After sitting on their hands in a morgue of an arena as the Boston Bruins clinched the Stanley Cup with a victory over the Canucks, Vancouver fans erupted on the streets of the city Wednesday night, rioting and burning cars, smashing windows, running amok inside stores and pelting huge TV screens with beer bottles.
Eight people were treated for stab wounds, Alyssa Polinsky, a spokeswoman for Vancouver Coastal Health, the regional hospital authority, told the New York Times. None of the injuries were life-threatening.
The riots, sparked by a crowd of about 70,000 that had gathered in the late afternoon to watch the game on big screens and anticipating a celebration, lasted about four hours. At least 10 cars were overturned and torched. Police broke up the disturbances with pepper spray tear gas and flash bombs.
“We have a small number of hooligans on the streets of Vancouver causing problems,” Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said. “It's absolutely disgraceful and shameful and by no means represents the city of Vancouver. ... We have had an extraordinary run in the playoff, great celebration. What's happened tonight is despicable."
Steve Nash, the NBA star who is from Victoria, B.C., and is the brother-in-law of Canucks forward Manny Malhotra, tweeted: “Vancouver please stop burning [stuff]. We're a great city and have a lot of class. Our team is great and our championship will come. Soon.”
Unfortunately, there’s precedent for this. When the Canucks lost in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals in 1994, there were riots.
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Images: Riot gallery