"Unruly" Team Russia Kicked Off Flight After Victory in Buffalo

January 6, 2011 Updated Jan 6, 2011 at 7:19 PM EDT

By Laura Gray

January 6, 2011 Updated Jan 6, 2011 at 7:19 PM EDT

Cheektowaga, NY (buffalo, NY) -- Team Russia is celebrating a stunning victory against Canada in the World Juniors last night. But instead of taking home the gold, Eyewitness News captured Team Russia doing a walk of shame back to a Cheektowaga hotel. 30 hockey players and their coaches were booted off their early morning connecting flight back home. Airport Employees tell Eyewitness News the players were rowdy, loud, and even vomiting in the Buffalo Niagara Airport. Mike Leddy, father of Team USA player, Nick Leddy, "It's shocking, I guess. I'm sure they celebrated pretty hard. They had a big win over Canada."
NFTA Spokesperson C Douglas Hartmayer says the team was warned about their behavior before boarding the plane. "Before heading down the gateway they were asked to calm down. They appeared a little too exuberant."
The celebration continued on the plane, and at least half a dozen NFTA police officers escorted the entire team off through the airport to the baggage claim area. Nino Niederreiter played for Team Switzerland. "It's a huge victory but you cant get kicked off of the plane. I never heard that before, but those are Russians. You have to expect something."
Team Russia was thrilled celebrating their big victory on the ice against Canada Wednesday night at the HSBC Arena. Witnesses tell us the party kept going after the cameras left, even though the players are all under the age of 20. Hartmayer tells us NFTA police did not test the players for alcohol. He wouldn't comment on whether Team Russia appeared intoxicated. Either would Delta. They issued issued this statement:
To ensure the safe operation of the flight, the crew of flight 1266 (Buf-Atl) denied boarding to 30 passengers who were traveling together and displaying unruly behavior. The passengers are being rebooked on a future flight.
Managers at The Adam's Mark hotel, where the team was allegedly staying, had no comment. The Sabre's spokesperson Mike Gilbert tells eyewitness news that the organization is only responsible for getting the teams to the airport, which they did. He had no comment on Team Russia not making it onto the plane. The legal drinking age in Russia is 18, but of course it is 21 in New York state. Serving alcohol to any players on the team would be illegal.