IIHF cancels 2022 World Juniors

Team Canada against Czechia at the 2022 World Juniors in Edmonton, Alberta. December 26, 2021. (Image via IIHF.com)

The rest of the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championship in Edmonton and Red Deer has been cancelled due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

Late Wednesday afternoon, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) confirmed the cancellation. The decision comes after more players have tested positive for COVID-19.

IIHF officials said they felt confident at the start of the event after putting strict health and safety protocols in place including quarantining upon arrival and daily testing which is when the infections were confirmed. As a result, of the positive infections, council members say the “sportive integrity” of the event has been compromised and ultimately, the event had to be cancelled.

“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. “Unfortunately, this was not enough. We now have to take some time and focus on getting all players and team staff back home safely.”

Team Canada was scheduled to play its third preliminary-round game against Germany on Wednesday night.

“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 January 5 due to the challenges of the current COVID-19 landscape,” read a statement from Hockey Canada. “Although we know this is the right decision, we sympathize with all participants who have earned the opportunity to represent their countries on the world stage and that will not be able to realize that dream in its entirety.”