Thursday 21 February 2019

Ice Hockey: Vancouver fans go on rampage after Stanley Cup final defeat

Vancouver Canucks supporters clashed with police after their team's home loss to the Boston Bruins in the deciding game of the Stanley Cup Final left at least 70,000 fans with nothing to celebrate.

Boston's 4-0 win at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver sealed their first National Hockey League championship since 1972. Some Canucks fans broke windows, hurled beer bottles and set fire to cars in downtown Vancouver after the loss, which extended the team's four-decade drought without an NHL title.

"It's upsetting, it's frustrating, it's infuriating to watch a team with less sportsmanlike conduct take it home," Andrew Smith (20) a criminology student from Coquitlam, British Columbia, said in an interview. "If you are a real Vancouver fan, you won't lose hope, you will stick by the team."

The Canucks failed to win the cup after finishing with the best regular-season record. No Canadian team has won the title since the 1993 Montreal Canadiens.

Vancouver also lost the 1982 championship series and was defeated in Game 7 of the 1994 final by the New York Rangers.

Last night's violence stirred memories of a riot in the city after the loss to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden in New York 17 years ago.

Vancouver fans "are going to take it pretty bad," said Glen Fuentes, a 21-year-old student from Coquitlam. "Vancouver has got pride."

Fernando Nagleo (40) a health care worker who was also in Vancouver for the 1994 rioting, said last night's incidents were less intense. Police fired tear gas to disperse rioters.

"You've got 100,000 people who are very unhappy," Nagleo said in an interview. "There are always idiots who don't have respect for the city."

Canucks netminder Roberto Luongo conceded four goals, two nights after allowing three in the first period in Boston and being pulled from that game. The Bruins also won the third game 8-1, the most lopsided result in the Stanley Cup Final since 1996.

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