Russians win hockey gold as International Olympic Committee keeps flag ban in place

Russian Federation won the gold medal of men's ice hockey at Pyeongchang Olympics Sunday afternoon with a dramatic overtime victory over Germany. A high-sticking penalty on Germany's Patrick Reimer 9:11 into overtime put the Russians on the power play, where Kaprizov scored the victor and one of the biggest goals in Russian hockey history.

German coach Marco Sturm was proud of the team's achievement as the silver medal was the best finish by Germany in men's ice hockey.

It was a fitting finale as it handed Norway their 14th gold to overtake Germany in the final medal count, after the German team won the four-man bobsleigh earlier on Sunday. Kirill Kaprizov scored the victor on the power play.

But as the Olympic flag rose and Olympic anthem played, Russian teammates linked arms and joined supporters in singing the Russian national anthem, their voices drowning out the recorded music in an emotional moment.

As the OAR players received their gold medals on the ice, the Olympic flag was raised in place of the Russian flag and the Olympic anthem was played.

The team's assistant captain Ilya Kovalchuk said the players had discussed beforehand whether to sing the anthem if they were to win, and they agreed they would.

It is the third Olympic gold medal in the event for the Swedes, who had to settle for silver in Sochi four years ago.

"When you play for your country and I win this medal, this special time it's more important", Pavel Datsyuk said. But just as it appeared the Germans would be able to carry a goalless draw into the first intermission, OAR caught a late break when a failed clearing attempt led to a turnover, which allowed Nikita Gusev to throw a pass back to Slava Voynov for a one-time goal with half a second remaining in the first. "Now I have no dream".

The victory on the ice came hours after the International Olympic Committee voted not to reinstate Team Russia for Sunday night's closing ceremony.

Off the post-goal faceoff, Germany almost negated their tally, though, as Patrick Reimer was tagged for hooking, sending OAR to their second power play of the outing.

Former NHL stars Kovalchuk and Datsyuk, who each took 2002 bronzes for Russian Federation, finally captured gold in their fifth Olympic appearances.

The win gives OAR their second gold of the Pyeongchang Games and 17th medal overall.

In the second period, Nikita Gusev put OAR 2-1 in front with seven minutes left, only for Germany to equalise through Dominik Kahun just 10 seconds later. "We didn't win Olympics since '92", Kovalchuk said. It took almost the entire first period before Russian Federation was able to score the first point, thanks to Russia's Vyacheslav Voynov.

  • Joey Payne