IIHF says 8 Germans, 2 Swedes test positive for COVID-19 inside world junior bubble

The International Ice Hockey Federation says eight players from Germany’s team at the world junior hockey championship have tested positive for COVID-19 inside the Edmonton bubble.

The IIHF says the Germans will all remain in quarantine until Thursday. The country is scheduled to open its tournament against Finland the following afternoon — Dec. 25 — before facing Canada on Boxing Day.

The quarantine means Germany, with a roster that includes Ottawa Senators prospect and 2020 No. 3 overall draft pick Tim Stuetzle, will miss exhibition games against Austria and the Czech Republic ahead of the annual under-20 event.

The IIHF also announced two members of Sweden’s team staff have tested positive.

The Swedes will stay in quarantine until Monday, with the exception of those exempt from serving longer periods based on previous positive tests that “provide a personal immunity and no threat of infection to others.”

Tournament set to start Christmas Day

Sweden is scheduled to face Canada in an exhibition game Monday.

The IIHF says more than 2,000 tests have been conducted on players, staff and game officials since they entered the Edmonton bubble Sunday.

Teams without positive tests were eligible to begin training Friday.

The tournament is scheduled to begin Christmas Day — including that meeting between the Germans and Finns — at Rogers Place. The first exhibition games are slated for Sunday.

The NHL implemented similar bubbles for the restart of its pandemic-delayed 2019-20 season this summer. The bubbles are tightly controlled and include strict health and safety measures implemented in hopes of keeping the coronavirus at bay.

The league said it had zero positive results over more than two months.

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