When the jubilant members of the Edmonton Mercurys accepted their Olympic gold medals at Oslo in 1952, little did they realize that no Canadian player would do the same for the remainder of that century. The Mercurys, who had won the gold medal at the 1950 World Championship in London, outscored their opponents 88-5.
Only Sweden and the U.S. provided much opposition for Canada. The Mercurys needed a goal by captain Billy Dawe with 20 seconds remaining to beat the Swedes 3-2. This proved to be the decisive victory in the tournament as Canada could only manage a 3-3 tie with the Americans, despite out shooting them 58-13. James Sedin earned the point for the U.S. by scoring with only two minutes and nine seconds left on the clock.
The Olympic gold medal in 1952 was the fifth for Canada, an achievement not to be surpassed until 1984 by the USSR. The United States won the silver medal with an impressive 6-1-1 record, losing only to Sweden 4-2.
Czechoslovakia returned to international competition in 1952 and appeared to have won a bronze medal (and the European Championship) after a 4-0 victory over Sweden in their final game—giving them the same record and goals for and against differential as the Swedes.
Newspapers had already reported Czechoslovakia's third-place finish when the organizing committee changed the European format and decided to hold an additional game to break the tie. Sweden then claimed the Olympic bronze medal and European title with a 5-3 victory.