U.S. hockey team forfeits world junior game after 2 players test positive for COVID-19
Red Deer, Alberta — The U.S. was forced to forfeit its game at the world junior championship against Switzerland on Tuesday after two players tested positive for the coronavirus.
Those positive COVID-19 test results led to a mandated team quarantine. The U.S. as a result was unable to play Tuesday under tournament rules.
“We’re extremely disappointed, especially for our players,” U.S. national junior team general manager John Vanbiesbrouck said in a statement. “We’re operating an ever-changing landscape, and that’s very challenging. We’ve followed the tournament protocol from the outside and will continue to do everything we can to ensure players have the opportunity to compete at the world junior championship.”
The International Ice Hockey Federation said the team’s quarantine status will be evaluated later to determine the status of the Americans’ next game scheduled for Wednesday against Sweden. Switzerland was awarded a 1-0 victory over the U.S. from the forfeit.
The U.S. is the defending champion at the tournament for the world’s best men’s hockey players under age 20. The U.S. beat Slovakia 3-0 Sunday night in its first preliminary round game.
Teams that traveled to Canada quarantined for two days after their Dec. 15 arrival with just over 5,800 tests conducted on 462 players, staff, and game officials before the tournament opened Sunday, according to the IIHF.
One Finnish player tested positive and was placed into isolation with no others on the team impacted. Two game officials were isolated after testing positive during quarantine.
One Swiss player testing positive caused the cancellation of a Swiss-Czechia pre-tournament game. One Austrian player testing positive had that team in quarantine until contact tracing was completed and allowed the team to play its first game against Finland on Monday.
Tuesday's other games
►Canada 11, Austria 2: Connor Bedard, 16, became the youngest player at the world juniors to score four goals in one game on Tuesday.
Bedard's four goals led Canada to an 11-2 rout of Austria. He joins Mario Lemieux (1983), Simon Gagne (1999), Brayden Schenn (2010), Taylor Raddysh (2016) and Maxime Comtois (2018) in the Canadian junior record book.
Bedard also became the first 16-year-old Canadian to score a hat trick since Wayne Gretzky in 1977.