Soviet dominance begins
While the Canadians built a stranglehold on Olympic gold, winning six of the first seven tournaments, the Soviets patiently built their program. Joining the IIHF in 1952, they managed their first World Championship just two years later, but it was at Cortina in 1956 that the Russian Bear truly emerged. They swamped the Swedes 5-1 in the opener and blanked the Yanks 4-0. But it was a 2-0 upset of the Canadians (despite being outshot 23-9) that confirmed their arrival. The Soviets went 7-0 to capture gold, the first in a stretch that saw them earn seven of nine championships.