Violence in Vancouver after Stanley Cup loss

Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:30am EDT
 
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By Allan Dowd

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Riot police fired tear gas to control a mob that burned cars and looted shops in downtown Vancouver on Wednesday after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup final to the Boston Bruins.

Thousands of people had jammed into the heart of downtown Vancouver in the hopes of celebrating the Canucks' first Stanley Cup but the party scene descended into violence after the Bruins emerged with a 4-0 victory.

The ugly scenes brought back memories of a riot that erupted when Vancouver also lost the Stanley Cup in 1994 as groups of mostly young men threw bottles, attacking parked cars and smashed store windows.

"There was a group of people fully intending to make this into a 1994 event," Mayor Gregor Robertson told reporters, saying a group of "angry young men" had decided to disrupt an otherwise peaceful event.

Hospital officials said several people had been treated for stab wounds and many more for exposure to tear gas or pepper spray. Police have not released any information on how many people had been arrested.

A Reuters reporter saw at least a half dozen cars burning or destroyed by fire, including two police cars. Many more had been overturned or had their windows smashed. Several stores had also been looted or damaged.

While many fans were in a party mood, others, clearly fueled by alcohol, were furious at their team's defeat to the Bruins.

One man yelled: "I hate you, Boston!" while others shouted insults at the police.   Continued...

 
<p>Police stand guard as police cars burn in the background after Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup hockey playoff between the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins in Vancouver, British Columbia June 15, 2011. REUTERS/Andy Clark</p>