T.J. Oshie scored the shootout winner as the United States defeated Russia 3-2 in a nail-biting Sochi Olympic hockey clash on Saturday in the latest chapter of the two giants' historic rivalry.
Oshie took six of eight shots for the Americans in the shootout, firing it between the legs of Russian netminder Sergei Bobrovski on the final one to clinch the victory in the preliminary round game in dramatic fashion.
Oshie's winner came moments after Russian forward Ilya Kovalchuk had failed to score on what turned out to be his last shootout attempt.
"I guess every kid guy growing up wants to do the shootout and go out and mess around and practise it so tonight it paid off," Oshie said.
In the other preliminary round games on Saturday, Slovenia upset Slovakia 3-1, Switzerland shutout the Czechs 1-0 and Sweden defeated Latvia 5-3.
Oshie scored on four of his six shootout shots as he went head to head with Russians Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk, who took seven of their eight shootout tries between them.
"I think you are going to see T.J. Oshie become a household name after that display he put on," said USA forward David Backes.
"The kids will be out on the pond in Minnesota right now throwing it five hole (between the goaltender's legs)."
Oshie is already a hit at the White House. US President Barack Obama tweeted about the American victory, "Congrats to T.J. Oshie and the U.S. men's hockey team on a huge win! Never stop believing in miracles #GoTeamUSA."
Russian President Vladimir Putin was in the building, sitting in the second level next to International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.
Russia beat the USA 5-4 the last time the teams played, at the Turin 2006 Games.
Slovenia won their first ever ice hockey match at an Olympics, upsetting Slovakia 3-1 with a superb performance from NHL star Anze Kopitar.
Kopitar played more than 25 minutes, scoring the third goal for Slovenia, who are competing in their initial Winter Olympics.
Jimmie Ericsson scored the eventual game winner as Sweden won their third straight contest by rallying to beat Latvia 5-3.
Reigning world champions Sweden finished atop Group C in the preliminary round with six points while Switzerland is second with six points.
Simon Bodenmann scored a goal and Jonas Hiller made 26 saves for the shutout as Switzerland blanked the Czechs 1-0.