Price turns aside Russians, critics

TERRY KOSHAN

, Last Updated: 8:25 AM ET

LEKSAND, Sweden -- Carey Price remembered the feeling of being cut last winter at the selection camp for Canada's national junior team.

With that in mind, he went out and cut down his critics at this year's tournament.

"People have been doubting the goalie for the last three years on this team (and all won gold)," Price said yesterday after backstopping Canada to a 4-2 gold-medal win over the Russians. "You hear it through the grapevine.

"There's always going to be someone."

Price, who should be tending the nets for the Montreal Canadiens in the coming years, was asked to compare the feeling of winning gold to that of being released. He followed Jeff Glass in 2005 and Justin Pogge last winter in providing top-notch goaltending for Canada.

"It's like different sides of the Earth," said Price, the tournament MVP and the IIHF directorate's choice as top goalie. "It was tough sitting on that bus last year knowing you were going home."

Price stopped Anton Krysanov on a breakaway when Canada had a 5-on-3 powerplay.

"Oh my goodness," coach Craig Hartsburg said. "As soon as (the play) came out of their end, I thought, 'This is not going to happen.'

"The guy (Price) who was our most important player the whole tournament came through for us."

FIVES ARE WILD:

Five Canadians can return for the 2008 world juniors: Leland Irving, Karl Alzner, Jonathan Toews, Sam Gagner and Brad Marchand. Five NHL players were eligible but did not play for Canada: Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal, Guillaume Latendresse, Gilbert Brule and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

PLEASED AS PUNCH:

Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson was beaming like a proud father after Canada won its third gold in a row and first in Europe in 10 years. "I can't say enough about how the team played," Nicholson said.

"It would be tough not to have (Craig Hartsburg) back as coach next year. I won't ask him here though."

QUICK SHIFTS:

Attendance was not great, with just 3,635 at Ejendals Arena to watch Sweden lose to the U.S. 2-1 in the bronze-medal game ... American defenceman Jack Johnson shot down rumours he soon will join the Los Angeles Kings, saying he will finish the season at the University of Michigan.


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