BEIJING: The Canadian women's ice hockey team refused to take the ice for nearly an hour on Monday (Feb 7) at the Beijing Winter Games while they waited for the Russian Olympic Committee's (ROC) COVID-19 test results.
Canada would go on to register a routine 6-1 win after players took the ice wearing masks due to "safety and security concerns" but the contest was far from uneventful as it got off to a chaotic and confusing start.
"Russia's results from this morning weren't back in yet," said Canada forward Natalie Spooner. "I know in the past few days they've had a few positives and we just wanted to make sure their results came back and we were safe to play."
Six members of the ROC squad had been placed in isolation last week after testing positive for the virus.
While athletes have operated under strict COVID-19 protocols in Beijing they have not had to wear a mask during competition.
The ROC skated onto the Wukesong Sports Centre ice for the introductions but were left standing on the blueline as the Canadians failed to join them.
Canadian Olympic Committee staff were unclear of the reason for the delay as they huddled around televisions in their office in the hope of finding answers.
When the players returned an hour later both teams were wearing masks under their helmets.
ROC players, however, removed their masks for the third period while the Canadians continued to wear theirs.
The masks did not seem to hurt the Canadians' performance as they jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead with Sarah Nurse and Sarah Fillier scoring 20 seconds apart.
Jamie Lee Rattray and Erin Ambrose put Canada up 4-0 in the second before Anna Shokhina finally got the ROC on the score sheet.
Rebecca Johnston and Marie-Philip Poulin closed out the scoring.