2022 Winter Olympics

COVID Testing Issue Delays Canada, ROC Hockey Game; 1st Teams to Wear Masks at Olympics

The start of the game was delayed for an hour after the Canadians stayed in their locker room rather than coming out for puck drop

A women's hockey matchup between Canada and the Russian Olympic Committee faced a lengthy delay when COVID-19 test results for Russian players had not come back by the scheduled start of the game, leading the Canadian team to stay in its locker room instead of taking the ice.

Both teams had warmed up in pregame at the rink, but Canada went down the tunnel and didn't return. The Russian team eventually returned to its own locker room before both teams returned to the ice about 50 minutes after the game was scheduled to start.

The International Ice Hockey Federation eventually reached a compromise to have players from both teams wear masks, a first at the Beijing Olympics.

Canada initially declined to leave the locker room because COVID-19 tests taken earlier in the day by the Russian athletes had not yet been processed.

Forward Oxana Bratisheva said through a team translator that the Russian team was initially told the game would be postponed before being told it would proceed an hour late.

The Russian players eventually were allowed to remove their masks at the start of the third period after the test results showed no one was positive.

The Canadians kept their masks on and won 6-1 to improve to 3-0 for the tournament.

Canada was concerned about Russian players who previously tested positive for COVID-19.

Canada held out forward Emily Clark for precautionary reasons after her test result came back inconclusive.

Copyright Associated Press
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