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Leafs coach Wilson and forward Kessel return to Toronto after U.S. Olympic loss

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TORONTO - Ron Wilson will not put polish on a silver medal.

In his first day back to work with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday, the head coach of the U.S. Olympic men's hockey team said he refuses to put a positive spin on a gold medal loss to Canada. The game, which the Canadians won 3-2 in overtime Sunday, reached more American television viewers than any hockey game in 30 years.

"In our business, it's about winning the whole thing and not putting it in perspective," Wilson said. "You don't think in terms of anything but winning the whole thing.

"In five years, no one's going to give a damn. It's who won. I mean, we know that."

NBC has announced it drew an average viewership of 27.6 million for the title game. The Canadian broadcast consortium has said the contest generated an average audience of 16.6 million in Canada, making it the most-watched television event in the country's history.

Sidney Crosby beat U.S. goaltender Ryan Miller midway through the overtime period to secure the win for Canada. Many critics have called it the best men's hockey game ever played at the Olympics.

"We weren't dominated by Canada, by any stretch of the imagination," Wilson said. "You go into overtime, anything can happen.

"The puck hits the referee's?? skate - no one's mentioned that - and that ended up causing kind of a kerfuffle that happened in the corner. And they took advantage of it."

Wilson, who grew slightly agitated in a media conference with reporters Tuesday at the Air Canada Centre, also fired a salvo at Canadian hockey fans.

"The biggest surprise to me was how everybody threw Marty Brodeur - the greatest goalie in the history of the game - under the bus and backed over him," Wilson said. "This is the greatest goalie who ever played, and it kind of tarnished his career on one night."

Roberto Luongo was named Canada's starting goaltender after Brodeur recorded a loss to the U.S. in the preliminary round of the tournament.

Wilson and the Leafs returned to work Tuesday with the Carolina Hurricanes in town.

"It's not disappointing to come back to the Leafs," Wilson said. "We're probably all still disappointed that we didn't reach the goal we reach the goal we set out for - which is a gold medal - after coming so close. That's going to sting for a while."

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