The 2023 World Junior Hockey Championship will have a new home as Hockey Canada has announced that the annual event will be played in Halifax, N.S., and Moncton, N.B., later this year.

The tournament was originally supposed to be hosted by Novosibirsk and Omsk in Russia, but the county lost its hosting rights in February due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

The tournament will run from Dec. 26-Jan. 5. The last time the World Juniors took place in eastern Canada was in 2003, hosted by Halifax and Sydney, N.S.

“We are pleased to be able to bring the 2023 World Juniors to Halifax and Moncton,” said IIHF president Luc Tardif. “These are two great cities with top-quality venues and passionate hockey fans who support junior hockey. I commend Hockey Canada for finding two great hosts in such a short amount of time, and am looking forward to the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship.”

The 2022 World Juniors in Edmonton and Red Deer were cancelled just four days into competition after multiple games were forfeited due to COVID-19 outbreaks. That event will start from scratch this summer in Edmonton from August 9-22.

“Hosting the World Juniors twice in less than six months is a unique opportunity for our organization and Canadian hockey fans, and with the IIHF’s need to find a host, we were in the position to entertain bids from passionate hockey communities across the country,” said Hockey Canada president and chief operating officer, Scott Smith. “We appreciate the hard work and efforts put forth by the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and we strongly believe in the plans they have in place to host a successful event in Halifax and Moncton. We know the work of the host committees and volunteers will leave a lasting impression on each community, the competing teams and the fans who will travel to experience this best-on-best competition.”

The United States defeated Canada in the 2021 gold-medal final in Edmonton.