IIHF President John "Bunny" Ahearne declared the 1956 Olympic tournament the most representative in history. A special four-level Olympic Stadium was built at the Italian alpine resort to accommodate 12,000 spectators.
The organizers returned to the two-stage formula and copied the format of the 1949 World Championships, with the two top teams from each of the three sub-groups advancing to the round-robin final, while the remaining teams played in the consolation group
The story of the tournament was the USSR who went a perfect 7-0. "There is one area," wrote the New York Times, "where the Russians have shown results bordering on the impossible and that area is ice hockey." This was written in the aftermath of the Soviet Union's gold medal capture in this, their first ever Winter Olympic appearance.
The Soviet's were led by netminder Nikolai Puchkov, who shut out the silver-medalist Americans 4-0 and bronze-meda