan Quick played an integral role in that shootout as well. And he gave a neat answer to someone’s suggestion that he has become an American hero.

“The real heroes are wearing camo,” he said, referring to the U.S. military.

“The sacrifices they make are on a completely different scale than what we do,” Oshie said the next day.

Shootout specialist

That response and Oshie’s humility in the face of all this new attention doesn’t surprise David Backes, the former Spring Lake Park and Minnesota State Mankato standout who is Oshie’s teammate both with Team USA and the St. Louis Blues.

“He’s a great man who’s humble,” Backes said. “He doesn’t take anything for granted, and we see a lot of that in his performance here.”

Oshie put his array of moves on display in his six shootout attempts against Russia. He scored on four, including the winner in the eighth round.

“It was unbelievable,” defenseman Cam Fowler said. “You’re not going to see something like that ever again.”

Teammates watched in awe again as Oshie worked on his slick shootout moves at the end of practice Tuesday. He was one of the last players off the ice as he kept attempting a trick shot in which he tried to flip a puck into an igloo cooler from a distance.

“It’s pretty much all luck,” he said. “It’s almost impossible.”

  • related content

  • Video: Reusse: Everybody hates us

    Tuesday February 18, 2014

    Patrick Reusse spouts off about Team USA.

  • Chart: Olympic men's hockey playoff schedule

    Tuesday February 18, 2014

    Men’s hockey playoff scheduleTuesday • Qualification roundNo. 5 Russia 4, No. 12 Norway 0No. 11 Latvia 3, No. 6 Switzerland...

  • USA forward T.J. Oshie reacts after scoring the winning goal in a shootout against Russia during overtime of a men's ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.

  • T.J. Oshie arrived at Warroad High School in 10th grade, helping the Warriors make three Class 1A state tournaments and win two titles.

  • International hockey rules state a player can keep making shootout attempts after the first three rounds, so T.J. Oshie did just that on Saturday, beating Russian goalie Sergei Bobrovsky four times in six chances.PETR DAVID JOSEKAssociated Press

  • Marvin Windows tweeted this image of U.S. Olympic hockey players Gigi Marvin and T.J. Oshie from their days as Warroad’s Frosty Festival royalty in 2005.

  • week of pucks

    Wednesday, 11 a.m.

    Men’s quarterfinals

    USA vs. Czech Republic (TV: USA)

    Thursday, 11 a.m.

    Women’s gold medal game

    USA vs. Canada (Ch. 11)

    Friday, 6 and 11 a.m.

    Men’s semifinals (NBCSN)

    Sunday, 6 a.m.

    Men’s gold medal game (Ch. 11)

    Tuesday’s action, C7

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Toronto - LP: D. Hutchison 2 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 5
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 2 FINAL
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 1
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 10 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: E. Santana 2
Boston - WP: J. Kelly 3 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: M. Gonzalez 2
Milwaukee - LP: W. Peralta 0 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 1
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Danks 10 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: N. Karns 5
Cleveland - WP: C. Kluber 7 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: A. Swarzak 2
Detroit - LP: R. Porcello 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Guthrie 5
Seattle - LP: H. Iwakuma 3 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 8
Los Angeles - WP: C. Perez 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Turner 5
Texas - WP: S. Tolleson 2 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: H. Street 1
Philadelphia - LP: M. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Oakland - WP: S. Doolittle 8
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: I. Kennedy 8
Arizona - LP: W. Miley 3 FINAL
Colorado - WP: C. Bergman 8
Cincinnati 7 Bottom 9th Inning
St. Louis 2
San Diego 22 FINAL
Buffalo 10
Dallas 34 FINAL
St. Louis 31
Washington 34 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
Houston 17 FINAL
NY Giants 30
Minnesota 9 FINAL
New Orleans 20
Tennessee 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 33
Baltimore 23 FINAL
Cleveland 21
Green Bay 7 FINAL
Detroit 19
Indianapolis 44 FINAL
Jacksonville 17
Oakland 9 FINAL
New England 16
San Francisco 14 FINAL
Arizona 23
Denver 20 FINAL
Seattle 26
Kansas City 34 FINAL
Miami 15
Pittsburgh 23 4th Qtr 11:34
Carolina 13
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Columbus 4 FINAL
Carolina 3
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Washington 1
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Columbus 4
Calgary 1 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Edmonton 0 FINAL
Calgary 1
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(12) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(9) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
(23) East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(20) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
(14) Miss State 34 FINAL
(17) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 23 FINAL
Toledo 34
(13) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
UNLV 14 FINAL
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(21) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Chivas USA 0 FINAL
Toronto FC 3
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Countdown to great deals

Bid Sept. 21-29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close