Archive for 1964 OG Innsbruck

Innsbruck ’64 : Sweden Storms To Silver

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New York Times — Tuesday, February 11, 1964.

AP — Radio Prague reported a weekend demonstration at Brno today in dissatisfaction with Czechoslovakia’s third place showing at the Winter Olympics.

The report said that “excited and dangerous demonstrations” had taken place in front of the apartment of the team’s trainer and that his wife had been threatened.

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CZECHOSLOVAKIA had blown the silver medal on the tournament’s concluding day to Sweden at the 1964 Winter Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria.

Having won five of their first six matches, the Czechoslovaks needed only a draw against the Swedes, who entered the final proceedings with a mark of four wins and two losses. After capturing the silver medal at St. Moritz in 1948, Czechoslovakia returned home from the next three Olympic ice hockey competitions empty-handed.

A 3-1 victory over Canada on the strength of third-period goals from JAN KLAPAC, JIRI HOLIK and JOSEF CERNY, who ended up on the media All-Star squad in 1964, had raised hopes for the Czechoslovaks in the Tyrolean Alps.

SWEDEN, surprise winners at the 1962 IIHF World Championships in Colorado Springs, had other ideas, however.

Sweden’s attack was powered by the two joint top point-scorers at Innsbruck, SVEN “Tumba” JOHANSSON (8 go 3 as, 11 pts) and ULF STERNER (6 go 5 as, 11 pts). Johansson, a bronze medalist for Sweden at Oslo in 1952, was competing at his fourth Winter Games. In the very last match of the 1964 Olympic tournament, the Swedes stormed to leads of 3-1 after one and 6-2 at the conclusion of the two on the way to a sound 8-3 triumph over Czechoslovakia.

Thus, Sweden finished in second place — no matter which tie-breaking formula was employed — and secured just their second set of silver medals in their nation’s history.

Sweden originally won the silver medal at the 1928 Winter Olympic Games in St. Mortiz, Switzerland.

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Canada Crooked Out Of Bronze

Swiss goaltender GERARD RIGOLET wanders far out of his goal to play the puck against Canada at the 1964 Winter Olympic Games in Austria. In spite of 61 saves from Rigolet, Switzerland still lost 8-0 to Canada at Innsbruck. Rigolet, who saw no shortage of action in Austria, also stopped 88 shots as the Swiss fell 15-0 to the USSR at the Innsbruck Games.

Swiss goaltender GERARD RIGOLET wanders far out of his goal to play the puck against Canada at the 1964 Winter Olympic Games in Austria. In spite of 61 saves from Rigolet, Switzerland still lost 8-0 to Canada at Innsbruck. Rigolet, who saw no shortage of action in Austria, also stopped 88 shots as the Swiss fell 15-0 to the USSR at the Innsbruck Games.

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A narrow 3-2 loss to the Soviet Union had left CANADA in a three-way tie for second place with Czechoslovakia and Sweden; all three teams finished the final round-robin of the 1964 Winter Olympic Games with records of five wins and two losses.

Canada were under the impression they had done enough to earn the bronze medal.

Under the pre-arranged formula as agreed to by the International Ice Hockey Federation with the International Olympic Committee, the tie-breaker between the three teams should have involved goal differential in the games contested only between those three teams. In that instance, Canada would have placed third :

  • + 3 — (1-1 w-l, 9-6 gf-ga) — Sweden 
  •    0 — (1-1 w-l, 4-4 gf-ga) — Canada 
  •  - 3 — (1-1 w-l, 6-9 gf-ga) — Czechoslovakia 

President JOHN “Bunny” AHEARNE, however, called an emergency meeting of the IIHF Council. For reasons not officially explained, it was decided to change the tie-breaker format to goal differential involving all games played in the final round-robin at Innsbruck. This decision dropped Canada into fourth place :

  • + 31 — (5-2 w-l, 47-16 gf-ga) — Sweden
  • + 19 — (5-2 w-l, 38-19 gf-ga) — Czechoslovakia
  • + 17 — (5-2 w-l, 32-17 gf-ga) — Canada

The official announcement by the IIHF changing the tie-breaker came ten minutes before the commencement of the medal ceremonies for ice hockey at the Innsbruck Games.

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Innsbruck First Time Indoors

The OLYMPIAHALLE in the Austrian city of Innsbruck is the only arena in the world to have ever hosted two ice hockey tournaments at the Winter Olympic Games. In the background of the photo would be the Tyrolean Alps.

The OLYMPIAHALLE in the Austrian city of Innsbruck is the only arena in the world to have ever hosted two ice hockey tournaments at the Winter Olympic Games. In the background of the photo would be the Tyrolean Alps.

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The IXth Winter Games held at Innsbruck, Austria, in 1964 marked the first time in history the ice hockey tournament at the Olympics was held in an indoor arena.

Located in the Pradl district of  the city of Innsbruck, a picturesque 7,800-seat arena, known officially as the OLYMPIHALLE, was purpose-built for and opened to commence the 1964 Winter Olympics.

For the sport of ice hockey, the Olympiahalle first hosted two qualification matches — Canada’s 14-1 trampling of Yugoslavia and Switzerland’s 5-1 defeat of Norway — two days before the official start of the Innsbruck Games on January 27, 1964.

The following clip contains color footage leaving a good feel for what it was like from what appears to be the second level inside the Eishalle on opening day as white-shirted CZECHOSLOVAKIA oppose dark-shirted WEST GERMANY on January 29 :  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OLwd8y9jtk&feature=PlayList&p=39223EECA14DEC79&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=1

The eventual bronze medalist Czechoslovaks, in part behind a pair of goals from VLASTIMIL BUBNIK, handed their neighbors to the west a sound 11-1 thrashing at the Olympiahalle in Innsbruck on the opening day of  the final-round tournament at the 1964 Winter Olympics.

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Innsbruck ’64 : Alexandrov Started Soviet Streak

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Left : The CSKA Moscow line consisting of right wing KONSTANTIN LOKTEV, center ALEXANDER ALMETOV and left wing VENIAMIN ALEXANDROV.

Right: Spartak Moscow center VYACHESLAV STARSHINOV.

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One of the most closely contested as well as dramatic ‘de facto’ Olympic ice hockey finals came in 1964 with the Innsbruck Games.

Canada, having established a true national team under the direction of Father David Bauer, come into the final round of the competition facing the Soviet Union sporting a record of five wins and one loss. The USSR is unbeaten and untied; victory can clinch the gold medal for the Soviets irrespective of the outcome of the Czechoslovakia – Sweden match to follow.

Canada are forced to start their back-up goaltender KEN BRODERICK in place of normal starter SETH MARTIN, who had been injured the previous day against Czechoslovakia. Canada were up a goal when Martin, who made 31 saves, went out in the third period; the Czechoslovaks stormed back for a 3-1 victory. As further indication of Martin’s value to the Canadians, the 30-year-old would ultimately receive the IIHF Directorate’s award for Best Goalie as well as be selected as a tournament all-star by the media at Innsbruck.

The Canucks, including Broderick, rise to the occasion on the final day, however, and claim a lead six minutes into the game through future NHLer GEORGE SWARBRICK.

Winger EVGENY MAYOROV answers for the Soviet Union midway in the second stanza. But the one-time Greensboro General of the old Eastern Hockey League, BOB FORHAN, once again puts Canada out front shortly thereafter. Finally, the USSR were able to level the score through Mayorov’s center and club teammate,VYACHESLAV STARSHINOV.

Despite the fact that Broderick has performed bravely and stopped 18 Soviet shots, Father Bauer decides to send the hobbled Martin in net for the decisive third period. Just one minute and thirty-six seconds into the final frame, unfortunately for the Canucks, VENIAMIN ALEXANDROV finishes off a three-on-two rush with the first test of Martin to give the USSR it’s first lead of the contest. The Soviets continued to apply pressure, but the would be St. Louis Blues backstop turns aside 18 more shots to sustain Canada within striking distance.

Torpedo Gorky goaltender VIKTOR KONOVALENKO, who had seventeen saves, kept a clean sheet throughout the third, though, and sealed the championship for the Soviet Union.

The USSR would maintain a grip on the Olympic ice hockey gold medal for the next sixteen years.

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Best Offense Is Good Defense

The captain of the Soviet Union, BORIS MAYOROV, was the original selection of the International Ice Hockey Federation Directorate for Best Forward at the 1964 Winter Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria.

The captain of the Soviet Union, BORIS MAYOROV, was the original selection of the International Ice Hockey Federation Directorate for Best Forward at the 1964 Winter Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria.

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‘The best defense is a good offense’ would be an old adage familiar to many — a curious adaptation manifested itself at the 1964 Winter Olympic Games in the Austrian Alps.

Following the Soviet Union’s 3-2 victory over Canada to lock-up the gold medal in the last match at Innsbruck, the International Ice Hockey Federation Directorate chose USSR right wing BORIS MAYOROV for their Best Forward award. The 25-year-old Soviet captain finished the seven-game final round-robin with seven goals and ten points. This left the Spartak Moscow skater tied with four others, including Soviet teammates VYACHESLAV STARSHINOV and VIKTOR YAKUSHEV, for the second-highest point total at Innsbruck.

Soviet hockey officials, meanwhile, took the award and handed it EDUARD IVANOV. This despite the fact that the 25-year-old CSKA Moscow man was, in fact, a defenseman. Ivanov did score four goals in seven round-robin games, which set a new record for Soviet rearguards at the Winter Olympic Games.

Incredible as it may seem today, the IIHF accepted this and, thus, into the record books went Ivanov’s name.

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VIKTOR YAKUSHEV, the only Lokomotiv Moscow player to ever don the Soviet sweater at the Winter Olympic Games, also totaled seven goals as well as 10 points and was named to the media All-Star team at Innsbruck in 1964.

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