Angry Vancouver fans set cars ablaze after loss

The Canadian Press ~ OBJ
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A Canucks fan yells and poses for a friend's camera in front of a burning car as fans riot after the Vancouver Canucks lost to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup final Wednesday. Photo by Postmedia News

Vancouver - Furious hockey fans set fire to cars and garbage cans, tossed beer bottles at giant TV screens and ran rampant through downtown streets Wednesday after the Vancouver Canucks lost 4-0 to the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing at least two overturned cars burning in the streets, which were strewn with trash and filled with acrid smoke immediately following the game at Vancouver's Rogers Arena.

Flames were seen shooting nearly 10 metres into the air as bystanders tossed firecrackers, setting off intermittent barrages of staccato explosions. The stench of stale beer mingled with the smoke.

Patrick Fleming, 15, from Richmond, B.C., said a small group of fans took out their anger on nearby cars in the game's dying moments, flipping over two vehicles and setting one on fire.

Another upturned vehicle was visible nearby as orange flames erupted from the 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 to zero by the thick black smoke.

Som Gosh, 16, said police blocked off the area and detained a number of people, but it did little to quell the violence.

"I think it was a few people ... Everybody else is watching, some are cheering," Gosh said.

As he spoke, another fire erupted nearby in an area littered with abandoned Canucks memorabilia and hand-lettered signs expressing support for the team. Fans set fire to a stuffed bear; others sang a drunken tune as they danced on an overturned vehicle.

Some members of the crowd could be seen trying to hold others back as the rampage continued. Many - including families with children - tried to flee, panicked. Drunken revellers posed for pictures as rioting continued around them.

Most of the people in the downtown core wanted no part of the violence and headed in the opposite direction. A long line of police tried to hold the surging crowd back from the blazing cars.

Though the outcome of the game was no longer in doubt midway through the third period, a hail of beer bottles rained down on giant outdoor television screens as soon as the final buzzer sounded, touching off a fearsome riot.

Organizations: Vancouver Canucks, Boston Bruins

Geographic location: Vancouver, Richmond

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Recent comments

  • KB
    June 17, 2011 - 07:48

    It is obvious that Vancouver does not deserve a hockey team.

  • Kent
    June 16, 2011 - 13:32

    Mike, I'm not sure the antics of a few thugs upset over a hockey game are indicative of the way an enitire populace would react to the hypotheticals you describe. Most citizens are better than that.

    • krista
      June 16, 2011 - 14:24

      True.... But the actions of a few always seem to effect everyone... I believe those involved should definitely hang their heads in shame..

  • Mikalah
    June 16, 2011 - 11:52


  • mike
    June 16, 2011 - 11:40

    come now its only practice for when subsidized housing funding gets axed by the conservatives :) newfoundlanders should be taking notes, cause they are going to get screwed royally soon in Public housing, drug rehabilitation & social programs by the Conservatives. People should be taking a good hard look at what canadians are capable of when things don't go their way.

  • greg lecuyer
    June 16, 2011 - 11:36

    The big wheel but small minority showing there class or lack thereof,who should spend the night in solitary.

  • Loretta
    June 16, 2011 - 10:30

    It shames me to say I am a Canadian with the witnessing of this behavior. Really, they should hang their heads today when they realize the embarrassment they have brought on fellow Canadians. Over a hockey game! And technology being what it is today, you can be assured there are videos and pictures going to be plastered all over the internet and papers of their antics. Vancouver lost. Get over it!! Go Bruins Go!!

  • Loretta
    June 16, 2011 - 10:15


  • haha
    June 16, 2011 - 10:02

    And this is why I wanted Boston to Win..... What a bunch of sooks! Glad the Olympics are over and done with there cause You'd never see these guys win a bid for the games with this kind of attitude.

  • kent
    June 16, 2011 - 08:43

    These fools going around destroying the property of private citizens and business owners should be prosecuted to the fullest extent fo the law. The judge should make an exampe of them all.

  • Juanita H.
    June 16, 2011 - 08:15

    Disgusting. In other countries, people take to the streets in riots to protest oppressive regimes and fight for freedom. In Canada, where not even enough people could drag their butts as far as polling station to vote, the people take to the streets in violent rioting over a fricking hockey game. Bread and circuses.

  • Robert
    June 16, 2011 - 08:01

    Win or lose. I doesn't matter to some hooligans. It's an excuse to burn and destroy.

  • Kevin Power
    June 16, 2011 - 08:00

    Another example of poor behaviour by some of today's trashy people. If they don't get what they want destroy something else. Sports fans, no. Hooligans, yes>

  • Sparky
    June 16, 2011 - 07:59

    I don`t watch hockey at all , never did.I don`t think you can blame "hockey fans",for the trouble in Vancouver, the trouble makers are the Goofs that did`nt even watch the game,they just wanted to be-on-tv, & now hopefully they`ll be on-tv going into a courtroom.

  • E Picco
    June 16, 2011 - 07:43

    I sure hope this kind of violence isn't going to be bought into St. John's with the new hockey team.

  • Lee
    June 16, 2011 - 07:40

    It was very disappointing to see Vancouver lose the Stanley Cup, as well as frustrating just watching the game. However, there is no need whatsoever for riots and violence.

  • MommyGummi
    June 16, 2011 - 07:26

    Way to show that you are sore losers Vancouver! Very classy indeed! GO BRUINS!!!!!!!!WOOOOOOOO!!!

  • jennifer
    June 16, 2011 - 07:17

    wow! sore losers!