The 1998 World Championships in Zurich/Basel Switzerland, featured a low-scoring defensive battle in the best of two, total goal final series between Sweden and Finland. A lone goal by Sweden's Johan Tornberg in game one was all that was required for Sweden to defeat the Finns as the second game ended in a scoreless tie. Swedish goaltender Tommy Salo posted back-to-back shutouts in the finals, and managed to out-duel Finland's Ari Sulander, who turned aside 58 of the 59 shots he faced in the final round and went on to win the tournament's top goalkeeper title.
The host team from Switzerland were defeated by Sweden in the semi-finals in two straight, but still had a chance to finish third if they could defeat the Czech Republic. The hometown fans left dissapointed however, as Czech goaltender Milan Hlinka made 27 saves to blank the Swiss en route to a 4-0 victory. The defending champion Canadians finished a disappointing seventh after lop-sided losses to Sweden and Belarus.
The Czech Republic's Frantisek Kucera was selected the tournament's outstanding defenseman while Sweden's Peter Forsberg was chosen the top forward. Forsberg also tied for the overall scoring championship with teammate Mats Sundin and and Finland's Raimo Helminen with 11 points apiece.