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Canada-Russia got gold-medal ratings

How big was the Canada-Russia game north of the border? It earned the highest audience ever for TSN, Canada's equivalent of ESPN. A record audience of 6.88 million watched on TSN and French counterpart RDS, and the audience peaked at 9.3 million during the third period of Russia's 5-3 win. 

The audience of 6.23 million TSN smashed the previous record of 5.4 million set by last year's Canada-USA final in Saskatoon. Amazing numbers to see Canada's grand collapse.

In case you missed it, here's a repeat broadcast of our audio slideshow wrapping up the gold-medal game:

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

A word of thanks

There's been plenty of things pro and con written and said about Buffalo during the tournament, as Gene Warner wrote about in today's paper. But the words of IIHF blogger Szymon Szemberg certainly resonate with us.

Go to this link to read Szemberg's full entry that Warner discussed (be sure to scroll down to the item headlined, "Buffalo deserves better"). Szemberg really gives it up to The News and we truly appreciate his words. The process of covering this tournament under the direction of Sports Editor Steve Jones was several months in the making and changes by the day. It's the kind of resources we've used only for events like NCAA basketball tournaments, the 1999 Stanley Cup finals or the 1993 World University Games.

So far, so good on our end. But, like the teams feel, there's a lot of hockey to be played. Keep reading. Keep logging on to the Web site and blog. The good stuff is just facing off today.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington)

Video: World Juniors Come to Buffalo

The top young hockey players in the world come to Buffalo to compete in the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship, which begins Dec. 26. Miguel Rodriguez and Mike Harrington break down the field of 10.

Canada-Sweden pregame notes

TORONTO -- We're in the house at Air Canada Centre for tonight's Canada-Sweden exhibition, which begins at 7:30. We'll make a new post on this blog with some game thoughts.

Sweden's equipment, delayed in Europe by the big snowstorm on the other side of the Atlantic, arrived at the ACC just after 5:30 so the Swedes will have their own gear tonight. Hockey Canada had arranged an account for them at a local sporting goods store so tonight's game could go on.

Mark Visentin of the OHL's Niagara Ice Dogs was in goal for Canada's 8-0 shutout of Switzerland Monday night in Oshawa. Olivier Roy of Acadie-Bathurst of the Quebec League will get the call tonight. The No. 1 spot is surely still up for grabs for Canada. Will be fun to see Sabres prospects Zack Kassian and Marcus Foligno on the same line with center Sean Couturier, tabbed by many as the No. 1 pick in the draft.

Meanwhile, Team USA's final roster will be announced Wednesday morning at 9:10 on USA Hockey's Facebook page.  So the verdict will soon be in for Niagara Falls native Adam Clendening.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

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