It feels like just yesterday that hockey fans were watching Kent Johnson slam home a rebound in overtime of the 2022 World Juniors gold-medal game, lifting Canada to another championship win.
You won’t find a quicker turnaround for the World Juniors than the gap between the 2022 and 2023 tournaments. While the 2023 tournament is set to take place at its regular time during the holidays, we didn’t see that entirely with the 2022 edition.
After an attempt to play the games in December proved to be an issue, the IIHF rescheduled the U20 World Championship to August, marking the first time the tournament was ever played during the summer.
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It certainly was an irregular time for the tournament and one that the IIHF wishes to never repeat again.
“We knew that August is not the best time,” IIHF President Luc Tardif said during the 2022 World Juniors. “We didn’t expect the attendance that we usually have. It was an experience and we won’t do it again unless we have to for some reason.”
The World Juniors get back on track with the 2023 tournament, which is set to begin the day after Christmas. The same 10 teams from August will be competing again, albeit with some different personnel.
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Here is more information on why the 2022 World Juniors happened in August.
Why did the 2022 World Juniors take place in August?
The IIHF knew COVID-19 could create an issue during the planned tournament in December for the 2022 World Juniors, but it evidently did not prepare enough.
Just three days into the tournament, the IIHF was forced to cancel the rest of the tournament as multiple teams came up with positive COVID tests. The first two days of competition went smoothly, but Team USA was forced to postpone its match against Sweden on Day 3 thanks to a positive test.
By Day 4, both Czechia and Russia had players test positive, resulting in forfeits. The IIHF discussed the potential for changing COVID protocols on the fly but eventually decided to cancel the rest of the tournament. In total, only five games were played.
“Together with the teams, we came into this event with full confidence in the COVID-19 protocols put in place by the IIHF, the LOC, Alberta Health, Alberta Health Services and the Public Health Agency of Canada,” Tardif said in a statement. “The ongoing spread of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant forced us to readjust our protocols almost immediately upon arrival to attempt to stay ahead of any potential spread. This included daily testing and the team quarantine requirement when positive cases were confirmed.
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“We owed it to the participating teams to do our best to create the conditions necessary for this event to work. Unfortunately, this was not enough. We now have to take some time and focus on getting all players and team staff back home safely.”
In the days after the cancellation, Tardif expressed interest in rescheduling the tournament for the summer. By March, the organization announced that the tournament would take place again, with a fresh start, in August 2022.
When do the World Juniors normally take place?
The World Juniors has become synonymous with the holiday season. The annual tournament typically has started either on Christmas Day or on Boxing Day, Dec. 26.
The original start date of the 2022 tournament was Dec. 26 and was scheduled to run until Jan. 5.
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When do the 2023 World Juniors start?
- Start date: December 26, 2022
- End date: January 5, 2023
With the 2023 tournament starting at the normal time of the year, that means the competition kicks off the day after Christmas, December 26.
The group stage starts will take place over the first six days. The quarterfinals will be played on Jan. 2, the semifinals on Jan. 4 and the tournament will conclude with the bronze and gold medal games on Jan. 5.
How to watch 2023 World Juniors games on TV, live stream
- TV channel (Canada): TSN
- Live stream (Canada): TSN.ca, TSN app
- TV channel (U.S.): NHL Network
- Live stream (U.S.): fuboTV
TSN and the NHL Network will once again be home to all of the action for the 2023 World Juniors.
Canadian viewers can watch the competition on TSN or can stream the games through TSN.ca or on the TSN app.
The American audience can view the games live on TV on the NHL Network, or can stream them through fuboTV.
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Where are the 2023 World Juniors?
- Location: Halifax N.S./Moncton, N.B.
- Venue: Scotiabank Centre/Avenir Centre
The World Juniors will once again be split between two host cities, as the tournament will be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Moncton, New Brunswick.
The games in Halifax will be played at the Scotiabank Centre, the home of the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads. Any of the contests in Moncton will be played at the Avenir Centre, where the QMJHL’s Moncton Wildcats call home.
This will be the second time Halifax is a host city for the World Juniors. Previously, the 2003 World Juniors were split between Halifax and Sydney, N.S. Moncton has never hosted the World Juniors before.
The 2023 tournament was originally planned to be held in Russia, with Novosibirsk and Omsk as the two host cities. However, due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, their rights were pulled by the IIHF.