Action from the only Olympic ice hockey meeting ever between the two Germanys, East and West.
The East Germans occasionally wore red as as opposed to their customary blue when assigned the dark jerseys in international competition.
Perhaps as a symbol of solidarity with their communist brethren from the Soviet Union, the German Democratic Republic appeared in their alternate uniforms for the final day game with the Federal Republic of Germany at the Grenoble Games in 1968.
Although the two sides had played several times prior to contest Olympic participation in addition to regular meetings at the annual International Ice Hockey Federation World Championshps, as in the case of soccer’s World Cup, there was only ever one match between East and West Germany at the Winter Olympics.
The two nations, who did not formally recognize each other’s existance politically, met on the last day of competition at the Winter Olympics in 1968.
Always a big deal to the boys down at the propaganda ministries competing for hearts and minds, the meeting in the French Alps took on added significance for both East and West as a battle to avoid the basement at the ice hockey tournament of the Grenoble Games.
Each team stepped onto the ice at LE STADE DE GLACE having lost their first six games of the 1968 Olympics. The West Germans had been outscored 37-9 while the East Germans racked up a deficit of 44 goals conceded versus eleven goals scored.
Momentum might have been on the side of East Germany, who had decisively defeated the Federal Republic 8-1 at the 1967 IIHF World Championships in Vienna.
It was the Federal Republic, however, who registered the only goal of the first period in Grenoble and built a 3-1 lead after two periods. The East Germans, in an effort to stimulate the squad, changed goaltenders for the third period. To no avail as it turned out; each team added another goal and West Germany, who held a 31-21 shot-on-goal advantage, skated off 4-2 winners.
LORENZ FUNK, GUSTAV HANIG, PETER LAX and LEONHARD WAITL were the West German goal-scorers — LOTHAR FUCHS and BERND HILLER replied for East Germany in the historic match.