Cars Set On Fire In Vancouver Following Game 7 Loss

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Angry, drunken revelers ran wild Wednesday night after the Vancouver Canucks’ 4-0 loss to Boston in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, setting cars and garbage cans ablaze, smashing windows, showering giant TV screens with beer bottles and dancing atop overturned vehicles.

“It’s terrible,” Canucks captain Henrik Sedin said, shaking his head. “This city and province has a lot to be proud of, the team we have and the guys we have in here. It’s too bad.”

NBA star Steve Nash, from Vancouver and the brother-in-law of Canucks forward Manny Malhotra, sent a Twitter message imploring the fans to stop the violence. “We’re a great city and have a lot of class. Our team is great and our championship will come. Soon,” Nash wrote.

Photo Gallery: Angry Fans Riot In Vancouver Streets

There were no immediate indications of injuries, although images were shown on television of at least one woman mopping blood from her forehead.

Watch video:

“You don’t ever hope for a situation like this,” Vancouver police Const. Jana McGuinness said. “You celebrate the good times and you prepare for the bad times and that’s exactly what we’ve done. Unfortunately, the tables have turned tonight. … We will have to sit down and evaluate exactly what happened here. It’s going to be a black mark for a very, very long time.”

Tear gas mingled with the stench of acrid smoke and stale beer as riot police, truncheons drawn, moved in to quell the violence, pushing crowds away from the burning cars.

Later, police cars also were set on fire. At one point, police were using flash-bangs — grenades that are designed to distract and disorient, rather than injure — to try to break up the mob, said Chad McMillan, 31, a Vancouver resident and Canucks fan.

“This isn’t what the Canucks are about,” McMillan said. “This isn’t what their fans are about. This isn’t what this city is about.”

vancouverfire1 Cars Set On Fire In Vancouver Following Game 7 Loss

A car burns during riots in Vancouver after Game 7. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)

Flames leaped from at least two flipped vehicles in the middle of trash-strewn streets, filling the downtown core with heavy black smoke in the moments immediately following the game.

“I heard a loud noise and turned and there was a car being stomped on by a bunch of guys,” 18-year-old witness Brandon Sinclair said about the first few moments of violence.

“A bunch of guys started rocking it, then they flipped it over and five minutes later it was on fire and then they flipped another one. It was just out of control.”

Bright orange flames were seen shooting nearly 10 yards into the air as bystanders tossed firecrackers.

Television images showed a large fire burning inside a parking garage, but it wasn’t clear what was ablaze.

A small group of rioters appeared to be at the heart of the action reminiscent of a similar scene that erupted in the city in 1994 following the Canucks’ Game 7 loss to the New York Rangers.

Flames erupted an exploding car, prompting bystanders to duck down in alarm. Fans who were trying simply to get out of the danger zone found their visibility reduced by the thick black smoke.

About an hour after the game ended, some bold troublemakers started hurling garbage and bottles at police officers, who deflected the debris with riot shields. Protesters who rushed the police line were quickly subdued with blows from a truncheon.

Some protesters held what looked like pipes or hockey sticks over their heads as they jeered at officers. Newspaper boxes were wrenched off the sidewalk and hurled through store windows. Portable toilets were tipped as the stifling black smoke spread through the city’s core.

Some seemed to revel in the rampage, recording the vandalism on cell phones and video cameras. A few congratulated those who tried to attack police, and others erupted with cheers every time something was damaged. Fans set fire to a stuffed bear decorated to symbolize the Bruins, while others sang a drunken tune as they danced on an overturned vehicle.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

  • bru

    so much for our “mellow” neighbors to the north..

  • mod

    you mean barbarians of the north

  • Dottie Allen

    Talk about sore losers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a shame they had to put such a damper on a truly happy ending to such a good game

  • Carolyn

    How immature to do something so stupid……..poor sportsmanship is what it is. What did they prove by doing damage to an automobile?. They could have killed someone and then how would they feel. People like that need anger management help.

  • Christine

    These are not fans. These are people who went there with one purpose in mind and that was to cause chaos. The true fans are the ones who went to cheer on their team, salute their team and give kudos to the Bruins for their win. Please don’t put us all in the same category as these idiots. For every one moron doing this, there are hundreds more who left peacefully.

  • Laurie

    I live in Vancouver and have to say that I think those IDIOTS would have done the same thing if we had won. We were outplayed fair and square. Great series!

  • Could care less about either team

    Just a product of our society…enter losing team here.

  • Nev

    Its just a bunch of young idiots who came into town with one goal. Not Canuck fans. Its very very sad.

  • GoRedSox

    Actually, I think they were Yankee fans.

  • jaygee

    Boston hasn’t exactly had a clean record on winning or losing situations so I wouldn’t throw stones. The crowd in Vancouver was ten times what we would see in Boston and as we all know, it only takes a handful of idiots to make a whole town look bad. When they lost to New York back in 96, the city exploded into chaos but it appears that the police don’t respond until the damage has been done. Every city, including Boston, needs water cannons for crowd control. Nobody likes to get soaked and knocked on your arse.

    • blackbear1

      What is with you? The B’s just won the Cup, and you want throw cold water on all the good news. Why make these silly illicit comparisons. The way this very testy series went, throw stones at them and who cares about any past incidents!! Come on man, be a true Bruins fan!!!

      • tsal

        Wasn’t this the team you were boo’ing a few weeks ago? I’m curious about your definition of a true Bruins fan.

    • tsal

      jaygee, as I read the comments posted I wondered where our short term memory came from. There were extreme restrictions in Boston last night and the mayor wisely did not allow viewiing at the garden. There was a reason for that as you have said. I like the water cannon idea!

    • Bruins Fan

      Jaygee, I agree, and the proof is in the facts. Boston won the darn game, so why a “minimal” of arrests here? People can’t even behave when a game is won.

  • DJ

    Too bad that a few jerks have to make a whole city look bad. However, I did notice some fans sorely lacking in class when they booed throughout the awards ceremony. Oh well.

  • 10cc

    Load up, load up, load up with rubber bullets.

  • zak

    Its just a game! right?!? calm yourself down!

  • FireGuyFrank

    This is abosolute proof that Vancouver fans do not deserve a championship. What a disgrace.

    Had the Canucks won the Cup in Boston, we would have first cheered our Bs as they left the ice, and cheered the victors with grace and dignity. (Who remembers, “Beat L-A!” chants when the 76ers were about to beat the Celtics?)

    Congrats BRUINS!

    • tsal

      I agree that I do not believe we would have boo’d any opposing team who won on our turf. The boo’ing last night in Vancouver was disgraceful. As far as rioting meaning you don’t deserve a championship, how many do we have to give back???

  • msw

    If the Bruins lost it would have been even worse here than they were in Vancouver. As it is these idiot hockey fans were getting arrested for throwing bottles at each other in celebration here last night and we needed to have the entire police force and the national guard to keep the ‘celebration’ under control. I’m sure the Mass. taxpayers have to foot the bill for all this ‘celebrating’ and clean up too – sooo foolish.

  • Leslie B

    When are we going to learn to accept loss graciously?

    As a Canadian who has lived in both Vancouver & Boston, I was torn over which team to cheer for, since both cities have a special place in my heart. After witnessing the disgusting post-game events last night, I was glad Boston won. What happened in Vancouver was shameful and disgraceful… those people were laughing and posing for photos amidst the chaos. To reiterate some of the above comments, this was not at all reflective of what true fans (Canadian OR American) are all about. The individuals who acted out would have caused trouble no matter what the outcome was. Sadly, this happens almost to almost every time a championship is decided. I’m just embarrassed it happened on native turf this time… not the proudest day to be Canadian.

    As for the booing, I HOPE it wasn’t directed at the Bruins team… it seems tradition that it’s usually intended more towards Gary Bettman (not that that’s acceptable either). Congratulations to the Boston Bruins for an excellent playoffs and Stanley Cup victory – it was well deserved. Do Bostonians recognize just how lucky you are to live in such a great sports town? Your passion is unrivalled… and I wish I was back there to witness the parade.

    Let’s all try to remember how to celebrate victory, and more importantly, how to accept defeat.

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