Rivals in playoffs, friends off ice

Greenway's debut goal is a bittersweet moment for Roslovic

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ST. PAUL, Minn. — Jack Roslovic would have been over the moon for Jordan Greenway — on just about any other night.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/04/2018 (1697 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Jack Roslovic would have been over the moon for Jordan Greenway — on just about any other night.

But Greenway’s first NHL goal was the final dagger Sunday night as the Minnesota Wild sliced up Roslovic and the Winnipeg Jets 6-2 in Game 3 of the teams’ first-round playoff series.

The two are close pals — heck, they used to share a bedroom together when they played in the U.S. national team’s development program — and have always been huge supporters of each others’ accomplishments.

(AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King) Winnipeg Jets players Jack Roslovic, left, and Brandon Tanev skate off the ice after losing to the Minnesota Wild, Sunday.

Roslovic said he had mixed feelings initially about Greenway’s memorable tally but understands all the blood, sweat and tears his friend shed to make his NHL dream come true.

“I like that kid a lot, he’s one of my better friends in the hockey world,” Roslovic said Monday, after the Jets’ optional skate at Xcel Energy Center. “It was good to see him and play against him, especially with him starting his pro career. You always like to see your buddies doing well, so to watch it first-hand and share that moment was great.

“Obviously, you want a different scenario but I congratulated him on the ice after he scored. It’s a really special moment and to do it in a big game like that is great for him.”

Roslovic, who hails from Columbus, Ohio, and Greenway, of Canton, N.Y., first met when they earned spots on the U.S. under-17 team, based out of Plymouth, Mich., in 2013. They billeted at the same home and went to the same high school in Ann Arbor, Mich.

In 2016, they played for Team USA at the world junior championship in Toronto and Montreal.

The Jets rookie winger, who had two assists in Game 2 of the series with the Wild, said they were pretty much joined at the hip and were the butt of a lot of jokes because of their totally opposite statures.

“For sure, a really odd couple, obviously, with him being such a big guy and me being a smaller guy,” said Roslovic, who at the age of 16 wasn’t quite six feet tall, yet Greenway was already well on his way to his current height of 6-6. “I had a smaller car at the time, a Volkswagen, and he had some troubles getting in and out at times when we drove to school every day.

“People wondered how we became such good friends, and I guess opposites attracted in that sense.”

Both are 21, although Roslovic’s got seniority by 18 days.

They each had a bedroom in their billet home but quickly decided creating space for the truly important things was more important than privacy, said Roslovic.

“One thing I can share is we did like a Step Brothers kind of thing (a takeoff on the movie with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly) where he moved his bed into my room, and we designated the other room as a gaming room. The video games and the TV and the hockey stuff were in one room and we slept in the other room.”

Greenway, who had the honour of wearing the red, white and blue at the Winter Olympics in South Korea before returning to Boston University to finish up the season with the Terriers, said the usually reserved Roslovic is a real card.

“That guy is hilarious, just a really funny kid. I miss that kid so much,” said Greenway, drafted in the second round (50th overall) by the Wild in 2015 — 25 spots behind Roslovic, a Jets first-rounder. “Just being around him so much, at home and in the dressing room, was great. It’s been good to see him (this week).”

Greenway signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Minnesota at the end of March, and he collected one assist in six regular-season games.

Wild bench boss Bruce Boudreau said the big, physical winger has shown plenty of skill as well.

“I’ve had confidence in putting him out there in big spots, so that’s not going to waiver. For a player that’s used to scoring, it does a lot when you get your first one in seven games,” he said. “I’m hoping it gives him a little confidence knowing that he’s able to do it. But whether he scores or whether he doesn’t score, he does a lot of really good things without the puck.”

Greenway, meanwhile, heaped a pile of praise on his friend and current playoff foe.

“(Roslovic) has had an impact everywhere we played together. The thing about him is he is so smart and talented, he can play a bunch of roles. He was on power play on (U.S. development team) and was great. He played the penalty kill at world junior and was great. He plays top six or bottom six, whatever they want from him, so he can do it all,” Greenway said.

“Those are good characteristics for a player, especially just starting out at this level, being able to jump in and play where ever. He’s a great playmaker, a great skater and he’s going to have a good career.”

jason.bell@freepress.mb.caTwitter: @WFPJasonBell

 

Jason Bell

Jason Bell
Sports editor

Jason Bell wanted to be a lawyer when he was a kid. The movie The Paper Chase got him hooked on the idea of law school and, possibly, falling in love with someone exactly like Lindsay Wagner (before she went all bionic).

History

Updated on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 7:20 AM CDT: Fixes typo

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