Host City: Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy
Venue(s): Apollonio Stadium, Cortina d'Ampezzo; Ice Stadium, Cortina d'Ampezzo
Date Started: January 26, 1956
Date Finished: February 4, 1956
Format: Round-robin pools, followed by medal and consolation rounds.
Canada had dominated Olympic ice hockey from 1920-1952, winning 37 games, tying 3, and losing only once, while outscoring their opponents, 403-34. But things would be different beginning in 1956. In 1954, the Soviet Union had won the World Championships in Stockholm, defeating the Canadians easily, 7-2. Until the break-up of the Soviet Union, their ice hockey team would dominate the Olympic tournaments.
In 1956, Canada was represented by the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen, who had won the Allan Cup for the previous two seasons. The Americans again consisted of a selected all-star team. The Soviets were a national team that trained together year-round, most of their players titularly working in the military, to circumvent amateur rules. The three teams advanced to the medal round, along with Sweden, Czechoslovakia, and Germany. In the medal round, the US defeated Canada 4-1, in the second game for each team. Two days later, the USSR defeated the United States, 4-0, virtually guaranteeing them the gold medal. They iced that by beating Canada, 2-0, in the final series of games. The United States won the silver medal and Canada the bronze.