Final 2 Rivalry Series games between Canada, U.S. women cancelled in Alberta

WATCH ABOVE: Some recent videos from the world of sports.

Two hockey games between the Canadian and U.S. women’s hockey teams in Alberta have been cancelled.

Canada goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens (35) makes a save in front of teammate Erin Ambrose (23) and United States’ Amanda Kessel (28) during third period Rivalry Series hockey action in Ottawa, on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Canada and the U.S. were scheduled to conclude their Rivalry Series on Jan. 3 in Edmonton during the world junior men’s hockey championship and Jan. 6 in Red Deer.

READ MORE: Hockey Canada, Alberta set to host third hockey tournament in COVID-19 pandemic

Both games were called off because several Canadian players and staff were in COVID-19 protocol, Hockey Canada said Tuesday in a statement.

Story continues below advertisement

“The risk associated with playing the final two Rivalry Series games with less than one month before our teams are set to compete in the 2022 Olympics is too high to finish our series with the United States,” said Gina Kingsbury, director of hockey operations with Hockey Canada.

Get the latest National news. Sent to your email, every day.

“Changing our schedule and not being able to play the United States is always difficult, as our players and staff want to play against international competition and put on a great show for hockey fans.

“Unfortunately, we need to do what is right for our athletes from a health perspective and for our team preparation in order to ensure everyone remains healthy and eligible for Beijing.”

READ MORE: U.S. forfeits world junior hockey game against Swiss due to COVID-19 quarantine

The announcement came the same day the U.S. junior men’s team forfeited a preliminary-round game at the under-20 championship to Switzerland because two American players tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

What was a nine-game series between the Canadian and American women to help both prepare for February’s Winter Olympics in Beijing and choose a roster for it was limited to six games.

READ MORE: Alberta’s Meaghan Mikkelson says Olympic hockey hopes ride on recovering knee

Canada won four of the six games played against the U.S., including two in overtime.

Story continues below advertisement

A game scheduled for Dec. 20 in Saint Paul, Minn., was also cancelled due to coronavirus concerns.

Hockey Canada was expected to name its 23-player Olympic roster that same week, but has delayed that announcement.

Click to play video: 'Lookback 2010 – Gold for Canadian women’s hockey'
Lookback 2010 – Gold for Canadian women’s hockey

Sponsored content