Host City: Torino, Italy
Venue(s): Olympic Palace of Sports, Torino; Torino Exposition, Torino
Date Started: February 15, 2006
Date Finished: February 26, 2006
Format: Round-robin pools, followed by single-elimination matches.
The tournament format was changed slightly. The super six teams – Canada, the United States, Russia, Finland, Sweden, and the Czech Republic – were joined by Slovakia and Germany, and seeded directly into the Winter Olympic tournament. Four other teams were selected in regional qualifying tournaments. The 12 teams were separated into two round-robin pools, with the top four teams in each pool advancing to a single-elimination tournament, beginning at the quarter-finals.
Finland dominated the early going, winning all 5 games in Pool A. They then beat the United States in the quarters, and easily handled Russia, 4-0, in the semi-finals. In the finals, they met Sweden, which had had a more difficult time in the pools, losing two games. But Sweden easily won their quarters, 6-2, over Switzerland, and the semi, 7-3, over the Czech Republic. The final was closely fought and was tied, 2-2, after two periods. But Sweden’s Nicklas Lidström, scored 10 seconds into the final period, and Finland was unable to answer, Sweden winning its second Olympic ice hockey gold medal.