The juniors are 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 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 Wednesday (Dec. 29).

The game is the third to be cancelled due to positive cases, following Switzerland-USA and Finland-Czechia.

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.

“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 tournament was being held in Edmonton and Red Deer.

Sherwood Park's Kaiden Guhle was the captain for Team Canada and joined by Fort Saskatchewan's Olen Zellweger and former Fort Saskatchewan Ranger Sebastian Cossa.

Team Canada had won both of their games, 6-3 against Team Czechia and 11-2 against Austria. Their next game was scheduled to be against Germany at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.