Host City: Grenoble, France
Venue(s): Ice Stadium, Grenoble; Municipal Rink, Grenoble
Date Started: February 4, 1968
Date Finished: February 17, 1968
Format: Qualifying round placed teams into final and consolation round-robin pools.
The USSR had won the 1965, 1966, and 1967 World Championships and had not lost an international game since 1963. They won their first five Olympic games handily, but then lost to Czechoslovakia, 5-4. Going into the final series of games, they had identical 5-1 records, and if they both won their final game, Czechoslovakia would win the gold medal, based on the head-to-head victory. But Sweden pulled out a tie against the Czechs. This left the gold medal in the Soviet’s hands and they easily defeated Canada, 5-0, in the final game, to defend their Olympic title. The USSR was led by Anatoly Firsov, considered by many the greatest Russian ice hockey player ever. A winger with great speed, he was an outstanding athlete who once scored 6 goals in a game against the Canadian national team. He led the 1968 Olympic scorers with 12 goals.