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Canada overcomes confusion over COVID-19 results to beat Russia

Team Canada celebrates a goal on Darya Gredzen #23 of Team ROC in the first period during the Women's Preliminary Round Group A match at Wukesong Sports Centre on February 07, 2022 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Canada and Russia’s preliminary-round Olympic matchup kicked off in unprecedented fashion after being delayed for an hour due to COVID-19 protocols.

The postponement was enacted as athletes waited for the Russian Olympic Committee’s COVID-19 tests to be fully processed.

Six players on Russia’s team had been placed in isolation last week after testing positive for coronavirus, returning to competition for the squad’s matchup against Team USA on Saturday.

The two teams eventually took the ice but played the game wearing N95 masks to mitigate safety concerns.

Despite the chaotic circumstances surrounding the game, there was little drama on the ice, with Canada cruising to a 6-1 victory, improving to a 3-0 record in Beijing.

Sarah Nurse and Sarah Fillier opened up scoring for Canada, notching goals in quick succession. Jamie Lee Rattray, Erin Ambrose, Rebecca Johnston and Marie-Philip Poulin got on the scoresheet for Canada as well, with Anna Shokhina scoring Russia’s lone goal.

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) put a statement out after the game, addressing the confusion around the preliminary match.

“With a view to ensure full understanding of the teams about the health and safety measures in place, the start of the preliminary round game between Canada and ROC was delayed by an hour,” the statement read, “Out of caution and concern for the health and safety of the players, the IIHF agreed with the participating teams to play with masks on.”

Monday’s win places Canada atop the Group A standings, while Russia falls to a 1-2 record. Canada will next take the ice against rivals Team USA on Tuesday with the Group A title on the line.