2022 World Junior Championship set to be cancelled

Herald file photo

The remainder of the 2022 World Junior Championship from Edmonton and Red Deer is being cancelled.

Following a recommendation by the tournament COVID-19 Medical Group and the IIHF Medical Committee, the IIHF Council has decided that, due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship will be cancelled to ensure the health and safety of all participants. The announcement was made on Wednesday afternoon.

Confirmation came from Bob McKenzie of TSN, and a news release from the IIHF website.

“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.”

Prior to the cancellation, three games were forfeited due to COVID-19 cases due to positive tests.

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

“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.”

Canada played two games in the tournament, beating Czechia 6-3 in their first contest on Sunday, and an 11-2 win over Austria on Tuesday.