CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. -- Russia's gold-medal celebration went into overtime. And that prevented them from boarding their flight Thursday morning, a day after they won the World Junior Hockey Championships.
About 30 members of the Russian contingent were asked to get off a Delta Air Lines flight 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 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.
The players, all 20 years old or younger, had left the ice.
Buffalo Niagara International Airport spokesman C. Douglas Hartmayer said 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 enjoyed a wild on-ice celebration once the final horn sounded, players throwing their gloves and sticks in the air as they jumped off the bench to mob goalie Igor Bobkov.
The celebration eventually spilled over into the media interview area, where team captain Vladimir Tarasenko and teammate Yevgeni Kuznetsov hugged and chanted "We're champions! We're champions."
The Russians proved to be the comeback kids during the 11-day tournament. 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. Russia was also coming off an embarrassing sixth-place finish last year.