Canada World Junior selection camp paused by positive coronavirus tests

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Canada has paused its selection camp for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship after two players tested positive for the coronavirus.

Contact tracing showed all 46 players and all coaches and Hockey Canada staff members are considered close contacts and subject to a 14-day quarantine period.

The camp, being held in Red Deer, Alberta, began Nov. 17 and was scheduled to run through Dec. 13.

“Upon learning of the positive tests on Monday, the decision was made to suspend all camp activities and quarantine players and staff immediately,” Hockey Canada senior vice president of national teams Scott Salmond said Wednesday. “As per Hockey Canada’s safety protocols, all players, coaches and staff members will go through additional testing before resuming any camp activities. We remain in constant communication with the appropriate health authorities, and we appreciate and thank Alberta Health Services for its dedication to ensuring the health and safety of our players, staff and the community at large.”

The tournament is scheduled for Dec. 25-Jan. 5. It would be played at Rogers Place in Edmonton with no fans in attendance and in a secure zone similar to what the NHL used during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Teams must be together by Dec. 6, and each member of the traveling party must have three negative coronavirus tests prior to entering the secure zone Dec. 13.

Defensemen Bowen Byram (Colorado Avalanche) and Jamie Drysdale (Anaheim Ducks), and forwards Quinton Byfield (Los Angeles Kings), Dylan Cozens (Buffalo Sabres), Kirby Dach (Chicago Blackhawks), Connor McMichael (Washington Capitals), Dawson Mercer (New Jersey Devils) and Jack Quinn (Sabres) are among the players at camp.

The announcement of the players testing positive Monday led to the cancelation of an intrasquad scrimmage that was to be played at Westerner Park Centrium in Red Deer on Tuesday. The identity of the players has not been announced.

A Hockey Canada staff member tested positive for coronavirus Saturday. Assistant coach Michael Dyck and goaltending coach Jason LaBarbera are among those serving a 14-day quarantine because of close contact with the affected person.

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