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Graphical elementIntroductionThe Origins of HockeyEarly Days of HockeyFrench-Canadian TraditionInternational HockeyAboriginal HockeyWomen's HockeyCommunity HockeyGraphical element Section title: International Hockey

International Hockey: Essay by Denis Gibbons

 

After the second round of the 1936 Olympic hockey championships at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, officials decided that results of these games would be carried forward to the final round. This was a crucial decision from the Canadian point of view because Great Britain had defeated Canada in the second round. In the final round, Canada won against the United States and Czechoslovakia, while Great Britain defeated Czechoslovakia and played the United States to a scoreless overtime tie. That was good enough to give the Brits their first Olympic gold medal in hockey. Most of the players on the British team were, in fact, Canadian. Between 1920 and 1968, all Olympic hockey champions were also counted as world champions.

Great Britain surprised the hockey world by defeating Canada and winning Gold at the 1936 Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.


 

George McAvoy and his teammates, mainly from the Penticton [British Columbia] Vees, defeated the Soviets 5 to 0. Vsevolod Bobrov was one of the Soviet Union's greatest all-time players, scoring 91 goals in 57 national team games from 1954 to 1957.


 

The Canadian world championship victory over the Soviets in 1955, avenged a humiliating 7 to 2 loss to their nemesis the previous year.


 

In their first Winter Olympics appearance, the USSR won the hockey championship at Cortina-d'Ampezzo, Italy, in 1956. It was a clean sweep, the skilled Soviets winning both games in the preliminary round and all five in the medal round. Vsevolod Bobrov, one of his country's most famous athletes, was the Soviets' leading player in the tournament.


 

 

Note the remarkable level of attendance at this international match between the USSR and Czechoslovakia.


 

The final game of the World Championship between the USSR and Sweden, in 1957, drew 50 000 spectators to an outdoor rink.


 

Arkady Chernyshev was the coach of the first champion team of the USSR.


 

Arne Stromberg (shown here being carried by his players) coached Sweden to the 1962 World Championship. He was inducted into the IIHF Hockey Hall of Fame in 1998.


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