It was fun while it lasted.
The IIHF is expected to announce on Wednesday afternoon that the 2022 World Junior Championship has been canceled due to the severe impact on game integrity and the tournament schedule brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Daily Faceoff’s Chris Peters was the first to break the news.
The news comes shortly after three tournament games were forced to result in a forfeit following positive tests among the players of one of the competing teams within the past 24 hours.
The decision is a heartbreaking one, particularly for the hundreds of young players who may never get an opportunity to compete at this, or any other international tournament, again.
At the time of the announcement, there are four confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 among all participating teams: two on USA, and one on Czechia and Russia, respectively. And while those numbers are not daunting, the impact from the growing number of forfeitures on the tournament schedule and its competitive integrity were seemingly deemed too great to be reconciled. Austria, Finland and Switzerland previously had positive cases before the tournament began.
It’s a harsh reminder of just how far we still have to go to put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us.