IIHF cancels World Juniors Tournament due to COVID-19

Goalie Nicole Hensley, of the United States, grabs a shot during first period IIHF women's...
Goalie Nicole Hensley, of the United States, grabs a shot during first period IIHF women's world championship hockey action against Finland, in Calgary, Alberta Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021.(Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP)
Published: Dec. 29, 2021 at 5:12 PM MST
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EDMONTON, Alberta (KKTV) -The World Juniors tournament has been cancelled.

The International Ice Hockey Federation made that announcement Wednesday.

This comes after Team USA had to forfeit their game Tuesday against Switzerland due to positive COVID tests, and as more teams had to forfeit for the same reason. Three games were forfeited in just two days.

“In addition to ensuring the health and safety of participants, the Council has determined that with another forfeiture – the third forfeited game in two days – the sportive integrity of the event has been compromised, and the event must be cancelled,” IIHF said in a press release.

Players and Teams have been in Alberta since Dec. 15 and were quarantined before they were allowed to skate.

The issues with COVID started almost immediately, and the pre-tournament schedule was reduced to one game for each team. However, Switzerland and the Czech Republic did not play an exhibition due to positive tests.

Hockey Canada President Scott Smith and CEO Tom Renney shared the following statement about the cancellation:

“Hockey Canada has worked tirelessly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure it would be equipped to host world-class, international events in a safe and healthy environment. Despite our best efforts, and continually adapting and strengthening protocols, we have unfortunately fallen short of our goal of completing the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship and handing out medals on Jan. 5 due to the challenges of the current COVID-19 landscape.”

This also comes just days after the IIHF announced the Women’s U18 Tournament (equivalent to the World Junior Championship) would be cancelled in addition to all January tournaments. This is the second year in a row that has happened.

No word yet on the tournaments being rescheduled.

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