MONTREAL - Although forward Troy Terry of the U.S. national junior team was named after former All-Pro Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, he'll be remembered as the kid who had something in common with Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie.
Terry (Anaheim Ducks), who has primarily served as a fourth-line grinder at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, brought back memories of Toews and Oshie when he scored three shootout goals on three attempts to give the U.S. a 4-3 win against Russia in the semifinals at Bell Centre on Wednesday.
Terry scored in the fourth, sixth and seventh rounds of the shootout against goaltender Ilya Samsonov (Washington Capitals).
His performance came exactly 10 years after Toews went 3-for-3 against U.S. goalie Jeff Frazee in a semifinal victory at the 2007 WJC. Oshie went 4-for-6 against Russia goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (Columbus Blue Jackets) in the preliminary round at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
"Oshie wouldn't have done that unless the U.S. coach in the Olympics (Dan Bylsma) kept putting him out there, so that kind of paved the way for a coach saying you could do that, and the one thing about Troy Terry is he just has ice in his veins," U.S. coach Bob Motzko said. "His pulse just doesn't change. So we had five shooters and once he scored, we tried him again and again."
The victory enabled the U.S. to advance to the gold medal game for the fifth time in its history. The United States will play Canada at Bell Centre on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NHLN, TSN).
The stage was set for Terry's heroics only after Jeremy Bracco (Toronto Maple Leafs) scored on his attempt against Samsanov and U.S. goalie Tyler Parsons (Calgary Flames) stopped WJC goal-scoring leader Karill Kaprisov (Minnesota Wild) in the fifth round.
"I was joking with Jeremy Bracco after the game, telling him that his will be the forgotten shot even though it was his goal that kept us in it before Terry took over," USA Hockey general manager Jim Johannson told Sirius/XM NHL Network.
Terry scored two more times on shots through the five-hole to give the U.S. the win. He showed plenty of poise on the clincher, skating in and deking several times before sliding a backhand shot between Samsonov's legs.
Video: Terry scores game-winning shootout goal for Team USA
"I blacked out, I think. I got lucky," Terry said after the game. "Lucky enough, [the five hole] opened up. It seemed like forever there while I was waiting for him to slide over but it worked out."
Terry's effort certainly didn't go unnoticed.
The University of Denver sophomore, who has nine goals, 17 points and a plus-11 rating in 18 games this season, didn't surprise any of his teammates with his ability in the shootout.
"I think he shocked a lot of people, but he didn't shock anyone on that bench," U.S. captain Luke Kunin (Minnesota Wild) said. "I've played with him for so long. I know what he's capable of and it didn't surprise me at all but he was huge. I'm glad he's getting the recognition for how good he is."