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IIHF cancels 6 exhibition games ahead of 2021 World Juniors

Two teams will remain in isolation during the updated exhibition schedule.

Russia’s Ivan Morozov and Vasily Podkolzin (L-R) celebrate scoring in the 2020 World Junior Ice Hockey Championship semifinal match against Sweden at Ostravar Arena. Peter Photo by Peter Kovalev\TASS via Getty Images

Prior to arriving in Edmonton, Alberta, the 10 teams competing in the 2021 IIHF World Juniors Championship were under quarantine, to limit potential spread of COVID-19 while traveling internationally. Teams were then subject to additional quarantine time once arriving in Edmonton.

During this period, eight members of Team Germany and two staff members for Team Sweden have tested positive for the virus. Both teams have been under extended quarantine, forcing the IIHF to amend the pre-tournament schedule — originally set to begin tomorrow, Sunday Dec. 20 — to remove Germany and Sweden from the schedule.

All games on Sunday and Monday have been cancelled. The exhibition play has been shortened from 10 games to just four, to be held on Tuesday, Dec. 22 and Wednesday, Dec. 23. Team USA will only play Finland on Tuesday evening, while Team Canada will have a re-match with Russia on Wednesday. Switzerland will play Austria and the Czech Republic will face off against Slovakia.

Teams who did not have any positive tests since arriving in Edmonton began skating on Friday. Germany will remain in isolation until Thursday, Dec. 24, while Sweden will be allowed to skate on Monday, Dec. 21, “with the exception of players and staff who are exempt from serving a longer quarantine period based on previous PCR positive COVID-19 test that provide a personal immunity and no threat of infection to others,” per the IIHF.

Los Angeles Kings prospect Tobias Bjornfot plays for Team Sweden. The 19-year-old defender was drafted in the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft.

The updated schedule of pre-tournament games is below.

2021 IIFH WORLD JUNIORS EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

Tuesday, December 22

3:00 p.m. — Switzerland vs. Austria
6:30 p.m. — Finland vs. USA

Wednesday, December 23

3:00 p.m. — Canada vs. Russia
6:30 p.m. — Czech Republic vs. Slovakia