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T.J. Oshie scores emotional hat trick in first game since father's death

·Hockey writer
·3 min read
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There was some Disney magic happening Wednesday night during the game between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals.

Away from the violence, Capitals winger T.J. Oshie scored an incredibly special and emotional hat trick.

In his first game since losing his father Tim — who was referred to by everyone as “Coach” — to Alzheimer’s disease, Oshie scored three of Washington’s four goals in the 4-2 win. After his third goal, a game-clinching empty-netter, his teammates embraced him on the bench and Oshie broke down in tears.

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"Pretty spectacular," Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said. "To go through what he went through and to want to be back here, get with his teammates and play and to play a game for 'Coach,' and the game that he played, outstanding. It says a lot about him and what he means to this team."

His first two goals of the night weren’t easy tap-ins either. Scored in typical Oshie fashion, these mark his 19th and 20th goals of his season. He has now hit the 20-goal mark in six seasons.

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Luckily for Oshie and his father, they were able to share a special moment during the Capitals’ post-game championship celebration on the ice in 2018.

"For my Dad, who has Alzheimer's. His memory's slipping a little these days," Oshie said after the Cup-winning game. "I think this is one memory that I don't think he's going to forget."

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Even just last season, when Tim's health prevented him from making the Capitals' annual fathers trip, his absence was recognized by Oshie’s teammates.

"In a short amount of time he's become a pillar for our team, and we're all rooting for them and their family with what he's going through," Capitals defenseman John Carlson said last season. "To me, I know how much it means to [T.J.] and just how much his dad loves hockey, loves being around the guys and loves experiences, whether it's the fathers trip or what have you."

Oshie has 21 goals and 42 points through 51 games this season and the Capitals are just weeks away from making their seventh consecutive postseason appearance.

T.J. Oshie is mobbed by teammates after scoring his third goal of the game against the Rangers. (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)
T.J. Oshie is mobbed by teammates after scoring his third goal of the game against the Rangers. (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

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