The University of North Dakota hockey coaching staff went out to dinner with T.J. Oshie and Taylor Chorney on Wednesday night. Both the Capitals and UND were in the Denver area for games this week. The following is an excerpt from the original story reported by the Grand Forks Herald.
Oshie and Chorney recalled the pleasant memories of playing in this town, especially the 2007 NCAA West Regional, where they beat Michigan and Minnesota on back-to-back days to go to the Frozen Four. Oshie had a hat trick in the win over Michigan.
And the NHLers also wished the coaching staff the same good fortune for this weekend’s series against the top-ranked Pioneers, which begins at 8:05 tonight.
“It’s really nice to see them and hear how the team is doing,” said Chorney, who turned pro in 2008. “It brings back a lot of memories from when you were playing there.”
Oshie and Chorney have stayed close with the program throughout the years.
Last season, they rented a car and drove from Winnipeg to Grand Forks on their day off to watch a UND practice. On another occasion, Oshie gave the team a pregame speech.
“It’s really, really, really special,” Berry said. “That tells you how special North Dakota was to them.”
Oshie and Chorney, who came in to UND as freshmen together, have now played on two NHL teams together—the St. Louis Blues and the Capitals. Six guys in that rookie class have played in the NHL.
“You stick together,” Chorney said. “You always have that common bond. We have a group chat going 10 years later. We’re still keeping in touch all the time with each other.”
Chorney said he was pleased to hear this year’s team is developing an identity of being hard working and tough to play against—something his teams tried to cultivate.
And while the Capitals will be back in Washington, D.C., by the time the UND-Denver series begins, Oshie and Chorney said they hope to hear good results.
“It’s great to connect with those guys,” UND associate coach Dane Jackson said. “Those guys are great players in our past and they are still so humble and so involved and interested in what’s going on with our group. It’s nice having them be part of our program.”
Full story from the Grand Forks Herald is here.