The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has cancelled the rest of the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championships in Edmonton and Red Deer.
The organization says the decision was made for the health and safety of athletes and staff as more tests have come back positive for COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, forcing the forfeit of multiple tournament games.
Though none have involved Canada, a IIHF statement says "with another forfeiture – the third forfeited game in two days – the sportive integrity of the event has been compromised, and the event must be cancelled."
Canada was scheduled to play Germany today (Dec. 29) and Finland on New Year's Eve (Dec. 31).
It's unclear if any members of the host country, including Port Moody's Kent Johnson, tested positive for the virus.
Kent Johnson is on the board.
The Port Moody product potted his second career international goal Tuesday (Dec. 28) — his first marker and point as a member of Canada's under-20 squad and the first of nearly a dozen on the night for the host country.
Canada defeated Austria 11-2 in their second game at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships in Edmonton and Red Deer, improving their record to 2-0 after they beat the Czech Republic 6-3 on Boxing Day (Dec. 26).
Johnson's tally was clocked at 5:08 into the contest while the Canadians were on a power-play.
Going top-shelf, the 19-year-old Columbus Blue Jackets prospect fired a one-time slap shot from the right face-off circle and over the left shoulder of Austrian goaltender Leon Sommer.
Johnson's timing of the shot was perfect when Cole Perfetti quickly passed the puck between two defenders across the middle.
It completed a 1-2-3 passing play that began with 2021 first-overall NHL Draft pick Owen Power along the blue line.
Kent Johnson’s 1st 🇨🇦 WJHC goal — a power-play rocket on a tic-tac-toe sequence — opened what would be a dominant scoring performance in a 11-2 win vs. 🇦🇹 The Port Moody product’s marker was 5:08 into the contest | #PortMoody #WorldJuniors @TriCityNews pic.twitter.com/27Fk2y7qKE— Kyle Balzer (@KyleBalzer) December 29, 2021
The goal provided a 1-0 lead and Canada never looked back with North Vancouver's Connor Bedard — a 16-year-old — setting a new record as the youngest player to score four goals in a single world junior men's hockey championship game.
For Johnson, the honour of scoring an official goal for the red, white and black came with a two-year gap.
The former Port Moody Minor Hockey Association athlete's first-ever goal in a maple leaf sweater was in November 2019 when he represented Team Canada West at the World Junior 'A' Challenge in Dawson Creek, B.C.
He was a then member of the Trail Smoke Eaters in the BC Hockey League (BCHL).
Johnson did score in Canada's 6-4 pre-World Junior victory against Russia on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24), but is not counted in official tournament statistics.
Johnson is one of two players from the University of Michigan playing for Canada at the World Juniors. Currently in his sophomore season, the forward leads the Wolverines with 23 points in 17 games.
As an NCAA freshman last year, he scored nine goals and added 18 assists in 26 games before getting drafted by Columbus fifth overall in the NHL Draft.
- with a file from The Canadian Press
Port Moody’s Kent Johnson had a goal & an assist in 🇨🇦’s 6-4 exhibition win vs. 🇷🇺 ahead of the 2022 IIHF World Jr. Championships. His marker was potted off an impressive pass from Mason McTavish | #PortMoody @TriCityNews pic.twitter.com/LFeG7THavq— Kyle Balzer (@KyleBalzer) December 24, 2021