Posted: Feb 28, 8:11p ET | Updated: Mar 1, 12:11p ET

Miller claims MVP, despite U.S. OT loss

VANCOUVER (AP) -- U.S. goaltender Ryan Miller was voted the most valuable player of the Vancouver Olympics hockey tournament despite his team's 3-2 overtime loss to Canada in Sunday's gold-medal match.

The best of Ryan Miller's 36 saves in the gold-medal game.

Only a shot from Canada's Sidney Crosby 7 minutes, 40 seconds into overtime kept Miller from carrying the United States to a perfect mark and the top spot on the Olympic podium.

Miller made 36 saves in an arena cheering hard against him and waiting for him to fail against the Canadians.

"I'm just very frustrated," Miller said. "We got ourselves in a position to win from two goals down. Sudden death kind of stings, especially in this situation. I was happy, proud, the way I handled myself these two weeks."

When Crosby's winning shot found the back of the net, Miller dropped to a knee and then fell forward. He stayed down in the prone position for several moments until it was time to head to the bench.

Miller graciously accepted the silver medal, but the disappointment was still etched on his face.

"He was the main reason we were in the gold medal game and why we got it to overtime," forward Ryan Callahan said.

Even with the early 2-0 deficit -- the first for the Americans' in this stunning Olympic run -- Miller proved to be as brilliant as he had been throughout the tournament.

Jonathan Toews beat him off a rebound with 7:10 left in the first period, and Corey Perry slammed in a loose puck after U.S. defenseman Ryan Whitney failed to clear the area in front of Miller.

A two-goal hole was already deep for the Americans. Three would have been almost too monumental to overcome.

Miller never let it get that far. He watched from the bench after being pulled for an extra attacker and saw Zach Parise net the goal that made it 2-2 with 24.4 seconds that forced a most improbable overtime.

Canada was in control throughout overtime, keeping the puck in the U.S. zone and the pressure squarely on the young Americans. Their speed, the Americans' greatest strength, seem to slow as the game wore on under the constant hitting from the much-bigger Canadians.

The Americans had won every game -- even an earlier matchup with heavily favored Canada -- until Sunday.

A couple of costly mistakes in front of Miller by his typically sure-handed defensemen led to shots that gave the rock-solid goalie little chance to stop.

It was what happened before those pucks found their way in that told the true story.

When an attempt on a long pass failed to hit its mark and sailed the length of the ice, the United States was guilty of icing. After the ensuing faceoff deep in the U.S. zone, Brian Rafalski had control of the puck but it was stripped when Canada's Mike Richards lifted his stick.

Richards' drive was stopped by Miller. The rebound wasn't. Toews got to the loose puck and slammed it in to give the Americans their first deficit in six games this tournament. Whitney's bobble led to the other goal.

Miller stopped 139 of 147 shots in parts of six games. The only time he earned a rest was in the third period of the Americans' 6-1 win over Finland in the semifinals.

"This was a classic hockey game, just as our game was a week ago," U.S. coach Ron Wilson said. "Ryan gave us a chance to win and unfortunately we didn't."

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