U.S. waves goodbye to a medal

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- Jack Johnson had one last gesture for the fans at GM Place, and to his credit, it involved more fingers than just his middle one.

The U.S. defenceman, booed mightily after he elbowed Canada's Steve Downie last Saturday, stood on the ice during a stoppage and waved to the crowd with 17 seconds left in the bronze-medal game yesterday. The crowds at both the Pacific Coliseum and GM Place were vociferous in their booing of the Americans during the tournament.

"The fans had some fun with me, and I had some fun with them," Johnson, a Carolina Hurricanes prospect, said. "I was just saying goodbye, it was my last chance to be on the ice. I don't take any (of the booing) to heart and I don't lose any sleep over it."

The fall of the U.S. was completed yesterday with a 4-2 loss to Finland.

Finnish goalie and Maple Leafs prospect Tuukka Rask made 37 saves in the win. Jesse Joensuu, with two, Lauri Tukonen and Jari Sailio scored for Finland.

Bobby Ryan, of the Owen Sound Attack, and Johnson scored for the U.S.

KESSEL NO LOCK

Maybe Phil Kessel shouldn't have taken up his country's offer to play for its junior team.

NHL scouts don't use the world junior as a final decision-maker for the draft, but Kessel did not do much to impress scouts here.

In fact, his teammate, defenceman Erik Johnson, may have jumped ahead of Kessel in many scouts' minds. Kessel has been touted as the probable No. 1 pick for the 2006 entry draft, but by no means is he a solid lock as Sidney Crosby was last year. Not all are sold on Kessel.

"Kessel is a one-dimensional talent," one NHL scout said. "No question, you could take Johnson ahead of him. But Jordan Staal (of the Peterborough Petes) is better than any of them. Someone will make a mistake and take Kessel first."

Kessel had one goal and 10 assists in seven games.

QUINN IN THE HOUSE

Leafs coach and Olympic coach Pat Quinn was at the Canada-Russia final last night. He received a large ovation when he was shown on he scoreboard during the second period. Quinn flew in from Calgary and was to return there last night. The Leafs play the Flames tonight.


Videos

Photos