Published: June 17, 2011
Vancouver Canucks fans fight during riots after the Canucks lost Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs to the Boston Bruins in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia June 15, 2011. Riot police fired tear gas to control a mob that turned violent in downtown Vancouver on Wednesday after the game. [Photo/Agencies]
VANCOUVER - 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.
Vancouver Police Department spokesman Lindsey Houghton said the "mischief and mayhem" was being caused by small groups of individuals, numbering in their hundreds.
"It is not a riot," he told local radio.
A Reuters reporter saw at least two cars burning in a parking lot with police warning that a chemical agent would be deployed if people did not disperse. Store windows were smashed and several shops looted.
While many fans were in a party mood, others were furious at their team's defeat to the Bruins, with one man yelling: "I hate you, Boston!"
Others watched the chaos in disbelief. "I don't understand why people would trash their own city," said another.
Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson called the violence "embarrassing" and "shameful". He did not think the scenes would hurt the city's international image after it had received praise for celebrations during the 2010 Olympics.
One person was reported to have been injured.