As in previous years, the ice hockey tournament at the 1976 Olympic Games in Innsbruck started with an elimination round. The pairings then resulted from the positions of the teams at the world championships from the previous year.
First, the German selection had to play against Switzerland. On February 2nd, they won 5:1 in front of 7,500 spectators through the goals of Lorenz Funk (2), Ernst Köpf, Erich Kühnhackl and Wolfgang Boos. So it was clear: Germany will play for places 1 to 6 in the final round in the A group.
The first opponents were the Poles, who in turn prevailed 7: 4 in the elimination round against Romania. In the end, however, they were left with 4:7 against Germany. This was followed by a 3:5 defeat against Finland, a 3:7 against the USSR and a 4:7 against Czechoslovakia. In the final game, however, they defeated the USA 4:1.
But to what place had this result been enough? The confusion was great. Because in the end the German team ended up tied with the USA and Finland in third place. One thing was clear: the USA had, also due to the final game against the Germans, the worse goal difference and therefore no chance of bronze. But in a direct comparison between Germany and Finland, Germany, with a goal difference of 7:6 goals, was behind the Finns, who had a 9:8 goal. With that, everything seemed clear. Bronze for Finland, fourth place for Germany.
Think. After all, the goal difference didn’t play a role at the time. Much more decisive: the goal quotient. But apparently hardly anyone knew about this rule. So it was calculated. The goals scored were divided by the goals scored. Finland comes to 1.125. The German selection, however, to 1.167. To put it bluntly, Germany secured the bronze medal with a margin of 0.041 goals. It was the “Miracle of Innsbruck.”
Particularly curious: the German players were already disappointed on the way back to the dressing room. It was only on the way there that someone congratulated them on bronze and thus caused the big surprise.
The players from back then, namely Lorenz Funk, Ernst Köpf, Alois Schloder, Rudolf Thanner, Josef Völk, Anton Kehle, Erich Kühnhackl, Rainer Philipp, Klaus Auhuber, Ignaz Berndaner, Wolfgang Boos, Martin Hinterstocker, Udo Kießling, Walter Köberle, Stefan Metz, Franz Reindl, Ferenc Vozar and Erich Weishaupt will not be forgotten. After all, there is really no narrower way to win a medal. Oh, and by the way: The rule from back then no longer applies today.
06:31 – 🇺🇸 PEN – S. Jensen
18:35 – 🇩🇪 PEN – Auhuber
28:35 – 🇺🇸 PEN – S. Jensen
30:30 – 🇩🇪 PP GOAL – Kühnhackl
32:15 – 🇩🇪 PEN – Funk
35:33 – 🇩🇪 PEN – team, bench minor
42:51 – 🇩🇪 GOAL – Philipp (Schloder, Kuhnackl)
44:51 – 🇺🇸 GOAL – Schneider
47:59 – 🇩🇪 GOAL – Schloder (Kühnhackl, Philipp)
49:06 – 🇺🇸 PEN – G. Ross
54:49 – 🇩🇪 GOAL – Köpf (Kühnhackl, Hinterstocker)
54:57 – 🇺🇸 PEN – P. Jensen
56:15 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Taft
56:52 – 🇩🇪 PEN – Köpf
58:41 – 🇺🇸 PEN – Lamby
59:08 – 🇩🇪 PEN – Hinterstocker
W: 🇩🇪 Kehle
L: 🇺🇸 Warden
🇩🇪 Goaltenders: Anton Kehle, Erich Weishaupt. Defence: Klaus Auhuber, Ignaz Berndaner, Udo Kießling, Stefan Metz, Rudolf Thanner, Josef Völk. Forwards: Wolfgang Boos, Lorenz Funk, Martin Hinterstocker, Walter Köberle, Ernst Köpf, Erich Kühnhackl, Rainer Philipp, Franz Reindl, Alois Schloder, Ferenc Vozar.
🇺🇸 Goaltenders: Blaine Comstock, Jim Warden. Defence: Jeff Hymanson, Paul Jensen, Dick Lamby, Bob Lundeen, Gary Ross, John Taft. Forwards: Steve Alley, Daniel Bolduc, Bob Dobek, Robbie Harris, Steve Jensen, Bob Miller, Douglas Ross, Buzz Schneider, Steve Sertich, Ted Thorndike.
|🇩🇪 WEST GERMANY||vs.||UNITED STATES (C) 🇺🇸|
(previous 01 Mar 1975)
(since 12 Feb 1976)
(+ 1 tie)
|First IHLC Meeting (FRG vs. USA)
🇺🇸 USA 2-2 FRG 🇩🇪 – 01 Feb 1961 – EX – Bad Tölz 🇩🇪
|Previous IHLC Meeting (FRG vs. USA)
🇩🇪 FRG 2-0 USA 🇺🇸 – 30 Jan 1968 – EX – Garmisch-Partenkirchen 🇩🇪
|Last IHLC Game
🇺🇸 USA 7-2 POL 🇵🇱 – 12 Feb 1976 – OG – Innsbruck 🇦🇹
|Next IHLC Game
🇸🇪 SWE 4-1 FRG 🇩🇪 – 08 Apr 1976 – WC – Katowice 🇵🇱