01/06/2016 20:11 EST | Updated 01/06/2017 00:12 EST

Canada-US preliminary-round game most watched at world junior championships

TORONTO — Canada's opener at the 2016 world junior hockey championship against the United States attracted the largest audience of any game in the tournament for The Sports Network.

According to preliminary overnight data, the round-robin matchup against the U.S. on Boxing Day had an average of 2.88 million Canadian viewers tune in to watch on TSN and RDS — nearly four times the amount of people that watched the gold medal game between Finland and Russia — making it the most-watched world juniors opening game ever held outside North America.

Canada played five games in total in Helsinki, Finland and had an average audience of 2.1 million viewers. It's quarter-finals defeat against the host nation was second with 2.55 million viewers while Canada-Denmark in the preliminaries had the fewest at 1.72 million.

The gold medal game saw its numbers decline without Canada being involved. Finland-Russia attracted an average audience of 729,000 viewers — well below the 7.1 million average that watched the Canadians win gold in Toronto at the 2015 tournament. 

The Canadian squad, which came sixth after bowing out of the quarter-finals against Finland, had their worst finish at the tournament since an eighth-place showing in 1998.







The Canadian Press