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Hockey Canada cancels spring championships due to COVID-19 for second straight year


CALGARY — Hockey Canada has cancelled its 2021 spring national championships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The affected tournaments include the Esso Cup women's under-18 championship, the Telus Cup men's U18 championship, the Centennial Cup junior A championship and the Allan Cup national senior championship.

All four events are being cancelled for a second straight year.

The Esso Cup was set to be held in Prince Albert, Sask., which had retained the hosting rights after the 2020 tournament was cancelled due to COVID-19. Lloydminster, Alta., is scheduled to host the event in 2022.

The hosting rights for the 2021 Telus Cup were already undetermined after Sydney, N.S., was deferred a year to 2022. Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., which was to be the host city of the cancelled 2020 tournament, was considered as the 2021 host before Friday's announcement.

The Centennial Cup was set to be played in Penticton, B.C. The 2022 event is scheduled to be held in Estevan, Sask.

The 2020 Allan Cup was to be held in Hamilton and Dundas, Ont., before it was cancelled. The cancellation of this year's tournament was expected after Allan Cup Hockey commissioner Tom Strauch announced the senior league would not play this year due to the pandemic.

"We believe the decision to cancel our spring 2021 national championships is the safest decision given the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic at a local level, as well as the uncertainty around each region being able to compete for a national championship," Hockey Canada said in a statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 5, 2021.

The Canadian Press