The Minnesota-Duluth recruit was off to a fast start before suffering a broken finger Jan. 26 against Waterloo. Osterberg, who played for the U.S. Development team last season, has nine goals and 11 assists. There’s a chance Osterberg might get back into the rotation this week.
Q: What pleased you the most about the start you got off to this season?
A: I had my confidence going into the year from last season. I felt I could make more of an impact this year. I was a little quicker than everybody and my scoring touch was better than from the previous years.
Q: Then came your injury. Tell us what happened and what you’ve done to work your way back.
A: It was a fluke accident. I blocked a shot and it shattered my finger. I tried to keep playing but I just couldn’t grip my stick. I had to get a cast on it, and I just got it off (last Tuesday). Now I’m going through therapy things to see if I can grip a stick and to strengthen my fingers.
Q: What has been the most difficult part about missing all of those games?
A: Staying in shape so I’m able to come back healthy and ready to get back into the lineup. It’s been tough watching the team’s successes and failures knowing I can’t help them at all. But it’s good to see my team win. Those last few losses have been a little salt in the wound knowing I couldn’t be out there for them.
Q: How is being a member of the Lancers different than being a part of the U.S. Development program and team?
A: It’s different because here there are kids of different age groups. Everybody was same age on Team USA and we all had to do the same work. USA was a little more strict, but Omaha is strict, as well. For USA I got to play with all the top players around the country and got to travel around everywhere. There’s really not much to compare or contrast; I loved them both. On Team USA, everyone puts in the work and we’re all pretty evenly skilled. On the Lancers, there are more players meant for a specific role.
Q: What were the biggest factors in your deciding to play college hockey at Minnesota-Duluth?
A: It’s only 2½ hours away from my hometown, so it’s a good spot to be away from family but close enough to go home or they can come up. The city of Duluth is second to none. It’s an eye-opening city; it’s great up there. The team, the staff, the organization in general is very warming. It felt like home the first time I visited.
Q: How do you see the rest of the season unfolding for the Lancers?
A: I see us making the playoffs, hunting down the teams in the lead and having a chance to win the Clark Cup like any other team. We have to put our nose to the grindstone, do all right things, play every game like it’s the last. We can go all the way if we put our hearts and minds to it.