Ice Hockey World Championships

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The Ice Hockey World Championships is an annual international ice hockey competition which is run by the International Ice Hockey Federation. It was first launched at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp which led to being one of the first sports to be in the Winter Olympics Games. The first event that was held outside of Olympic years was in 1930 with twelve nations participating in the competition.

History[edit | edit source]

1920–1928: Olympic Games[edit | edit source]

Main article: Ice Hockey at the Winter Olympics

The IIHF recognized the first World Championship to be held in 1920 at the Summer Olympics in Antwerp. It was played between the 13th-19th April with seven teams entering the first tournament. Canada, Czechoslovakia, United States, Switzerland, Sweden, France and Belgium. The Winnipeg Falcons (who was representing Canada) took home the gold medal scoring 30 goals in three matches. United States, and Czechoslovakia came in second and third. Following on in 1921, where the first Winter Olympics was held in Chamonix. Every tournament up to until 1964, the Olympics was an official World Championship tournament. Canada won the gold in 1928 and 1932 while Sweden and Austria would claim their first medal in 1928.

1930–1955: Canadian dominance[edit | edit source]

Canada continued their dominance and in 1934, the United States took the gold medal to break the Canada streak of seven gold medals. Germany would be the next winner to take home a gold medal after they won the 1938 edition in Prague as they defeated Canada in the final. The second World War would cancel the event until 1947. Following on from the second world war, the Czechoslovakia team took out the 1947 edition with the only game where they had to battle being against Sweden. The 1948 edition of the tournament was what would be the forgotten year with the Amateur Athletic Union and the Amateur Hockey Association sending American teams to the Olympics which was held in St. Moritz during that year. With the two teams ready to play at the Olympics, a tense showdown between the two and the IOC deemed that neither team would be able to compete in the competition. With this decision, the LIHG boycotted the Olympics which cancel the 1948 edition of the World Championships. After this incident the Americans were banned from playing in international ice hockey tournaments for five years but would later be dropped to three after an appeal.

The 1949 edition was the first edition to not have the Americans in the competition and it was Czechoslovakia who would take out the title after winning all five of their matches. The next year, the competition went back to a four team opening group round instead of the three team group that happened in the previous year. Canada would take out the title for the 12th time after they defeated Sweden in the final game of the competition to record the title while for Sweden they would finish in the runner up spot once again.

The early 50s would see a Canadian victory with the team winning the 1951 and 1952 edition by comfortable margins. In 1953, the competition would only see three teams competing with Canada and United States both withdrawing because of costs this left the door open for Sweden to take out the first title of the nation in ice hockey with the team winning all four of the games against Switzerland and West Germany. The next edition saw the start of the rivalry between Canada and the Soviet Union with the Canadians only just taking out the title. The following year saw the first time that two divisions was played in the championship with five teams competing in Pool B with Austria, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands and Yugoslavia all competing in the division.

1956–: Drama on and off the ice[edit | edit source]

In 1956, the Soviet Union claimed their first gold medal at the 1956 Winter Olympics after the Canadians lost to the United States on January 31 to end with the bronze medal with the United States claiming silver. The following year saw Sweden win the second title in the Soviet Union. The United States though would withdraw from the tournament with the reasoning being to not want to compete in the nation.

The following two years saw the Soviet Union take their second and third title respectively. In 1959, the tournament came back to a two division tournament with the top division having twelve teams competing while another five teams competing in the second division with Great Britain coming back into the tournament. At the 1960 Winter Olympics, the United States claimed their first gold medal since 1934 as they defeated Canada in the final match. This tournament also saw Australia compete in their first and to date only Olympic tournament.

In the following year, a record 21 teams competed in the tournament which featured South Africa who became the first team in Africa to compete. Though in 1962, the Cold War would flare up again with the political situation in Europe and the Berlin Wall became a major topic which saw Eastern side of the wall teams not compete as well as Sweden. The United States took out their third title finishing ahead of Canada with Finland recording their first medal with bronze. Sweden then won the 1963 edition with a draw on the final matchday against Czechoslovakia being enough to take their third gold medal.

Champions[edit | edit source]

Year Gold Silver Bronze Host city / cities Host country / countries
1920  Canada (1)  United States (1)  Czechoslovakia (1) Antwerp Belgium
1924  Canada (2)  United States (2)  Great Britain (1) Chamonix France
1928  Canada (3)  Sweden (1)  Austria (1) St. Moritz Switzerland
1930  Canada (4)  Germany (1)  Poland (1) Chamonix France
1931  Canada (5)  United States (3)  Sweden (1) Krynica-Zdrój Poland
1932  Canada (6)  United States (4)  Germany (1) Lake Placid United States
1933  Canada (7)  United States (5)  Austria (2) Prague Czechoslovakia
1934  United States (1)  Canada (1)   Switzerland (1) Milan Italy
1935  Canada (8)  Great Britain (1)  Sweden (2) Davos Switzerland
1936  Canada (9)  Great Britain (2)  United States (1) Montreal Canada
1937  Canada (10)  Great Britain (3)  Poland (2) London Great Britain
1938  Germany (1)  Canada (2)  Great Britain (2) Prague Czechoslovakia
1939  Canada (11)  United States (6)   Switzerland (2) Basel & Zurich Switzerland
1947  Czechoslovakia (1)  Sweden (2)  Austria (3) Prague Czechoslovakia
1949  Czechoslovakia (2)   Switzerland (1)  Sweden (3) Stockholm Sweden
1950  Canada (12)  Sweden (3)   Switzerland (3) London Great Britain
1951  Canada (13)   Switzerland (2)  Sweden (4) Paris France
1952  Canada (14)  United States (7)  Sweden (5) Oslo Norway
1953  Sweden (1)  Germany (2)   Switzerland (3) Basel Switzerland
1954  Canada (15)  Soviet Union (1)  Sweden (6) Stockholm Sweden
1955  Canada (16)  Soviet Union (2)  Czechoslovakia (2) Cologne West Germany
1956  Soviet Union (1)  United States (8)  Canada (1) Cortina d'Ampezzo Italy
1957  Sweden (2)  Canada (3)   Switzerland (4) Moscow Soviet Union
1958  Soviet Union (2)  Canada (4)  Sweden (7) Oslo Norway
1959  Soviet Union (3)  Canada (5)  Czechoslovakia (3) Prague Czechoslovakia
1960  United States (2)  Canada (6)  Soviet Union (1) Squaw Valley United States
1961  Canada (17)  Soviet Union (4)  Sweden (8) Genève & Lausanne Switzerland
1962  United States (3)  Canada (7)  Finland (1) Denver United States
1963  Sweden (3)  Soviet Union (5)  Canada (2) Stockholm Sweden
1964  Sweden (4)  Soviet Union (6)  Canada (3) Innsbruck Austria

Medal table[edit | edit source]

Countries in italics no longer compete at the World Championships.

Country Gold Silver Bronze Medals
 Canada 17 06 03 26
 United States 03 08 01 12
 Sweden 04 03 08 15
 Soviet Union 03 06 01 10
 Czechoslovakia 02 00 03 05
 Germany 01 02 01 04
 Great Britain 00 03 02 05
  Switzerland 00 02 04 06
 Austria 00 00 03 03
 Poland 00 00 02 02
 Finland 00 00 01 01

External Links[edit | edit source]

Template:Ice Hockey World Championships Template:IIHF Template:IIHF World Championship venues Template:Main world championships