There were six games in the Westman High School Hockey League on the final day before the start of the Christmas break. Spencer Chapman and Drayton Shiner scored two goals each as Reston/Elkhorn/Melita/Pierson defeated Virden 5-3; Keiran DeBaker scored the only goal of the shootout to lift Killarney/Wawanesa past Glenboro/Carberry/Baldur 4-3; Nate Immerkar recorded the shutout as Swan Valley blanked Grand Plains 3-0; Jory Kulbacki had three goals and an assist as Neepawa defeated Dauphin 5-2; Cooper Ashcroft scored twice in Birtle/Shoal Lake/Rossburn's 3-1 victory over Vincent Massey and Tyler Houston recorded a hat trick as Major Pratt downed Hamiota/Rivers/Elton/Strathclair 9-3. The Boissevain/Souris game against Crocus Plains in Boissevain and McCreary/Ste. Rose against Sandy Bay in McCreary were postponed. The first game of 2022 will be in Minnedosa on January 4th as the Minnedosa/Erickson Chancellors host Hamiota/Rivers/Elton/Strathclair.
The Steinbach Pistons and Dauphin Kings remain in the Canadian Junior Hockey League's Weekly Top 20 Rankings. The Pistons (23-6-1) moved from 10th place to number eight while the Kings (23-7) fell from ninth place to number 14 in the final rankings for 2021. The Alberta Junior Hockey League's Brooks Bandits (33-1-1) will head into 2022 as the number one team in the country. The Bandits hold down the top spot for the eighth consecutive week.
The National Hockey League has officially announced that its players will not participate in the 2022 Beijing Winter Games. The move means the league will spend the previously scheduled Olympic break making up games that have and will be postponed because of COVID-19 protocols. This will be the second consecutive Olympic men's hockey tournament without NHL players. Hockey Canada released a statement on behalf of Tom Renney, chief executive officer, and Scott Smith, president and chief operating officer, on the National Hockey League (NHL) and National Hockey Players’ Association (NHLPA) decision to not participate in the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, China: "In Canada, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to evaluate and select talented and hard-working players and personnel that play and work in various leagues around the world, and we look forward to assembling a team of highly-skilled players and staff that have worked hard to earn the opportunity to the wear the Maple Leaf with pride on the world stage. We know that Canadians across the country will be proud to cheer on Team Canada in February, and we look forward to working with our hockey operations staff to assemble a group that gives us the best possible chance to bring home a gold medal."
Team Canada will face Russia tonight in Edmonton in its lone tune-up game before the start of the 2022 World Junior Hockey Championship. Canada will play its preliminary round opener on Boxing Day against the Czech Republic.