Nightly News   |  February 15, 2014

U.S. Defeats Rival Russia on the Ice

Team U.S.A.’s a nail-biting win over bitter rival Russia in a preliminary hockey match makes news and even earned a tweet from President Obama.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> good evening, we begin tonight with the super power showdown on the olympic hockey ice here today that reverberated the hockey passion from sochi to siberia. the game, just a preliminary mat match, led the russian evening news and had the attention of both countries' presidents, vladimir putin who watched from inside the arena, and president obama who watched from california, who later tweeted his congratulations to t.j. oshie who made the winning shot, and others saying never stop believing in miracles, a subtle reference to another famous hockey game. nbc's chris jansing has more.

>> reporter: well, it is true that neither team was facing elimination tonight, but the matchup had the feeling of an olympic gold final. national pride was on the line. a monumental chapter in a decades-old rivalry had bars from hoboken, to austin to columbus, opening before breakfast , because in russia, fans were anxious for a rematch 34 years after the little game deemed the miracle on ice.

>> we have been waiting since 1980 for this day.

>> reporter: call it epic, call it thrilling, even an inconstant classic. could you sense the americans who are there though?

>> oh, yeah, absolutely, you could hear them.

>> reporter: the raucus heavily russian crowd, including vladimir putin inside and russian viewing parties outside. faces telling the tale of 65 minutes of heart-pounding intensity. a 2-2 tie, overtime, and then it went to a sudden death shootout. what emotions are going through you at that moment?

>> it is a roller coaster in the shootout because obviously every shot that goes by the game can change.

>> reporter: the pressure on both sides, massive. russia judging the success of these games on winning hockey gold and so much riding on the stick of t.j. oshie . have you ever felt more pressure than in those moments?

>> i don't know, it is hard, once the puck hits your stick, everything kind of goes away. but leading up to it, i was shaking a little bit.

>> reporter: on the 14th shot, oshie put the game away. a tale of stunned disappointment for the russians. but for americans? madness.

>> usa! usa!

>> it 's wonderful .

>> out of control!

>> reporter: and for team usa , a hero is made.

>> i love you, t.j.

>> reporter: oh, sorry, kid, the toast of the sports world is spoken for. oshie said after the game he texted his girlfriend that he would be at the office a little while longer. now, there is other olympic news tonight. before the 1500 meter speed skating final team usa ditched their high tech suits after a disappointing series of races, didn't help, america finished out of the medals, but oh, those hockey players.

>> i'm just thinking what happens if the two teams play for the gold medal .