Archive for OG History

Xaver Unsinn Hat Blyth Arena Besucht


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Vier deutschen olympischen Teilnehmer stehen ausserhalb des Eishockeyhauses, die BLYTH ARENA, waehrend der 1960 Olympische Winterspiele in dem kalifornischen Squaw Valley. Das Foto gibt von links : SIEGFRIED SCHUBERT, XAVER UNSINN, ERNST TRAUTWEIN und KURT SEPP. Alle vier Spieler kamen aus EV Fuessen, die sieben deutsche Titel in Folge von 1953 bis 1959 gewonnen hat.
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Es ist sehr traurig, dass XAVER UNSINN gegangen ist. Unsinn hat viel fuer Deutschland als beide Spieler und Trainer getan. Er bleibt immer, ein echte und ausgezeichnete Nationalheld.

KURT SEPP hat das 1960 deutsche olympische Mannschaft mit drei Tore gefuehrt. Sepp hat das einzige Tor fuer Deutschland in dem Spiel gegen die Amerikaner, die die Goldmedaille auf dem Haupteis gewonnen hat, an der Blyth Arena geschossen. Unsinn, der 30 Jahre alt jetzt war, hat die Vorarbeit mit diesem Tor gemacht.

Spaeter, Unsinn hat einen grossen Erfolg mit den Amerikanern an den Olympische Winterspiele als deutsche Trainer … aber dass ist ein andere Geschichte.

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Blyth Arena – A Barn For The Ages

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The legendary BLYTH ARENA was a most distinct as well as historical barn while serving as the site of the ice hockey competition at the 1960 WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES in SQUAW VALLEY and is, all but assuredly, something which the world will never see again.

Although it must seem strange to contemporary fans of the sport, the facility on the West Coast of the United States was intentionally left open-faced for a very specific reason — the International Olympic Committee had a regulation at the time which stipulated that no official compeition could be conducted under an enclosed roof.

And so an entire side of the building spanning the entire length of the ice rink, itself, was actually completely exposed to the outside elements. Long ropes suspended from the roof sustained the Olympic symbol and were meant to form a sort of curtain which was supposed to lessen the impact of the sun’s glare on the ice. This measure, however, would prove to be only partly successful.

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The victorious UNITED STATES squad, including game-winning goal-scorer BILL CHRISTIAN (6) of Warroad, Minnesota, and team captain JACK KIRRANE (3) of Brookline, Massachusetts, celebrate their surprising 3-2 triumph over the defending Olympic gold medalists from the Soviet Union during the ice hockey tournament at the 1960 Winter Games in Squaw Valley.
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The memorable Winter Games at Squaw Valley actually marked the very first time that the Olympic ice hockey tournament had ever been played on an artificial, man-made surface. In the planning stages for the event in 1960, it had been historically noted that temperatures during winter in this mountain region of northern California could often reach the high 30s and low 40s (Fahrenheit) in the daylight hours. That would make for unwanted, if not unplayable, slushy conditions and so modern ice-making technology was called upon.

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A view from one of the two Olympic ski jumps on the mountain at Squaw Valley in 1960 provides an ideal vantage point for both the south side of the open-faced BLYTH ARENA as well as the 400 meter speed skating track just outside the ice hockey rink … Just two years after the Winter Games held in northern California, the speed skating track was replaced by a parking lot servicing recreational skiers in 1963. Meanwhile, the ski jumps made of wood were left to deteriorate with the passage of time.
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A splendid view, then, of the front (north) side of the BLYTH ARENA depicts national coats of arms for the competing countries at the 1960 Olympic ice hockey tournament in addition to a fine sampling of some of the contemporary automobiles to be found in the United States at that point in time.
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The following two pictures, if cut out and pasted side by side, create an outstanding sense of appreciation of what it must have been like to be in the audience at the open-faced Blyth Arena in Squaw Valley for the ice hockey tournament at the 1960 Winter Olympic Games; the facility boasted an official capacity for 8,500 spectators but after the United States upset neighboring Canada 2-1 behind the sensational goaltending of former University of Minnesota netminder JACK MCCARTAN, the final two games for the host nation against the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia, repsectively, resulted in overflow, standing-room-only crowds of a reported 10,000 people.
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This particular piece easily affords one the opportunity to observe the ropes which hang down from the roof at the Blyth Arena to support ths Olympic symbol while attempting to stop the sun from creating too much glare on the ice. And the 400 meter speed skating track situated just behind the stands on the south side of the rink. One may also note that, here at the Squaw Valley Winter Games of 1960, the corners of the rink are not anywhere closed to being as rounded as they are now today.
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After rallying for six unanswered goals in the third period against Czechoslovakia on the final day of tournament play, the 1960 Olympic gold medal-winning squad of the United States gathers jubilantly for a photograph at the open-faced Blyth Arena in Squaw Valley.

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Miller Is Certainly Most Valuable

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United States goaltender RYAN MILLER (39) skates off after the opening day victory over Switzerland at the 2010 Winter Olympics from Canada Hockey Place in Vancouver. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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It should have come as no surprise that United States goaltender RYAN MILLER of the Buffalo Sabres finished the 2010 Winter Olympics as the netminder with the top save percentage (for those having made at least fifty saves) at the Vancouver Games :

  • 94.56 % — 139 sv —   8 go — Ryan MILLER — United States
  • 93.57 % — 131 sv —   9 go — Tomas VOKOUN — Czech Republic
  • 92.73 % —   51 sv —   4 go — Henrik LUNDQVIST — Sweden
  • 92.68 % — 114 sv —   9 go — Roberto LUONGO — Canada
  • 91.82 % — 146 sv — 13 go — Jonas HILLER — Switzerland
  • 91.36 % —   74 sv —   7 go — Andrei MEZIN — Belarus
  • 91.05 % — 173 sv — 17 go — Jaroslav HALAK — Slovakia
  • 90.59 % —   77 sv —   8 go — Vitali KOVAL — Belarus

Miller started all six games and played all but eleven minutes and thirty-one seconds of the entire Olympic schedule for the U.S. national team in Vancouver. The former Michigan State University All-America posted one shutout and a sparkling 1.35 goals-against-average at the Olympic tournament, as well. Indeed, the Directorate of the International Ice Hockey Federation selected the American for the Best Goaltender award.

More importantly — and most deservedly — the 29-year-old was chosen as the Most Valuable Player of the ice hockey tournament at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

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Demitra Is Da Man In Vancouver

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Veteran international PAVOL DEMITRA (38) of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks enjoyed a splendid Winter Olympic Games for the national team of Slovakia, indeed. Demitra’s personal highlight was, perhaps, the game-winner in the round-robin shootout victory versus Russia.(Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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Slovakia’s PAVOL DEMITRA finished as the top point scorer at the ice hockey tournament of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and takes his place on the honor roll of all-time leaders : 

  • 2010 —   3 go   7 as – 10 pts — Pavol DEMITRA — Slovakia
  • 2006 —   6 go   5 as – 11 pts — Teemu SELANNE — Finland
  • 2002 —   5 go   4 as -    9 pts — Mats SUNDIN — Sweden
  • 1998 —   4 go   6 as – 10 pts — Teemu SELANNE — Finland
  • 1994 —   3 go   7 as – 10 pts — Zigmund PALFFY — Slovakia
  • 1992 —   6 go   9 as – 15 pts — Joe JUNEAU — Canada
  • 1988 —   6 go   9 as – 15 pts — Vladimir KRUTOV — Soviet Union
  • 1984 —   8 go   6 as – 14 pts — Erich KUEHNHACKL — West Germany
  • 1980 —   7 go   8 as – 15 pts — Milan NOVY — Czechoslovakia
  • 1976 —   6 go   4 as – 10 pts — Vladimir SHADRIN — Soviet Union
  • 1972 —   9 go   6 as – 15 pts — Valery KHARLAMOV — Soviet Union
  • 1968 — 12 go   4 as – 16 pts — Anatoli FIRSOV — Soviet Union
  • 1964 —   8 go   3 as – 11 pts — Sven “Tumba” JOHANSSON — Sweden
  • 1960 —   9 go 12 as – 21 pts — Fred ECHTER — Canada
  • 1956 —   5 go   7 as – 12 pts — Paul KNOX, Jim LOGAN — Canada

Demitra, who plays in the National Hockey League for the Vancouver Canucks, is the first player in history to accomplish the unique feat of topping the Olympic tournment scoring chart in the same city where he plays his professional hockey.

Oddly enough, the health of the 35-year-old veteran was a huge concern leading into the 2010 Winter Olympics. A 300-plus goal-scorer for his career in the NHL, Demitra played just 11 games for the Vancouver Canucks after missing most of the 2009-10 season rehabilitating from a serious shoulder injury. In that time the Slovak international had managed just one goal and four points for the Canucks, as well.

Demitra, however, found both fitness and form just in the nick of time for the Slovakia national team and, in the end, registered his name in the Olympic history books at the Vancouver Games for all eternity.

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Hitler’s Germany Dropped Ball

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Left : RUDI BALL, on his major debut for Germany at the 1929 European Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia.

Right : ERICH ROEMER, shown here in the sweater of Schlittschuhclub Berlin, played 47 games (6 goals) for Germany in all competitions between 1927 and 1934.

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Knowledgable neutral observers at the 1934 IIHF World Championships most certainly would have noticed the omission of star forward RUDI BALL’s name from the roster of contemporary European power GERMANY for the annual ice hockey tournament held in Milan, Italy, that year.

After all, the 23-year-old right wing’s six goals at Prague twelve months earlier had ranked third among all players at the 1933 World Championships. At the 1932 Winter Olympics in the United States, the small but swift Ball had posted a hat trick in the crucial final match with Poland and, overall, was involved in five of seven German goals for the bronze medal-winning squad. Clearly, the still quite young Ball had proven himself to be an impact player for Germany.

In fact, since Ball first skated for Germany at the European Championships in Prague, only left wing GUSTAV JAENECKE (13 goals) had scored more often for the German national team at major international events than his linemate, Ball (11 goals), from 1929 thru 1933.

The combination of Ball and Jaenecke, who also skated together on the same forward line with Schlittschuhclub Berlin in the German domestic league until 1932, accounted for 24 of the German national team’s 38 goals scored (63%) at the five major international tournaments contested from 1929 to 1933 for Aussenkapitan (player-coach) ERICH ROEMER.

With these facts in mind, it would have been easy for the contemporary, knowledgable neutral observer in Milan to have wondered — had the German coach Roemer, after all the seasons on the blueline as a tough-but-skilled defender for both club and country, perhaps taken a stick to the head at some point that now somehow hampers his mental capacities?

The decision to drop Rudi Ball from the national ice hockey team in all likelihood, however, had absolutely nothing to do with Erich Roemer.

By the time of the Milan tournament, the 29-year-old Roemer was in his eighth season for the national side and had also served as Germany’s coach since 1929. As a key member of the traditional domestic powerhouse Schlittschuhclub Berlin, for whom he was also appointed player-coach in 1930, Roemer had already registered seven German league championships. At the 1930 World Championships, in only his second season serving as Aussenkapitan for the national team, the defenseman scored three goals in five games as Germany stormed to the European title while finishing second overall.

It was, of course, Roemer who was in his first season as German player-coach when the 18-year Ball first made his debut for the national team at the 1929 European Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia.

ADOLF HILTLER, who had been appointed Chancellor by the aging President of the German Weimar Republic, PAUL VON HINDENBURG, on January 33, 1933, and his Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers Party) were well under way with what became known as MACHTERGREIFUNG (“seizure of power”) — the complete takeover of Germany’s government — by the time the first puck was dropped in Milan for the 1934 World Championships.

Shortly after Hitler’s historic appointment, the Nazis began a very public policy in Germany of persecution of the Jewish people. On April 1 in 1933, all Jewish businesses including shops, stores, doctors and lawyers were officially boycotted. Just six days later, the so-called Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service — the banning of Jews from government employment — was passed.

Things, of course, would only get worse for the Jews in Germany and, later, the rest of Europe, as well, in the years to follow.

1934 was Rudi Ball’s first season skating for the EHC St. Mortiz club in Switzerland after having left Schlittschuhclub Berlin. Ball’s two older brothers, also Schlittschuhclub players, made the move to Switzerland that year, as well, never to play in Germany ever again. Gerhard, the oldest of the Ball trio at 30 that season, was an accomplished goaltender for the mighty Schlittschuhclub Berlin and had made a few appearances with the German national team in his career. 

It was also the last year for Erich Roemer with the German national team. After defeating Switzerland 2-1 in the third place match at the World Championships in Milan, the Germans claimed a second European title since 1930 under Roemer. The veteran defenseman, who had forced overtime with a long-range goal five seconds from the end of regulation against the Swiss, played and coached his final game for Germany in the Italian Alps in 1934.

Roemer would continue to play with Schlittschuhclub Berlin until 1939, but his departure, highlighted by Ball’s absence, marked the end of the most successful period for Germany in international ice hockey competition and the beginning of an era with serious sinister overtones.

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Germany’s Game Record – 1927-1939

GERMANY national team --- 1932 Winter Olympic Games --- Lake Placid, United States

GERMANY national team --- 1932 Winter Olympic Games --- Lake Placid, United States

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Photo above left to right : Erich HERKKER, Georg STROBL, Werner KORFF, Alfred HEINRICH, Walter LEINWEBER, Gustav JAENECKE, Martin SCHROETTLE, Marquard SLEVOGT, Erich ROEMER, Rudi BALL. 

The “T” on Leinweber’s jersey stands for Torhueter, which is the German word for goalkeeper; note the bandage on Aussenkapitan (player-coach) Roemer’s head.

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GERMANY national ice hockey team — match results for 1927-1939 :

  • 01/24/27 — Germany 2 – Czechoslovakia 1 — E.C.
  • 01/25/27 — Germany 2 – Poland 1 — E.C.
  • 01/27/27 — Germany 5 – Hungary 0 — E.C.
  • 01/28/27 — Germany 1 – Austria 2 — E.C.
  • 01/29/27 — Germany 0 – Belgium 3 — E.C.

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  • 02/06/28 — Germany 0 – Poland 6
  • 02/07/28 — Germany 1 – Sweden 2
  • 02/09/28 — Germany 0 – Sweden 9
  • 02/11/28 — Germany 0 – Austria 0 — W.O.G.
  • 02/13/28 — Germany 0 – Switzerland 1 — W.O.G.

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  • 01/28/29 — Germany 0 – Austria 1 — E.C.
  • 01/30/29 — Germany 1 – Czechoslovakia 2 — E.C.

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  • 01/31/30 — Germany 4 – Great Britain 2 — W.E.C.
  • 02/01/30 — Germany 4 – Hungary 1 — W.E.C.
  • 02/02/30 — Germany 2 – Poland 1 — W.E.C.
  • 02/09/30 — Germany 2 – Switzerland 1 — W.E.C.
  • 02/10/30 — Germany 1 – Canada 6 — W.E.C.
  • 02/28/30 — Germany 1 – Sweden 1 

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  • 01/14/31 — Germany 1 – Canada 7

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  • 02/04/32 — Germany 2 — Poland 1 — W.O.G.
  • 02/06/32 — Germany 1 — Canada 4 — W.O.G.
  • 02/07/32 — Germany 0 — United States 7 — W.O.G.
  • 02/08/32 — Germany 0 — Canada 5 — W.O.G.
  • 02/09/32 — Germany 0 — United States 8 — W.O.G.
  • 02/13/32 — Germany 4 — Poland 1 — W.O.G.
  • 02/19/32 — Germany 1 — Canada 7
  • 03/14/32 — Germany 1 — Switzerland 1 — E.C.
  • 03/16/32 — Germany 1 — Austria 1 — E.C.
  • 03/18/32 — Germany 1 — Czechoslovakia 0 — E.C.
  • 03/20/32 — Germany 0 — Sweden 1 — E.C. 
  • 03/27/32 — Germany 1 — Sweden 4
  • 03/28/32 — Germany 4 — Sweden 2

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  • 12/20/32 — Germany 1 – Canada 5
  • 02/15/33 — Germany 1 – United States 2
  • 02/16/33 — Germany 2 – United States 7
  • 02/18/33 — Germany 6 – Belgium 0 — W.E.C.
  • 02/19/33 — Germany 2 – Poland 0 — W.E.C.
  • 02/21/33 — Germany 0 – Canada 5 — W.E.C.
  • 02/22/33 — Germany 4 – Hungary 0 — W.E.C.
  • 02/23/33 — Germany 0 – Austria 2 — W.E.C.
  • 02/24/33 — Germany 1 – Switzerland 1 — W.E.C. 
  • 03/12/33 — Germany 2 – Sweden 3

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  • 02/02/34 — Germany 0 – Canada 3
  • 02/03/34 — Germany 1 – Austria 2 — W.E.C.
  • 02/05/34 — Germany 3 – Italy 2 — W.E.C.
  • 02/06/34 — Germany 0 – Canada 6 — W.E.C.
  • 02/08/34 — Germany 4 – France 0 — W.E.C.
  • 02/09/34 — Germany 1 – Czechoslovakia 0 — W.E.C.
  • 02/10/34 — Germany 0 – United States 3 — W.E.C.
  • 02/11/34 — Germany 2 – Switzerland 1 — W.E.C.
  • 02/26/34 — Germany 0 – Poland 5
  • 03/04/34 — Germany 0 – Switzerland 5

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  • 01/19/35 — Germany 0 – Italy 2 — W.E.C.
  • 01/20/35 — Germany 1 – Poland 3 — W.E.C.
  • 01/21/35 — Germany 1 – France 2 — W.E.C.
  • 01/23/35 — Germany 5 – Holland 0 — W.E.C.
  • 01/24/35 — Germany 3 – Latvia 1 — W.E.C.
  • 01/25/35 — Germany 3 – Romania 0 — W.E.C.
  • 01/27/35 — Germany 5 – Poland 1 — W.E.C.
  • 02/05/35 — Germany 2 – Canada 9
  • 03/30/35 — Germany 4 – Holland 1

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  • 11/20/35 — Germany 2 – Czechoslovakia 2
  • 12/07/35 — Germany 3 – Sweden 0
  • 12/08/35 — Germany 1 – Sweden 0
  • 12/14/35 — Germany 1 – Sweden 2
  • 12/15/35 — Germany 0 – Sweden 8
  • 12/21/35 — Germany 2 – Poland 1
  • 12/22/35 — Germany 4 – Poland 3
  • 02/06/36 — Germany 0 – United States 1 — W.O.G.
  • 02/07/36 — Germany 3 – Italy 0 — W.O.G.
  • 02/09/36 — Germany 2 – Switzerland 0 — W.O.G.
  • 02/11/36 — Germany 2 – Hungary 1 — W.O.G.
  • 02/12/36 — Germany 1 – Great Britain 1 — W.O.G.
  • 02/13/26 — Germany 2 – Canada 6 — W.O.G.

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  • 02/17/37 — Germany 0 – Great Britain 6 — W.E.C.
  • 02/18/37 — Germany 4 – Romania 2 — W.E.C.
  • 02/19/37 — Germany 2 – Hungary 2 — W.E.C.
  • 02/20/37 — Germany 5 – France 0 — W.E.C.
  • 02/21/37 — Germany 0 – Canada 5 — W.E.C.
  • 02/23/37 — Germany 2 – Czechoslovakia 1 — W.E.C.
  • 02/25/37 — Germany 0 – Canada 5 — W.E.C.
  • 02/26/37 — Germany 0 – Switzerland 6 — W.E.C.
  • 02/27/37 — Germany 0 – Great Britain 5 — W.E.C.

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  • 02/11/38 — Germany 0 – Great Britain 1 — W.E.C.
  • 02/13/38 — Germany 5 – Latvia 1 — W.E.C.
  • 02/14/38 — Germany 0 – United States 1 — W.E.C.
  • 02/15/38 — Germany 8 – Norway 0 — W.E.C.
  • 02/16/38 — Germany 2 – Canada 3 — W.E.C.
  • 02/17/38 — Germany 1 – Hungary 0 — W.E.C.
  • 02/20/38 — Germany 0 – Canada 1 — W.E.C.
  • 02/22/38 — Germany 0 – Czechoslovakia 3 — W.E.C. 
  • 03/uk/38 — Germany 2 – France 1
  • uk/uk/38 — Germany 2 – Austria 2

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  • 02/03/39 — Germany 12 – Finland 1 — W.E.C.
  • 02/04/39 — Germany 4 – United States 1 — W.E.C.
  • 02/05/39 — Germany 4 – Italy 4 — W.E.C.
  • 02/06/39 — Germany 0 – Italy 0 — W.E.C.
  • 02/07/39 — Germany 1 – Czechoslovakia 1 — W.E.C.
  • 02/08/39 — Germany 1 – Great Britain 0 — W.E.C.
  • 02/09/39 — Germany 0 – Canada 9 — W.E.C.
  • 02/11/39 — Germany 6 – Hungary 2 — W.E.C.
  • 02/12/39 — Germany 4 – Poland 0 — W.E.C. 

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  • E.C. ——- European Championships
  • W.E.C. — World and European Championships
  • W.O.G. — Winter Olympic Games

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Lake Placid ’32 : Germany Had A Ball

RUDI BALL nets one of his 19 career international goals for Germany

RUDI BALL nets one of his 19 career international goals for Germany

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Seventy-eight years ago on this day, the German national team celebrated the first of its two greatest days of all-time at the Winter Olympics.

The world-wide economic depression had reduced the ice hockey competition at the Lake Placid Games in 1932 to a field of just four teams. Thus, all but one squad were sure to receive an Olympic medal. In spite of all this, the Germans had arrived in upstate New York with legitimate aspirations, anyway, after having won both the silver medal for the World Championships as well as the European title at the 1930 tournament that was started in Chamonix, France, but moved to Berlin as a result of bad weather.

Only two changes had been made to German Aussenkapitan (player-coach) ERICH ROEMER’s team from the 1930 champion squad — the two new players being forwards WERNER KORFF of Schlittschuhclub Berlin and Sportclub Riessersee’s GEORG STROBL.

Germany got its 1932 Winter Games off to the right start with a critical 2-1 defeat of Poland thru a pair of Blitztore (lightning goals) from GUSTAV JAENECKE and MARTIN SCHROETTLE. Jaenecke, a 23-year-old left wing from Schlittschuhclub Berlin, scored nine goals in six games at the 1930 World Championships and entered the Lake Placid tournament Germany’s all-time leading goal-scorer at major international events with 16 goals in 14 games.

As expected, the Germans lost all four contests against the North American continent’s teams. The first of those, a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Canada, was respectable; the pair of losses the silver medalist United States by the combined count of 15-0 was rather disappointing. Nonetheless, one final match with Poland still provided opportunity for the Olympic bronze medal at the III Winter Games for the black-sweatered German sqaud.

The Poles were not prepared to go quietly but, following a scoreless first period, 21-year-old RUDI BALL sent the Germans in front. Poland pulled level two minutes into the third period of play but 120 seconds later Ball, the 5’4″ 140-pound linemate of Jaenecke for both club and country, put Germany back in front. The rookie Strobl shot a third goal for the Fatherland while Ball then bagged his third goal of the game to set the final score at 4-1 for Germany.

For Rudi Ball, who scored one goal in five games for Germany at the 1930 World Championships, it is the break-out match of his distinguished international career. It also marked the very first time a German player performed the ‘hat trick’ at the Winter Olympics. Ball also added two assists at the 1932 Lake Placid Games and was, therefore, involved in five of Germany’s seven total goals at the tournament. 

The bronze medal in 1932 would represent the finest German hour at the Winter Olympics for the better part of the next half century.

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Light Before The Dark

All-time German great GUSTAV JAENECKE stickhandling here for powerhouse German outfit Schlittschuhclub Berlin. Jaenecke first skated with the national team as an 18-year-old in 1927 and finished in 1939 after scoring 43 goals (82 games) for Germany in all competitions. A powerful left wing, Jaenecke also spent time on defense in the latter years of his career.

All-time German great GUSTAV JAENECKE stickhandling here for powerhouse German outfit Schlittschuhclub Berlin. Jaenecke first skated with the national team as an 18-year-old in 1927 and finished in 1939 after scoring 43 goals (82 games) for Germany in all competitions. A powerful left wing, Jaenecke also spent time on defense in the latter years of his career.

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The national team of GERMANY has a long a proud tradition in international ice hockey competition dating back to the time of Kaiser Wilhelm II.

The Germans appeared at all five European Championships from 1910 thru 1914, the very first major ice hockey events for national teams, prior to the outbreak of the First World War. Although Bohemia won three of the four European Championships they contested, Germany finished second four times and third on the other occasion to establish themselves a legitimate power on the continent.

The aftermath of the Woodrow Wilson’s “war to end all wars” and the Treaty of Versailles included Germany’s exclusion from international competition. This, of course, extended to the Olympics, which resulted in no German participation at either the Antwerp Games of 1920 or the first-ever Winter Games at Chamonix, France, in 1924. 

Germany were first allowed to re-enter a major ice hockey tournament again at the 1927 European Championships held in neighboring Austria.

The host nation won that tournament but Germany did finish a respectable third (out of six) and unveiled a pair of would-be steady performers for the years to come in the Schlittschuhclub Berlin pair of defenseman ERICH ROEMER and forward GUSTAV JAENECKE.

While disappointment lay in wait at both the 1928 Winter Olympics and the 1929 European Championships, Germany would have their opportunity to sit in the sun shortly.

This, in large part, was due to the arrival of the small but skillful RUDI BALL, another Schlittschuhclub Berlin skater who was Jaenecke’s new linemate with both club and country. Bolstered by ten goals from the fresh forward combination (Jaenecke scored nine goals while Ball added four assists) and backed by another three goals from their clubmate on the blueline, the Aussenkapitan (player-coach) Roemer, the Germans reached new heights at the first-ever non-Olympic year World Championships staged in 1930. Germany defeated all four of its continental opponents to claim the European title also on offer and, despite the 6-1 loss to Canada, earned the very first set of silver medals ever presented by the International Ice Hockey Federation.

To this very day, eighty years later, this is still the highest finish for Germany at a major international ice hockey tournament.

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1930 — GERMANY

  • Goal : LEINWEBER (EV Fussen)
  • Defense : ROEMER (Schlittschuhclub Berlin), KREISEL (Sportclub Riessersee), HEINRICH (Brandenburg Berlin)
  • Attack : BALL, JAENECKE (Schlittschuhclub Berlin), SCHROETTLE, SLEVOGT (Sportclub Riessersee), HERKER, KUMMERTZ (Brandenburg Berlin)

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Germany did not send a team to the World Championships the following year but did send a contingent across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932 to contest the III Winter Olympic Games in the United States. Because of the Great Depression only four nations fielded teams at Lake Placid. Small field notwithstanding and paced by three goals from Ball in the final match against Poland, the Germans still secured a satisfying set of Olympic bronze medals in upstate New York.

Later that spring, Germany lost just one match out of four at the 1932 European Championships, the last such independent tournament, on home soil in Berlin but still finished fourth and out of the medals. Although the defense allowed just three goals, the offense could only generate that many goals itself. A last period goal conceded in the 1-0 final game loss to Sweden doomed the Germans.

Germany finished in a tie for both third place in the European standings as well as fifth place in the overall standings at the 1933 World Championships in Prague. WALTER LEINWEBER, the EV Fussen giant who had been ever-present in Germany’s goal since 1929, was replaced for the tournment by Sportclub Riessersee netminder WILHELM EGGINGER but the German defense remained reasonably strong nonetheless. Ball stood out once again with six goals in six games and netted the lone German goal in the match for third place in Europe, the 1-1 draw with the neighbors and rivals, Switzerland.

The Germans enjoyed another highly-successful skate at the World Championships the next year in Milan. Although still not able to defeat the North Americans, Germany did rally to knot the third-place match with but five seconds remaining versus Switzerland on a long-range desperation shot from the aging Aussenkapitan and defensman Roemer. HANS LANG of Sportclub Riessersee later scored in the second overtime to give the Germans a 2-1 victory and a second European title in five years.  

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1934 — GERMANY

  • Goal : LEINWEBER (EV Fussen), KAUFMANN (Brandenburg Berlin)
  • Defense : ROEMER (Schlittschuhclub Berlin), VON BETHMANN-HOLLWEG (Sportclub Riessersee)
  • Attack : JAENECKE, KESSLER, KORFF, ORBANOWSKI (Schlittschuhclub Berlin), LANG, STROBL (Sportclub Riessersee), GEORGE (SC Charlottenburg), KUHN (EV Fussen)

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By this point in history, however, the evil forces of Adolf Hilter and his Nazi minions were already well at work in Germany.

There was one conspicuous absence from the German national team at the 1934 World Championships contested in Italy. Although just 23 at the time of the tournament and already a proven veteran of international competition — Rudi Ball was not in German uniform.

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Lillehammer ’94 : Penalty-Shot Finale In Photos / On Film (Complete Shootout Clip)

94ogforsberg-hirschforsberg6forsbergstamp5102214P CANADA V SWEDEN

  • IMAGE # 1 : Sweden’s PETER FORSBERG (21) scores his first goal of the shootout against Canada’s COREY HIRSCH (1)
  • IMAGE # 2 : Forsberg’s spectacular one-handed second goal
  • IMAGE # 3 : The Swedish postage stamp commemorating Forsberg’s gold medal-winner at the Lillehammer Games
  • IMAGE # 4 : Sweden goaltender TOMMY SALO (35) saves from Canada’s PAUL KARIYA (9) on the last shot in sudden-death

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WH presents the dramatic penalty-shot shootout (in two parts) between CANADA and SWEDEN to settle the Gold Medal Match at the 1994 Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbjbYT3mg4Q&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bar2N-8AtBw&feature=related

The shooters for SWEDEN :

  • # 12 — Hakan LOOB ————- (33) – BK Farjestad Karlstad
  • #   8 — Magnus SVENSSON — (30) – IF Leksands
  • # 26 — Mats NASLUND ———- (34) – IF Malmo 
  • # 21 — Peter FORSBERG —— (20) – Mo Do Ornskoldsvik
  • # 11 — Roger HANSSON ——– (26) – IF Malmo

In order, Svensson and Forsberg handled the Swedish attempts in the sudden-death phase of the shootout.

The shooters for CANADA :

  • # 93 — Petr NEDVED — (38 goals for Vancouver Canucks in 92-93)
  • #   9 — Paul KARIYA — (college player of the year at Univ. of Maine)
  • # 10 — Dwayne NORRIS — (25 goals in 50 AHL games in 92-93)
  • # 22 — Greg PARKS — (IF Leksands of Sweden’s Elitserien)
  • # 12 — Greg JOHNSON — (three-time All-American at North Dakota Univ)

Nedved, and then Kariya, took Canada’s chances in sudden-death.

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Nilsson Netted Forsberg’s Inspiration

swe-k.nilsson3swe-k.nilsson2

KENT NILSSON would become the first Swedish player in the history of the National Hockey League to surpass one hundred points for a season with his 49-goal, 82-assist (131 pts) campaign for the 1980-81 Calgary Flames.

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At the spectacular sudden-death penalty-shot shootout which saw SWEDEN top CANADA in the Gold Medal Match at the 1994 Winter Olympic Games, the shootout’s decisive goal-scorer, PETER FORSBERG, made a confession to the reporters in Lillehammer, Norway.

The 20-year-old former Philadelphia Flyers first round NHL draft pick revealed the source of inspiration for his one-handed goal which carried the Swedes to their first Olympic ice hockey championship :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QobAlzxDdXc&feature=related

Collecting the puck onsides at center ice, former NHL scoring star KENT NILSSON (10) is off to the races for host nation SWEDEN against the UNITED STATES at the 1989 IIHF World Championships. 

Bearing in on goal, the former Stanley Cup winner for the Edmonton Oilers gets U.S. goalie JOHN VANBIESBROUCK to bit on the fake to the forehand.

With the New York Rangers netminder already committed to stacking the pads, Nilsson pulls the puck back and, with one hand, gently deposits the disc behind Vanbiesbrouck into the American goal.

Sweden, all their goals having come in the final period of play, downed the United States 4-2 at the 1989 World Championships match in Stockholm.

Nilsson, who returned to the Swedish Elitserien in the fall of 1988 to join IF Djurgarden Stockholm following a season in Italy for HC Bolzano, finished with three goals and 11 assists at the ’89 WC and tied for tops in scoring with three other players on 14 points.

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