As has been protocol for the entire Olympics, instead of the Russian flag being displayed and Russian national anthem being played, the Olympic flag and Olympic anthem are in their stead. No German team had reached the Olympic podium since West Germany claimed bronze at the Innsbruck Games in 1976.
But Germany? A team whose players and coaches concede playing a game that suffers as a distant second or third fiddle to the country's sporting passion, football, they snuck up on everybody. However, the Germans failed to unpack the goal of the Russian team, solidly guarded by goalkeeper Vasily Koshechkin. On Saturday, the International Olympic Committee voted not to allow the Olympic Athletes from Russia the opportunity to march under the Russian flag in the ceremony.
The first period was about to end scoreless, but with only half a second left before the break, Russia's Vyacheslav Voinov cannoned a puck nearly from the blue line into the left upper corner of the net behind German goalkeeper Danny aus den Birken to open the score at 1-0. After no one outside their locker room gave them a chance in a tournament where the National Hockey League stars stayed away, the Germans came within a minute of clock time from gold for a country playing in the men's final for the first time. That is the most by any athlete in Winter Olympic history. Germany edged Switzerland, beat Sweden 4-3 and then stunned two-time defending gold medalist Canada 4-3 in the semifinals. But the Russians relaxed - and just 10 seconds later, German frontman Dominik Kahun tied the game right back up, the stakes just as high as before.
"It was the craziest game ever", Ilya Kovalchuk said. "We need to calm down and try not to give up the game". Gusev scored the final two goals in regulation for Russian Federation to save the day, including the game-tying goal in the final minute while Germany was on the power play. Neither team scored a sudden-death goal during a 20-minute overtime - and the resulting penalty shootout also ended in a 2-2 tie.
Ten minutes in the overtime, Germany's Patrick Reimer was handed a penalty for high sticking and gave a two-minute advantage of five against four field players for the Red Machine. The PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games concluded Sunday with Norway (39 medals, 14 gold), Germany (31 medals, 14 gold) and Canada (29 medals, 11 gold) finishing at the top of the medal tally.
Meantime, With their National Olympic Committee banned for state-sponsored doping, athletes from Russian Federation have been competing under a neutral flag.