There’s always that one team.
The second you sense they are in the arena or step onto the ice for warm-ups and look across the red line…
...All the bad blood comes rushing to the surface.
It doesn't matter how much you tell yourself “It’s just another game.”
Because it’s not.
You don’t just want to beat your most hated rival… you want to destroy them.
You want to leave them with nothing but the agonizing memory of crushing defeat that will last long after the season has ended.
T.J. Oshie joined the Washington Capitals in 2015.
At that time one of the most intense rivalries in NHL history, Capitals vs. Penguins, was about to hit the boiling point.
Unfortunately for T.J.’s Capitals, they didn’t just lose to the Pens in the divisional round of the 2016 and 2017 playoffs... They also suffered the fate of watching Pittsburgh win back-to-back Stanley Cups.
Yet, in 2018 T.J. and the Capitals got their revenge, beating the Pens 4 to 2 in the divisional final en route to capturing Washington’s first Stanley Cup!
The towns of Warroad and Roseau Minnesota are separated by 20 miles.
Warroad’s and Roseau’s Boys High School Hockey teams have played each other 178 times.
Warroad has won four high school hockey state titles.
Roseau has won seven.
Warroad has a population of 1,881 people.
Roseau is a town of 2,697.
When the two teams play each other, the attendance at the game often exceeds the population of the host town.
It’s not a stretch to say these games are the biggest events of the year in both Warroad and Roseau.
T.J Oshie led the Warroad Warriors against the Roseau Rams six times during his high school hockey career. (Despite Roseau’s sizable advantage in all times wins vs. Warroad, T.J.’s teams won every contest against the Rams.)
Given T.J’s experience playing in the NHL’s spotlight rivalry during the prime of Sidney Crosby’s and Alexander Ovechkin’s careers... a rivalry that produced three straight Stanley Cup Champs…
… And his years competing in the State of Hockey’s most historic and heated matchup, it’s not surprising one fan wanted to know which rivalry was more intense.
Fan Question: “What is a more intense rivalry, Capitals/Penguins or Warroad/Roseau?”
T.J.’s Answer: “The Warroad Vs. Roseau game my sophomore year was still the most nervous and shocked I have ever been in a game. They had to bring in extra bleachers for all the fans who showed up. Before that, I had only played in front of my family. When I came to Washington, it took a few games to get a feel for the rivalry with the Pens. But the Roseau game, it took all of two shifts before I hated those guys (on the ice of course).”
There you have it!
When it comes to hockey… rivalries don’t get any more intense than Warroad Vs. Roseau.
Two proud northern Minnesota towns that have a passion for battling each other on the ice.
So… T.J. didn’t pull any punches calling out his biggest rival.
Now it’s your turn.
Who’s your number #1 foe?
Who do you live to beat?
Share your #1 rival or favorite rivalry in the comments on this post.
And, if you’re training hard this off-season, motivated by your next opportunity to annihilate your most hated competitor,... check out the Warroad Training collection. This collection was forged to give you an edge that translates directly to the ice.