Russian junior hockey team kicked off flight

Thu, Jan 6

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. -- Russia's gold-medal celebration went into overtime. And that prevented the jubilant participants from boarding their flight Thursday morning, a day after they won the world junior hockey championship.

About 30 members of the Russian contingent were asked to get off a Delta Air Lines flight from Buffalo to Atlanta after boarding for takeoff early Thursday morning, an airport spokesman said.

"To ensure the safe operation of the flight, the crew of Flight 1266 denied boarding to 30 passengers who were traveling together and displaying unruly behavior," Delta spokeswoman Susan Chana Elliott said. "The passengers are being rebooked on a future flight."

Russia overcame a three-goal deficit in the third period to stun Canada 5-3 in the gold-medal game Wednesday night. It was the country's first gold medal since 2003.

An hour and a half after the upset win, several Russian coaches and trainers went on the ice -- one holding a bottle of Crown Royal Canadian whiskey 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.

The players, all 20 years old or younger, already had left the ice.

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

Tournament officials had no immediate comment.