Monday, March 1, 2010

Miller Wins Olympic MVP

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Amid the celebrations that erupted as Canada won ice hockey gold on Sunday most people probably did not notice who won the media's vote as the tournament's most valuable player -- American Ryan Miller.

The U.S. goalie was on the wrong end of the overtime 3-2 final loss to Canada, his only defeat of the Games, and finished with a silver medal around his neck.

"We should be proud of what we accomplished, but everyone is a little disappointed," Miller told reporters as he headed to the locker-room at Canada Hockey Place, the pain of the loss etched on his face.

The 29-year-old Miller, who plays for the NHL's Buffalo Sabres, took the role of top goaltender in a U.S. Olympic team that went for youth in a bid to put them on the podium after a disappointing showing in Turin four years ago.

"We have a group that skates very well so you can take chances, and we're backed up by arguably the best goalie in the world," U.S. coach Ron Wilson said.

Miller was beaten in overtime by Canadian sniper Sidney Crosby with a shot the Pittsburgh Penguins forward admitted he did not know had gone in until the crowd erupted.

"I'd been aggressive all tournament, and (thought) maybe I'd try to surprise Sidney. But he got himself set up quicker than I thought. He got himself squared around to shoot quicker than I thought," Miller said.

Miller got some sympathy from Roberto Luongo, who was in goal for Canada.

"I've seen that release (by Crosby) before and it's hard to pick up," Luongo said.

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