Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Russia won the gold medal of men's ice hockey at Pyeongchang Olympics Sunday afternoon with a dramatic overtime victory over Germany.
Kirill Kaprizov scored the winning goal to seal the victory 4-3 over the high-spirited Germany, which reached their first Olympic final 90 years after making debut in the event.
Defending champion Canada beat Czech Republic on Saturday to win the bronze medal. Russia's forward Ilya Kovalchuk, 34, was named the most valuable player.
The Russian skaters trailed 3-2 late in the game and had a man in the penalty box when they removed their goaltender for an attacker and the tactic paid off.
Nikita Gusev scored with 55 seconds left before the period ended to send the game into overtime.
Germany's Patrick Reimer was in the penalty box serving a high-sticking minor when Kaprizov became the hero with the golden goal at 9:40 of overtime.
"It was great it came out like that," said Kaprizov. He attributed the long-awaited gold medal to the whole team.
"Our whole team will stay in the memory of the people as having won the gold medal," he said.
Russia's coach Oleg Znarok said Russian President Vladimir Putin called him to congratulate him on the victory.
"We serve for the benefit of Russia," said the coach. "This match was the most important one in my life."
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's a little tough right now because we all felt we could have won that game, but that's hockey," he said.
"It's just the way it is. I think we all thought we'd sit there and watch the final on the couch at home, but here we are. The boys are going to bring silver home and they should be very proud of that."