Canada’s Olen Zellweger (3) is checked by Czech Republic’s Michal Hradek (22) during a world junior hockey championship game on Dec. 26 in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

Canada’s Olen Zellweger (3) is checked by Czech Republic’s Michal Hradek (22) during a world junior hockey championship game on Dec. 26 in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

World Junior Hockey Championships canceled due to COVID

The Silvertips will likely be getting participants back earlier than expected after Wednesday’s announcement.

It looks like the Everett Silvertips will be getting their star players and head coach back sooner than expected.

The remainder of the World Junior Hockey Championships, which were taking place in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta, were canceled Wednesday because of COVID-19 outbreaks among multiple teams.

Everett had four participants in the tournament. Defensemen Olen Zellweger and Ronan Seeley were members of Canada’s team, while center Michal Gut was with Czechia. In addition, Silvertips head coach Dennis Williams was part of Canada’s coaching staff.

The tournament, which is the premier international competition for male under-20 players, opened Sunday and was scheduled to continue through Jan. 5. However, positive tests among U.S. players forced the cancellation of the U.S.-Switzerland game on Tuesday. Then positive tests among members of Russia and Czechia forced cancellation of their games against Slovakia and Finland, respectively, on Wednesday.

“We owed it to the participating teams to do our best to create the conditions necessary for this event to work,” International Ice Hockey Federation president Luc Tardif said in a a statement. “Unfortunately, this was not enough. We now have to take some time and focus on getting all players and team staff back home safely.”

Canada won both its completed games, with Zellweger scoring a goal in Canada’s 6-3 victory over Czechia on Sunday and Seeley notching two assists in an 11-2 victory over Austria on Tuesday. Gut had a goal and an assist against Canada for Czechia, which went 0-1-1 in its two completed games.

Going into Wednesday night’s game at Prince George, Everett was 3-3-1-0 since Zellweger and Seeley departed. The Tips were 19-3-1-1 previously. No details were available regarding when Everett’s team members may rejoin the team.

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