U.S. forfeits World Junior Championship game due to mandated quarantine

u.s. world junior championship
AP Images

[UPDATE: COVID-19 forces IIHF to cancel 2022 World Junior Championship]

Tuesday’s IIHF World Junior Championship game between the U.S. and Switzerland has been canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the American camp. As per IIHF rules the game is recorded as a 1-0 win for the Swiss.

Due to two players testing positive, the entire U.S. team has to quarantine. Another round of testing will take place and the status of Wednesday’s game against Sweden is still to be determined.

“We’re extremely disappointed, especially for our players,” said U.S. general manager John Vanbiesbrouck in a statement. “We’re operating in an ever-changing landscape and that’s very challenging. We’ve followed the tournament protocol from the outset and will continue to do everything we can to ensure our players have the opportunity to compete at the World Junior Championship.”

From Chris Peters of Daily Faceoff:

With two players testing positive, Canada’s federal quarantine rules state that they’d have to isolate for 10 days. Though the CDC’s recommendations for isolation have changed in the United States to allow for a shorter isolation if vaccinated and asymptomatic, that does not impact Canada’s health regulations. Whichever players tested positive would likely be lost for the remainder of the tournament, based on previous protocol.

The Americans opened the tournament on Sunday with a 3-2 win over Slovakia. With this forfeit they sit in a three-way tie with the Swiss and Russians in Group B, but ahead of both countries on goal difference. Each team plays four group games with the top four in each of the two groups advancing to the quarterfinals.

[MORE: USA Hockey asks IIHF to reschedule women’s U18 tournament]

Since the start of the tournament on Dec. 26, the Alberta government capped capacity for games played in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta at 50% due to the rise in COVID-19 cases.

The U.S. finishes up the group stage on Friday against Russia.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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