World Under 17 Hockey Challenge scheduled for fall cancelled due to coronavirus

CALGARY — The 2020 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge scheduled to take place in the fall has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Hockey Canada made the announcement on Friday.

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The annual, week-long tournament was set to open October 31 in Charlottetown and Summerside, P.E.I.

“Hockey Canada’s priority remains the health and safety of all participants and the general public. We believe the decision to cancel the 2020 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge is the safest decision given the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic at a local level, as well as the international implications associated with this event,” Hockey Canada said in a statement.

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Charlottetown and Summerside will still host the 2021 edition of the event.

Russia is the defending champion at the tournament after beating the United States last year in Saskatchewan.

The U17 program will continue with its virtual summer camp, with the hope of being able to compete in a local environment in the fall.

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The remaining 2020 event schedule is still set to run, including the National Women’s U18 Championship in Dawson Creek, B.C., in November, the Para Hockey Cup in Bridgewater, N.S., and the World Junior A Challenge in Cornwall, Ont., both in December, and 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta., that opens Boxing Day.

© 2020 The Canadian Press