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Rest of world junior championship canceled over COVID-19

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Posted at 6:14 PM, Dec 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-29 19:35:15-05

The remainder of the world junior hockey championship has been canceled over fears of a COVID-19 outbreak.

The International Ice Hockey Federation made the announcement on Wednesday after a Russian national player tested positive for the virus.

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

Two games had already been forfeited because of positive coronavirus test results among U.S. and Czech players and another was imminent with Russia.

"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," Hockey Canada President Scott Smith and CEO Tom Renney said in a joint statement.

The top tournament in the world for players under age 20 had completed nine games in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta, before being called off.