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Jake Sanderson enters COVID protocol ahead of the Olympic Games

USA Hockey is hopeful the UND sophomore defenseman will join the team within the next week.

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UND defenseman Jake Sanderson skates to the blue line during player introductions prior to an NCHC men's hockey game versus the St. Cloud State Huskies at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks on Friday, January 28, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald
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GRAND FORKS — UND defenseman Jake Sanderson is currently in COVID-19 protocol ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics.

USA Hockey says that it is hopeful Sanderson will be able to join the team in Beijing within the next week. He is currently in Los Angeles.

The rest of the men's team has already traveled to Beijing, where it will soon begin practicing for the Winter Games.

USA's opening game is a week away. It is scheduled for 7:10 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 10 against host China. It also plays Canada (10:10 p.m., Feb. 11) and Germany (7:10 a.m. Feb. 13) in pool play action.

After that, the qualification playoffs begin Feb. 14-15.

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The quarterfinals are scheduled for Feb. 16. The semifinals are set for Feb. 18 and the medal games are Feb. 19 and 20.

Sanderson left Grand Forks on an early morning flight Sunday to Los Angeles, where he met with the rest of Team USA. He did not travel to China.

Sanderson is expected to be one of Team USA's top defensemen at the Olympics. The No. 5 overall pick of the Ottawa Senators in 2020 has been among college hockey's best players this season.

He has 24 points in 21 games for the Fighting Hawks, leading the team in points per game.

Sanderson captained the U.S. World Junior Championship team this winter, but that event was called off due to COVID-19 positive tests after just a single game for the Americans.

Sanderson won a World Junior gold with Team USA last year.

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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