Vancouver Canucks fans step back from the flames of a burning overturned pickup truck 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. [Photo/Agencies]
VANCOUVER - More than 150 were reported injured on Thursday from hockey fans riot through downtown Vancouver after the Vancouver Canucks' home defeat to the Boston Bruins in the final game of the Stanley Cup on Wednesday.
The Canucks have waited 41 years, ever since joining the league, to win their first ice hockey NHL title in North America, but they lost the decisive game 7 4-0 to the Boston Bruins.
That was too much to take for many in the 100,000 crowd who had packed downtown viewing areas in the Canadian city.
They clashed with police, overturned and ignited cars and dumpsters, smashed windows and looted stores. Hundreds of riot police used tear gas to bring the riot under control in some three hours.
Police chief Jim Chu blamed a small group of "anarchists and criminals" for instigating the violence and said that many of them had previously tried to disrupt the 2010 Winter Olympics in the city, the Vancouver Sun reported. Chu said that over 100 people were arrested.
Tens of thousands of Vancouver fans also rioted in 1994, when the Canucks lost the title to the New York Rangers at a home game.
The Bruins clinched their sixth title and their first in 39 years.