Loading articles...

2021 women’s world hockey championships in Nova Scotia cancelled

Last Updated Apr 21, 2021 at 12:13 pm MDT

Canada's Rebecca Johnston, left, defends against the United States' Kelly Browne (32). (Michael Dwyer/AP)

HALIFAX – The 2021 women’s world hockey championship, which was slated to take place from May 6-16 in Nova Scotia, has been cancelled due to safety concerns associated with COVID-19, the International Ice Hockey Federation announced Wednesday.

The decision will see Halifax and Truro miss out on a second women’s worlds in a row after the 2020 tournament was also cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is very disappointing news to receive with just a few weeks until the tournament was to begin,” said IIHF president Rene Fasel in a press release.

“We strongly believe that we had the adequate safety measures in place to protect players, officials, spectators and all residents in Halifax and Truro, based on the IIHF and Hockey Canada’s experiences from hosting the IIHF World Junior Championship in Edmonton.”

The 2021 event was originally planned for April 7-17, but was postponed in March amid issues related to the novel coronavirus.

The IIHF and Hockey Canada hope to find a new date for the tournament, with the goal being sometime in the summer of 2021.

“In the end, we must accept the decision of the government. This does not mean that we will not have a women’s world championship in 2021,” said Hockey Canada president Tom Renney.

“We owe it to every single player that was looking forward to getting back on the ice after such a difficult year that we do everything possible to ensure this tournament can be moved to new dates and played this year.”

Canada has only played in five international games, all against the U.S., since failing to reach the final for the first time at the 2019 tournament in Espoo, Finland, and the Nova Scotia event was seen as “critical” to the team’s preparation ahead of the 2022 Olympics.

Canada had been in the midst of a selection camp in Halifax, which kicked off April 14, for the tournament.