Canada won its 21st World title at the 1997 tournament in Finland. They defeated Sweden in a best of three final series in which Sweden won the first game 3-2. Canada won the second match 3-1 on goals by Geoff Sanderson, Anson Carter and Mark Recchi and scored a 2-1 win in the final, with Dean Evason and Owen Nolan providing the goals. Sean Burke supplied solid goalkeeping for Canada throughout the tournament. The bronze medal went to the Czech Republic, which upset Russia 4-3.
It was a disappointing tournament for Finnish coach Curt Lindstrom, a native of Sweden who had guided the Finns to the world title in 1995. Finland finished fifth overall in his final appearance behind the bench. Playing in the "A" Pool for the first time since before World War II, Latvia placed a respectable seventh overall. Along the way they earned ties against both Canada and Sweden.
Canada's Rob Blake was selected the outstanding defenceman in the tournament, while goaltending honors went to Tommy Salo of Sweden and teammate Michael Nylander was named the top forward. Martin Prochazka and Vladimir Vujtek of the Czech Republic tied for the overall scoring championship with seven goals and 14 points apiece.