The defending World Junior gold medalists have run into some adversity in just their second game of the 2022 tournament. It was announced that Team USA has been forced to forfeit their game against Switzerland scheduled due to multiple positive tests for COVID-19.
The game was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon in Red Deer, Alberta.
The official statement coming from the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) mentioned that the Americans were going into a “mandatory quarantine, following a positive test result of two of its players.”
As of now, the players haven’t been identified yet. The full statement is linked below if you want to check it out for yourself.
Team USA opened their gold medal title defense on Boxing Day, as they took down Team Slovakia by a final of 3-2. Matthew Knies (Maple Leafs), Mackie Samoskevich (Panthers), and Landon Slaggert (Blackhawks) all scored, and Drew Commesso (Blackhawks) made 23 saves in the winning effort.
Going forward, however, a forfeit loss like this could have some dire consequences down the road. In the stacked Group B, Team USA is currently scheduled to take on the group leaders Sweden (2-0-0-0, 6 pts) on Wednesday night before taking on the Russians (1-0-0-1, 3 pts) on New Year’s Eve. Although the U.S. is currently tied with Russia for second place in Group B, one thing going for Team USA right now is that they have a game in hand on both Russia and Sweden.
The U.S. hasn’t missed out on the medal round since 2020, as they’ve taken home bronze or better in four of the last five tournaments (including two golds).