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While You Were Sleeping: Canada eliminated, Price rejuvenated

For the first time in 14 World Junior Hockey tournaments hosted on Canadian soil, Canada will not earn a medal.

Canada’s hopes ended in heartbreaking fashion last night with a 2-1 overtime loss to Finland at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.

Finnish defenceman Toni Utunen beat Michael DiPietro in the Canadian net at 5:17 of OT for the quarterfinal win.

The winning goal came after a glorious Canadian chance was foiled when Noah Dobson’s stick shattered on an attempted one-timer at a gaping Finland net.

Canada was 46.4 seconds away from winning the elimination game when Eeli Tolvanen tied the score to force overtime when his centring attempt took a few odd bounces and ended up behind DiPietro.

And the Canadians had a glorious chance in OT when team captain Maxime Comtois took a penalty shot, but was foiled by a pad save by Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.

The Finns now face surprising Switzerland in the semifinals Friday at Rogers Arena. The Swiss shocked highly favoured Sweden 2-0 in earlier quarterfinal action Wednesday.

Canada’s loss means it won’t win a medal at the tournament for the first time since 2016, when they dropped a 6-5 decision to the Finns in the quarter-finals in Helsinki.

“I’m sad, angry. It’s not good,” DiPietro, who finished with 32 saves, said after the loss. “Sometimes you’re going to get the bounces and sometimes you’re not. For the game to end up like this, it’s disappointing. For our group, it’s a tough pill to swallow.”

 

In happier hockey news, at least for fans of the Montreal Canadiens, there’s a good chance Carey Price will be back in goal when the Habs face the Vancouver Canucks Thursday at the Bell Centre.

Price was back on the ice for team practice Wednesday in Brossard following what was described as a lower-body injury that forced him to skip a three-game road trip.

Head coach Claude Julien said he would decide on his starting goalie after seeing how Price feels on Thursday morning.

Price said he had been playing through the injury for seven weeks before tweaking it during a practice on Dec. 27. Later that day, his wife, Angela, gave birth to the couple’s second child, Millie, at the Jewish General Hospital.

“It was definitely a perfect storm and everything definitely happened to happen that way,” Price said after practice Wednesday when he was asked if there was any link between his injury time off and the birth of his daughter.

Angela Price also addressed the matter on her blog Wednesday. “I am sorry to say that he did have an injury,” she wrote. “When Carey would have done everything in his power to be at the birth of our baby (even if it means missing a game) he would not have missed an entire road trip for the birth. And to boot, the Habs are a very classy organization. I can’t ever imagine them lying or putting out false information about a player.”

 

Netflix said 45 million subscriber accounts worldwide watched the Sandra Bullock thriller Bird Box during its first seven days on the service, the biggest first-week success of any movie made for the company’s nearly 12-year-old streaming service.

Netflix, which typically refuses to provide viewership numbers, made the rare disclosure in a recent tweet as movie producers, writers, actors and investors continue to size up a company that has already reshaped the way the world watches video.

The first-week audience means nearly one-third of Netflix’s 137 million subscribers watched the movie from Dec. 21 through Dec. 27 — a holiday-season stretch when many people aren’t working and have more free time. Had 45 million people actually gone to a theatre in the U.S. to watch Bird Box, it would have translated to about $400 million in box-office revenue, based on average ticket prices.

But people were watching the movie on a service for which they already had paid and had the luxury of doing so without leaving their homes. That makes watching Bird Box more comparable to watching a television program, Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said.

By that yardstick, the viewership for Bird Box is less impressive. For instance, the Super Bowl typically attracts 100 million to 110 million viewers in the U.S. alone. The annual telecast of the Academy Awards has drawn a U.S. audience of 26 million to 40 million in recent years. And those totals are for a single day, not a week.

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