Russian Junior Hockey Team Booted From Flight for Being "Unruly"

Members of Team Russia pose for a group photo with their gold medal following their 5-3 victory over Team Canada in the IIHF World Junior Championship gold medal final hockey action in Buffalo, N.Y. on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011.
AP Photo
CHEEKTOWAGA, New York (CBS/AP) - Russia's Junior Hockey Team celebrated their stunning comeback from a 3-goal deficit in the finals of the World Junior Hockey Championships a little too long and hard this week.

About 30 members of Team Russia were booted from their Delta Air Lines flight from Buffalo, N.Y., to Atlanta Thursday morning, "to ensure the safe operation of the flight," a Delta spokeswoman told the Associated Press.

The team was "displaying unruly behavior," the spokeswoman said. Buffalo radio station WGRZ said they were drunk.

Russia's Junior Hockey Team consists of players all aged 20 and younger.

While there are no confirmed reports the hockey players themselves were drinking, the AP reports that, an hour and a half after the upset win, several Russian coaches and trainers came on the ice - one holding a bottle of Crown Royal Canadian whisky and others sipping from paper cups - to pose for pictures in front of the scoreboard that had been lowered to ice level after the game.

Russia's junior players celebrated wildly after they overcame a three-goal deficit in the third period to stun Canada 5-3 in the gold-medal game Wednesday night, the AP reports. It was the country's first gold medal since 2003.

Buffalo Niagara International Airport spokesman C. Douglas Hartmayer told the AP that, after leaving the flight, the group headed to the baggage terminal to collect their belongings, which were taken off the plane.

Tournament officials had no immediate comment.

The Russians proved to be the comeback kids during the 11-day tournament, the AP reports. They reached the final by overcoming third-period deficits to win their previous two games.

They weren't counted among the favorites in a tournament that featured Canada and the defending champion United States, the AP reports. Russia was also coming off an embarrassing sixth-place finish last year.

  • Joshua Norman

    Joshua Norman is a Senior Editor at

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