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Men's Pool A
IIHF Men's World Hockey Championships
World Championships Artifact
World Championships Photo Beginning with the 1961 tournament in Switzerland, the World Championship was played in three groups, which significantly increased the number of participating nations. A record 20 teams took part, including the first team from South Africa. The competition was preceded by qualification games to determine the final berths in Pool "A" and Pool "B." Wins by both East and West Germany put each country in the "A" Pool, which resulted in a forfeit when the West Germans refused to play the East. By defeating the Soviet Union 5-1, the Trail Smoke Eaters won another World Championship gold medal for Canada. Canada's Seth Martin, who was inducted into the International Ice Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997, starred in goal for the Smokies. Trail did not lose a game but were tied 1-1 by the silver medalists from Czechoslovakia. Canada and Czechoslovakia tied for top spot with 13 points apiece, but the Canadians had a better goals for and against differential. Besides losing to Canada, the Soviets also lost 6-4 to Czechoslovakia and had to settle for a bronze medal. This was Canada's 19th win at the World Championship, a record that would be equaled by the Soviets in 1983. It was also Canada's last World title by an amateur team. The country would not win the World Championship again until 1994. Although its national team placed third, it was clear the Soviet rebuilding program was nearing completion, and the USSR National Team that competed in Switzerland in 1961 had seven future World Champions on its roster. The championship marked the last time that games were held in the open air. A swimming pool in Lausanne provided the outdoor venue, with powerful freezing plants turning the water to ice. Diving platforms rose above the playing surface and proved an attractive perch for photographers. The warm March sun was a nuisance for players, who had to protect their eyes from the glare. The indoor rink in Geneva was also unusual, as it featured boards made of transparent plastic.
1961 Geneva, Lausanne Summary
Click on a team below to see its roster and stats.
Rank Country Games Wins Losses Ties Points GDF GF GA
1 Canada 7 6 0 1 13      
2 Czechoslovakia 7 6 0 1 13      
3 USSR 7 5 2 0 10      
4 Sweden 7 4 3 0 8      
5 East Germany 8 3 5 0 6      
6 USA 7 1 5 1 3      
7 Finland 7 1 5 1 3      
8 West Germany 8 1 5 2 4      
N/R Norway 1 0 1 0 0      
N/R Switzerland 1 0 1 0 0      

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