Team Canada received official clearance from Alberta Health today to resume u20 selection camp activities in advance of the 2021 World Junior Championship. Team White will practice today at 9:30 a.m. MT and 3:30 p.m. Team Red will be go at 11:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Hockey Canada announced on November 25 that all players, coaches and staff participating in Team Canada’s U20 selection camp currently being held in Red Deer, Alberta will undergo a 14-day quarantine, as required by the Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services.
On November 24 it was announced that two of the 46 players participating in this years selection camp tested positive for COVID-19. As per government order, any person coming in close contact with someone testing positive must quarantine for 14 days.
According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, there will be Red-White intra-squad games on Wednesday and Thursday. Some players will released after Wednesday’s game. The final 25-man roster should be finalized by no later than Friday. All teams are scheduled to check into Edmonton on Sunday.
The two Team Canada players who tested positive two weeks ago will not be part of the return to play protocols as established by Alberta Health and Hockey Canada. In addition to those two players, three more will also be excluded from Return To Play (RTP), and will be heading home.
Defencemen Matthew Robertson, Mason Millman and Daemon Hunt and forwards Ridly Greig and Xavier Simoneau were sent home before camp resumed.
“Those five players, obviously a very, very difficult position and situation,” according to Hockey Canada senior vice-president of national teams Scott Salmond.
“This is not a hockey decision. This is a health decision based on return-to-play protocols. They were unable to continue with camp today. Feel horribly for those kids.”
As part of RTP protocols, Team Canada selection camp has shifted from its pre-quarantine status as a “protective environment” to “fully secured bubble format.” No media will attend practices/games, intra-squad games will not be streamed and no refs/linesmen/timekeepers permitted in.
The world junior hockey championship opens Dec. 25 in Edmonton.
The nine other international teams are scheduled to arrive by charter flight Sunday.
Some are already minus players because of the virus.
Any player, coach or team staff member who tested positive for the virus after Nov. 29 is ineligible to enter Edmonton’s “bubble.”
Exhibition games are planned for Dec. 20-23.
Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Howard Njoo said discussions remain ongoing with the Alberta government and Hockey Canada.
“We’ve been in active discussions with officials in Alberta, both public health and Hockey Canada,” Njoo said during a press conference on Tuesday. “The protocols we see from a pure technical public health perspective — I think I mentioned this earlier — look good with respect to the fact they intend to use the same bubble concept as was successful for the NHL and also with the NBA with their playoffs last year.
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