The men's ice hockey tournament at the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, U.S.A., was the 4th Olympic Championship, also serving as the 6th World Championships. Canada, represented by the Winnipeg Hockey Club, won its fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal and sixth consecutive World Championship. The United States took the silver medal and Germany claimed one of its two all-time hockey medals by taking the bronze. West Germany would win a bronze medal in 1976.
Trying to make the most of their home ice advantage, the Americans scheduled the games at the 1932 Lake Placid tournament for an outdoor rink, the better to nullify the skill advantage of the powerful Canadian squad. It nearly worked in the opener, with the Canucks needing double OT to eke out a 2-1 win. But when the two sides met again in the decisive match with the U.S. needing a victory, the plan backfired. The teams were deadlocked at 2-2 after regulation and played three scoreless overtimes before the game was called because of darkness. The tie gave the Canadians the gold by virtue of their better tournament record.
This was the first Winter Olympics hosted by Lake Placid. It was the first time the Winter Games came to North America, with the small New York state town beating out Montreal and other cities.
Just four countries competed in these Olympics. Germany and Poland were clearly the weak sisters, with Germany capturing the bronze medal thanks to a 4-1 win over Poland on the final day of the tournament.
Canada and the United States battled it out for gold, with the US showing strong against the Allan Cup champion Winnipeg Hockey Club. In the first game Canada barely beat the Americans 2-1 in overtime. Double overtime was required in the second game, with the game being declared a draw at 2-2. Canada would take home the gold medal.
There was a lot of ill will between the two teams. Prior to the Games, the Americans played an exhibition game against the Boston Bruins, with the Olympic team keeping a large amount of the gate receipts. Canada objected, claiming they were no longer amateur players. Canada ultimately backed down.
Canada was also upset most of the games were held on the outdoor rink, subject to terrible weather and ice conditions, when an indoor rink was available. Canada cried foul, accusing the organizers of try to nullify Canada's superior skill.
These Olympics were a no-name special. The United States were led by names like Ding Palmer, Doug Everett and goaltender Frank Farrell, who wore a mask to protect his glasses.
The American team picture is at the bottom. Three of the players are wearing white bands around their chest. This was done by design, to differentiate defensemen and forwards. If a forward sees a player with the white band, a defenseman, ahead of him, that was a signal for the forward to stay back and temporarily fill in the defensive position.
Canada also featured no historically important figures. Captain and goalie William Cockburn, back up goalie Stanley Wagner, Roy Hinkel, Hugh Sutherland, George Garbutt, Walter Monson, Harold "Hack" Simpson, Bert "Spunk" Duncanson, Romeo Rivers, Aliston "Stoney" Wise, Clifford Crowley, Victor Lindquist, Norm Malloy, and Kenneth Moore all skated for Canada.
If there was one name that stands out for Canada it would be manager Lou Marsh, who later went on to a pioneering career in sports journalism.