|1972 World Ice Hockey Championships|
|Venue(s)||1 (in 1 host city)|
|Champions||Czechoslovakia (3 titles)|
|Goals scored||288 (9.6 per game)|
|Attendance||285,564 (9,519 per game)|
|Scoring leader(s)||Alexander Maltsev 22 points|
The 1972 World Ice Hockey Championships was the 39th edition of the Ice Hockey World Championships. The tournament was held in Prague, Czechoslovakia from 7 to 22 April 1972, and the Czechoslovakia national team won the tournament, the third time they had done so and first since 1949, ending the Soviet Union's streak of nine consecutive titles. In addition it was the Czech's 12th European title.
For the first time, a separate tournament is held for both the World Championships and the Olympic Games. Previously, the Winter Olympics tournament was held in lieu of a world championships, with the winner being declared world champion for that year. It also marked the first time in international ice hockey that all goaltenders were required to wear face masks.
The American team, who had won the Silver medal earlier in the year at the Olympics, could not even win the 'B' pool, losing to Poland in their final match.
World Championship Group A (Czechoslovakia)
|7 April||Soviet Union||11-0
|8 April||West Germany||5-8
|10 April||Soviet Union||10-2
|11 April||West Germany||0-10
|15 April||West Germany||0-7
|17 April||Soviet Union||7-2
|21 April||West Germany||4-1
|22 April||Soviet Union||3-3
World Championship Group B (Romania)
Played in Bucharest from 24 March to 2 April.
Poland was promoted to Group A, both Norway and France were relegated to Group C. The French team boycotted the tournament in a protest over their federation's failure to finance the team's participation in the Sapporo Olympics
|24 March||United States||5-3
|24 March||East Germany||7-1
|26 March||East Germany||5-2
|26 March||United States||14-5
|27 March||East Germany||4-3
|29 March||United States||6-5
|30 March||United States||5-1
World Championship Group C (Romania)
Played in Miercurea-Ciuc from 3 March to the 12th. The Chinese won their first game ever played in a World Championship.
Both Austria and Italy were promoted to Group B.
Ranking and statistics
The final standings of the tournament according to IIHF:
European championships final standings