The IIHF announced on Friday morning that they would be cancelling six upcoming tournaments set to begin in January due to concerns managing the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus, including the top division women’s U18 tournament. Tournaments scheduled to start December 26th are still fine, however.
Further, the IIHF stated that due to scheduling conflicts with host Sweden, the women’s event would not be rescheduled.
This marks the second year in a row that the women’s event has been cancelled while the IIHF found a way for its’ men’s equivalent, the World Juniors, to still be played.
To be clear, I think everyone understands and accepts the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic. But the unwillingness by the IIHF to meet those challenges for the women’s game while simultaneously bending over backwards to make sure men’s tournaments happen is absolutely shameful.
Hopefully something can be worked out in the future, to at least get the US and Canadian teams on the ice together, since the two haven’t met at the U18 level since Team USA’s thrilling overtime victory in the gold medal game of the 2020 tournament.