World junior hockey pre-tournament games pushed back

RED DEER, Alberta (AP) — Pre-tournament play in the world junior hockey was pushed back Saturday because of the COVID-19 surge.

Hockey Canada said it amended the schedule due to the “changing epidemiological situation” surrounding the omicron variant of COVID-19. The warm-up games were set to start Sunday, with Canada scheduled to play Switzerland in Red Deer. The tournament is set to start Sunday, Dec. 26.

While the updated schedule hasn’t been finalized, the pre-tournament games won’t start until Thursday. Hockey Canada also paused the sale of tickets for the pre-tournament games. Eleven games were scheduled as part of the pre-tournament schedule, with each team playing a minimum of two games.

The teams arrived in Canada this week. Players and staff were required to produce two negative tests before departing for Canada and have been tested every day since their arrival.

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