T.J. Oshie, Ojibwe, an overnight American hero
SOCHI, RUSSIA — Timothy Leif “T.J.” Oshie, Ojibwe from Warroad, Minnesota, captured the hearts of Americans after he scored four goals in an eight-round shootout to move the U.S. men’s hockey team atop Group A in the 2014 Olympic hockey tournament in Sochi, Russia on Saturday.
“It was a little nerve-racking. I had to keep thinking back of what move I could do this time,” commented a jubilant Oshie in a post-game interview. “I just tried to keep him (the goalie) guessing.”
Oshie’s Ojibwe name is Keeway Gaaboo, meaning “Coming Home.” He was given the name at a ceremony in 2002 by a spiritual elder named Joseph Big George from the Buffalo Reserve in Canada, prior to his family moving to Warroad from Washington state while T.J. was still in high school.
Born in Everett, Washington, he moved to Warroad and led the Warroad High School hockey team to two state titles. Named after his father Timothy, T.J. is short for Timothy Junior.
Oshie is professional ice hockey player with the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League, where he plays center. He was selected by the Blues in the first-round draft in 2005. By 2008, he entered the NHL. His best season was in 2011-2102 when he scored 19 goals and 35 assists.
T.J. Oshie received Tweet from President Obama
While there was no medal at stake in the early round of the hockey play, the game between the United States and Russia was comparable to the high intensity of a game seven of a Stanley Cup final game according to hockey analysts.
The win was the first time the Russia hockey team was beat inside of Russia. The win prompted President Barack Obama to tweet Oshie:
“Congrats to T.J. Oshie and the U.S. men’s hockey team on a huge win! Never stop believing in miracles.”