US forfeits world junior game after 2 players test positive

Sports

United States’ Mackie Samoskevich (11) celebrates his goal against Slovakia with his teammates during first period IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship action in Red Deer, Alberta, on Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP)

RED DEER, Alberta (AP) — 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.

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Watch the Olympic Games LIVE on your mobile device!