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Canada women’s team prepares to battle for gold in world hockey tournament in Halifax

Team Canada goalkeeper Kim St. Pierre makes a save against Team Finland in a 8-0 shutout during third period action at the World Women Hockey Championship Wednesday, April 8, 2009 in Hameenlinna Finland. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

The 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship is officially happening in Nova Scotia with Canada set to open the tournament against Finland on May 6.

The tournament will go ahead more than a year later than originally planned, after mounting concerns over the emerging coronavirus pandemic forced it to be postponed in March 2020.

Hockey Canada and the Host Organizing Committee released the full tournament schedule Thursday. The 31-game schedule will be played at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax and Rath Eastlink Community Centre in Truro, May 6-16.

READ MORE: How the women’s world hockey tournament in Halifax could be a ‘real triumph’ for city

“It has been 17 years since Nova Scotia last hosted the women’s worlds, and we are thrilled to be back in Halifax and Truro,” said Grant MacDonald, general manager of the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship in a statement.

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“As the participating teams begin to unveil their rosters over the coming weeks, we know the excitement will continue to build as we look to host a safe and successful world championship,” he added.

Organizers had originally been eyeing a rescheduled April 2021 date for the 10-team tournament, but the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) opted to push it to May due to final approvals from the provincial and federal health authorities not being received yet.

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As the COVID-19 pandemic persists in Nova Scotia and around the world, Hockey Canada said in a statement that it continues to have regular discussions with the provincial government and Nova Scotia Public Health.

“The health and safety of all participants remains a priority, and Hockey Canada will continue to explore the opportunity to have a limited number of fans in attendance at both venues,” said the organization.

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The 10-team tournament features Canada in Group A with Finland, Russia, Switzerland and the United States, while Group B is comprised of the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Hungary and Japan.

In addition to Canada’s opening-day game against Finland, it will also play Russia on May 8 and Switzerland on May 9 before closing out the preliminary round against its cross-border rival, the United States, on May 11.

-With files from Rebecca Lau

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