January 06, 2011
Were it not for their incredible five unanswered goals in the third period to win the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship and send Canada into some sort of catatonic hockey state, the most amazing thing about Team Russia's victory Wednesday night was that its postgame behavior wasn't influenced by the benefit of alcohol.
Which meant all of that yelling and uncomfortable closeness with TSN cameras, like a bunch of surly homeless trying to spook a local news crew, was done out of sobriety.
Which meant they actually sing this terribly. (Nikolai Volkov would not approve.)
Ah, but it was just a matter of time before our Russian friends lived up to their vodka-soaked stereotype. WIVB News 4 in Buffalo has confirmed that the Russian world junior champs were removed from a Delta Airline flight Thursday morning at Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Delta Airlines spokeswoman Susan Elliott released a statement:
"The crew of flight 1266 (BUF-ATL) opted to deny boarding to 30 passengers displaying unruly behavior to ensure the safe operation of the flight. These passengers will be rebooked on a future flight."
According to police, the players were thrown off of a Delta flight scheduled to leave Buffalo-Niagara International Airport because members of the team were intoxicated. Team members were seen sitting in the baggage claim area after their flight took off.
After lounging around the baggage claim area when denied boarding to the Delta flight, the source said they were last seen boarding buses for a local hotel. The team was scheduled to take a round-about trip to JFK Airport in New York through Atlanta before heading to Moscow, the source added.
Their problems only increased when an airport Tim Hortons shop refused them service until they "returned those damn medals to their rightful owners."
OK, we made that up. Or did we ...?
UPDATE: The Canadian Press has video footage of the Russian team partying in a hotel bar: