Rioting hockey fans overturned vehicles and set them on fire, broke store and hotel windows and set several small conflagrations in downtown Vancouver on Wednesday night, moments after the Canucks lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals to the Boston Bruins, the New York Times reported.
The police declared an area of downtown Vancouver an illegal assembly zone and it to be cleared immediately.
Thousands of Vancouver fans had gathered downtown to watch the deciding game of the Stanley Cup finals on large video screens, as they had been doing throughout the playoffs,.But the mood turned angry when the dream that Vancouver would be the first Canadian-based club to hoist the trophy since 1993 was dashed, with the Canucks losing 4-0 to the Boston Bruins. Fans starting throwing bottles at the big screens. Minutes after the game ended, tens of thousands of Canuck fans poured into the street in front of the Rogers Arena, setting cars on fire, tipping over others, knocking over Porta Potties and setting off firecrackers, the Toronto Star reported. Police officers wielding batons moved in and began making arrests.
According to the New York Times:
“It is extremely disappointing to see the situation in downtown Vancouver turn violent after tonight’s Stanley Cup game,” Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a statement released two hours after the game ended.
The events were reminiscent of what happened in Vancouver in 1994, when the Canucks lost Game 7 of the finals to the Rangers in New York. One man was seriously injured and more than $1 million in damage was caused that year.