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Economic impact of junior hockey tournament may exceed $51 million

OTTAWA - Organizers of the World Junior Hockey Championship say the economic impact of the event is expected to total about $51 million.

Canada won its fifth gold medal in a row Monday night with a 5-1 triumph over Sweden in Ottawa.

Organizing committee executive Cyril Leeder says the final figure should be known in March once a survey of local businesses is completed.

He says money generated by the tournament will be used to support minor hockey, including the 13 Hockey Canada branches across the country.

Leeder says the main benefactor will be the host, the Ottawa District Hockey Association, to the tune of more than $700,000.

Leeder also says in a statement that 453,282 tickets were issued during the tournament, a 21 percent jump over the 2006 world juniors in Vancouver.

"We've also had 20,380 tickets issued for the gold medal game - the fourth single-game attendance record set this year," he added.

Scott Smith, chief operating officer for Hockey Canada, says the ``benchmark has been certainly set by Ottawa and it's something that we're very proud to be associated with.''

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