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World Junior Hockey Championships cancelled

World Juniors cancelled

UPDATE 1:40 p.m.

The IIHF has confirmed the remainder of the World Junior Championships have been cancelled.

In a statement, the organization said the move was made on the recommendations of the COVID-19 Medical Group and the IIHF Medical Committee.

“Together with the teams, we came into this event with full confidence in the COVID-19 protocols put in place by the IIHF, the LOC, Alberta Health, Alberta Health Services and the Public Health Agency of Canada,” said IIHF President Luc Tardif.

“The ongoing spread of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant forced us to readjust our protocols almost immediately upon arrival to attempt to stay ahead of any potential spread. This included daily testing and the team quarantine requirement when positive cases were confirmed.”

The decision comes following a positive case on a player on the Russian national team, which would have necessitated a forfeit of the Russia-Slovakia game scheduled for today. The game is the third to be cancelled due to positive cases, following Switzerland-USA and Finland-Czechia.

IIHF 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."

“We owed it to the participating teams to do our best to create the conditions necessary for this event to work,” said Tardif. “Unfortunately, this was not enough. We now have to take some time and focus on getting all players and team staff back home safely.”

ORIGINAL 12:40 p.m.

The remainder of the IIHF World Junior Championships are being cancelled, according to reports.

Hockey reporter Chris Peters broke the news on Twitter Wednesday, which was then confirmed by TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

Three games have already been cancelled in the past two days because of positive COVID tests, which forces teams into 24-hour quarantine.

USA forfeited a game against Switzerland, Czechia forfeited to Finland and Russia announced it was going to forfeit its game scheduled for later today against Slovakia.

The tournament is being held in Edmonton and Red Deer.

The IIHF already has already cancelled all events scheduled for next month due to coronavirus concerns.

More to come…

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