1991 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships
The main venue of the 1991 World Ice Hockey Championships; Turkuhalli.
|Dates||19 April – 4 May|
|Venue(s)||3 (in 3 host cities)|
|Champions||Sweden (5th title)|
|Third place||Soviet Union|
|Fourth place||United States|
|Goals scored||272 (6.8 per match)|
|Attendance||310,627 (7,766 per match)|
|Scoring leader(s)||Mats Sundin 14 points|
The 1991 Ice Hockey World Championships took place in Finland 19 April - 4 May. The games were played in Turku, Helsinki and Tampere. The main venue was Turkuhalli. Eight teams took part, with each team playing each other once. The four best teams then played each other once more. This was the 55th World Championships, and at the same time was the 66th and last Ice Hockey European Championships. Sweden became world champions for the fifth time, and the Soviet Union won their 27th European title. In the European Championships, only matches between European teams in the first round were counted towards scoring.
There were three significant 'lasts' in this year's championships. This would be the last year that a separate European title would be awarded. It seems fitting that the Soviets captured it yet again, in their final appearance as a united nation. Their position in Group A would be inherited by Russia, with Belarus, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine all beginning play in 1993 in qualification tournaments for Group C. The tournament itself would change significantly after this year as well. This was the last time the top level was contested by eight teams. Beginning in 1992 it would expand to twelve, requiring both Groups B and C to promote four nations each.
The final round was a very tight battle, except for the Americans. Finding their way there ahead of a disappointing Czech team, and by narrowing defeating the host Finns, the USA fell out of contention, and then were involved in a controversial finish. The Canadians, having tied both the Swedes and the Soviets needed to win, and hope, in their final game. If they won by five and the Swedes tied the Soviets, they would capture gold. Winning 7-4 in the final minute, and playing short-handed, they miraculously got the two goals they needed. American coach Tim Taylor pulled his goalie in the final minute, later claiming that he was trying to score the necessary number of goals to win the bronze medal. It was the last of many questionable finishes over the years that hastened the IIHF to change the format of the tournament.
The USSR and Sweden took a 1-1 tie into the third period of the last game, which would have given the gold medal to Canada had it held up. However, Mats Sundin scored at 9:37, and the Swedes held on to capture gold.
- 1 World Championship Group A (Finland)
- 2 World Championship Group B (Yugoslavia)
- 3 World Championship Group C (Denmark)
- 4 Ranking and statistics
- 5 Citations
- 6 References
World Championship Group A (Finland)
|1||Soviet Union||7||6||1||0||41 - 16||13|
|2||Sweden||7||3||4||0||30 - 21||10|
|3||Canada||7||4||1||2||24 - 20||9|
|4||United States||7||3||2||2||23 - 28||8|
|5||Finland||7||3||1||3||22 - 15||7|
|6||Czechoslovakia||7||3||0||4||19 - 19||6|
|7||Switzerland||7||1||0||6||13 - 26||2|
|8||Germany||7||0||1||6||13 - 40||1|
|19 April||Soviet Union||3-1
|20 April||United States||4-1
|23 April||United States||2-12
|25 April||Soviet Union||5-3
|28 April||Soviet Union||5-5
|1||Sweden||3||2||1||0||13 - 08||5|
|2||Canada||3||1||2||0||15 - 10||4|
|3||Soviet Union||3||1||1||1||10 - 09||3|
|4||United States||3||0||0||3||12 - 23||0|
|30 April||Soviet Union||6-4
|2 May||United States||4-8
|4 May||United States||4-9
|5||Finland||10||6||1||3||35 - 21||13|
|6||Czechoslovakia||10||4||0||6||28 - 27||8|
|7||Switzerland||10||2||1||7||22 - 38||5|
|8||Germany||10||0||2||8||19 - 51||2|
No team was relegated because of the expansion to twelve teams.
World Championship Group B (Yugoslavia)
Played in Ljubljana 28 March to 7 April. With the expansion of Group A impending, promotion was available to the top four finishers. As well, the top three qualified directly for the Olympics, with fourth place needing to defeat the winner of Group C.
|9||Italy||7||7||0||0||49 - 11||14|
|10||Norway||7||5||0||2||26 - 13||10|
|11||France||7||5||0||2||28 - 18||10|
|12||Poland||7||4||0||3||24 - 15||8|
|13||Austria||7||3||1||3||21 - 18||7|
|14||Yugoslavia||7||2||0||5||18 - 36||4|
|15||Netherlands||7||1||0||6||09 - 40||2|
|16||Japan||7||0||1||6||10 - 34||1|
Italy, Norway, France, and Poland all were promoted to Group A, no one was relegated.
World Championship Group C (Denmark)
Played in Brøndby 23 March to 3 April. With the expansion of Group A, four openings in Group B were available. In addition, the winner got to play off for the last Olympic spot against the fourth place Group B finisher.
|17||Denmark||8||7||1||0||71 - 13||15|
|18||China||8||6||1||1||44 - 24||13|
|19||Romania||8||6||0||2||51 - 22||12|
|20||Bulgaria||8||4||1||3||35 - 26||9|
|21||Great Britain||8||4||1||3||45 - 25||9|
|22||Hungary||8||3||1||4||37 - 32||7|
|23||North Korea||8||2||1||5||29 - 35||5|
|24||South Korea||8||1||0||7||19 - 64||2|
|25||Belgium||8||0||0||8||11 - 101||0|
Denmark, China, Romania and Bulgaria were all promoted. With no Group D in existence at this time, there was no relegation.
|24 March||Great Britain||7-2
|25 March||South Korea||4-9
|26 March||South Korea||7-2
|27 March||North Korea||2-3
|30 March||Great Britain||4-5
|31 March||South Korea||2-4
|31 March||North Korea||2-6
|1 April||Great Britain||7-1
|2 April||North Korea||1-1
|3 April||South Korea||0-7
Ranking and statistics
The final standings of the tournament according to IIHF:
European championships final standings
List shows the top skaters sorted by points, then goals.
Only the top five goaltenders, based on save percentage, who have played 50% of their team's minutes are included in this list.