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Olympic Standout Spent Time With Sioux Falls Stampede

February 17, 2014, 5:38 PM by Leland Steva

Olympic Standout Spent Time With Sioux Falls Stampede

A hockey player with Sioux Falls ties is making international headlines at the Olympic Games.

TJ Oshie is shining on the world's largest stage, but the hockey standout spent part of his career on a smaller stage with the Sioux Falls Stampede.

Oshie skated into the national spotlight after an impressive showing against Russia on Saturday. The University of North Dakota Alum scored four out of six times during the shootout, including the game-winner.

Oshie played just 11 games for the Sioux Falls Stampede, scoring three goals and two assists, before leaving to play college hockey in North Dakota. Even though his time with the team was short, Stampede play-by-play announcer Jim Olander recognized that he was a player with a lot of potential.

"The time that he was here, he was an impact player and certainly helped our team.  And you could tell there was something special about him. He wasn't your average high school player by any means," Olander said.

Oshie lived up to that potential in Sochi, but he deflected the praise after the game. When asked about being an American hero, Oshie said quote, "The American heroes are wearing camo; that's not me."

"He's a very humble person, and that's how he was when he was here. He was highly touted; he was one of the best players in Minnesota State High School Hockey, but you wouldn't have known that from him coming in.  He didn't act that way," Olander said.

Olander hopes Oshie's success will get more people watching the next generation of Olympic stars here at home.

"Hopefully it gets people a little more excited about hockey, wanting to come out to a game and maybe really appreciate what the USHL is about," Olander said.

Oshie isn't the only former Stampede player in Sochi. Thomas Vanek and Andreas Nodl both play for team Austria.

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