Canada, U.S. exhibition games cancelled ahead of Beijing Olympics

Team U.S.A. takes the ice for national anthems before their international hockey exhibition game against Team Canada on a My Why Tour stop in Maryland Heights, Missouri, U.S. December 17, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Dec 28 (Reuters) - The United States and Canada women's ice hockey teams agreed to cancel the final two games of their My Why Tour, a series of exhibition contests ahead of the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics, USA Hockey said Tuesday.

The games in Edmonton and Red Deer were intended to be a warm-up before the Olympics begin on Feb. 4 but instead the U.S. will keep the team at their "home base" in Blaine, Minnesota, until leaving for Beijing to begin their title defence.

"We're obviously disappointed as the competition against Canada is an important part of our Olympic preparation," Katie Million, director of the women's national team programs, said in a statement.

"With our team's departure for China less than a month away, our focus is doing the absolute best we can to make sure our players and staff are in a position to be able to participate in the Olympic Games."

Another game between the two teams was also called off last week, with USA Hockey citing "concerns around COVID-19."

Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York Editing by Christian Radnedge

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