TWIST IN ALBERTA: The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) announced Wednesday afternoon the cancellation of the Junior World Championships.
Cases of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) have forced the cancellation of one match on Tuesday and two more on Wednesday. This was the result of two cases in the US team, one in the Czech team and the other in the Russian camp.
“Due to the spread of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, the FIFA World Junior Championships 2022 has been canceled to ensure the health and safety of the participants,” the statement from the IIHF read.
The federation adds that the “sporting integrity of the tournament was compromised” due to the three matches that were decided by compensation.
Only nine matches can be played properly, during this tournament, which was held in Edmonton and Red Deer.
Teams participating in the World Junior Championships were theoretically constrained by bubbles. They were quarantined for 48 hours upon arrival in Alberta and had to stick back and forth between the plaza and the hotel.
Press conferences were held in default, but broadcast networks were part of the bubble and so you could meet in person. For example, TSN filmed a Christmas carol clip with a few players from Team Canada, including Kaiden Guhle.
Unlike the bubble the NHL created during the 2020 playoffs, the hotels weren’t meant for the exclusive use of teams, and other customers were also accommodated there.
During the day, Wednesday, testimonies published by journalists present immediately spoke volumes about the tightness of the bubble in question. For example, Brother Chris Peters, of DailyFaceoff, said that a wedding was scheduled for Wednesday evening at the hotel where teams from the United States and Sweden are staying.
This story was brought up by Ivan Vince, coach of the Slovak national team, who criticized the organization of the tournament.
“From day one, things didn’t go as planned,” Vince said, according to comments made by Czech prescriber Roman Jedlica. Although we were restricted on our flights to the hotel and could not go out, there were strangers in the hotel from the start. The wedding was really the highlight. it’s incomprehensible. ”
And the head coach of the US national team, Nate Lyman, did not deliver the organizers either. On Twitter, he offered his support, and responded “100%” to a colleague who reported critical comments from Finland coach Antti Penanen. The latter, according to the translation of journalist Taylor Haas, said the tournament was “too bad”.
The US hockey team declined requests for interviews with the national junior national team captains.
Brother Kevin McGrane from toronto star He was also on site in Edmonton, where Group A teams, including Canada, were playing. On Tuesday evening, after his day of work, McGrane took the footbridges that connect Rogers Place to a few downtown hotels.
I took a detour through the JW Marriott [où étaient logées quelques équipes] To see what the hotel looks like. pedestrian bridge at 3e floor. I looked down at the crossbar and it was filled with fans or family members of the players who were wearing Canada jerseys. I didn’t see anyone I got to know, nor coaches, for example. But I saw it and thought to myself that these guys are going to take the lifts with the guys and share the same common areas, the same hallways,” McGrand notes, on the phone.
The more infectious Omicron variant has clearly changed the game. The tournament took place as health conditions deteriorated in Alberta. Originally, the tournament was scheduled to be offered without restrictions in terms of the number of spectators accepted into the arenas, but on December 21, five days before the start of the preliminary round, a 50% capacity limit was imposed, due to the explosion of COVID-19 cases.
At the beginning of December, Alberta had about 300 new cases per day (7-day moving average). However, in its Christmas holiday update, the Alberta government reported 8,250 new cases for the period December 23-27, with a daily average of 1,650.
Completed for Guhle, Mysak and Kapanen
The Canadian had three prospects in this tournament: Kayden Gaul (Canada), Jan Misak (Czech Republic) and Oliver Kapanen (Finland), the first players in the lead role.
The three players played two matches each. Misak scored a goal, and a Guhli pass, while Kapanen was eliminated. Mysak averaged 19 minutes per game, which is his team’s highest total among attackers.
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