x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Violence in Vancouver as Canucks lose Stanley Cup

The Bruins 4-0 triumph in Game 7 is overshadowed by trouble in the streets.

Police stand in front of people on the street following Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.
Police stand in front of people on the street following Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.

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.

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.

Game 7 was another heartbreak for the Canucks and their stunned fans, who stayed by the thousands just to get a glimpse of the trophy. A Canadian club still hasn't won the Stanley Cup since 1993.

Boston overcame more than the Vancouver crowd and the Presidents' Trophy-winning team to claim this Cup. Starting in the first round, when the Bruins rallied past Montreal after losing the series' first two games at home, this team has showed a resilience and tenacity that hasn't been seen much in the self-professed Hub of Hockey in four decades.

Both teams opened Game 7 at a fantastic pace. After both teams' top lines missed decent early scoring chances, Bergeron put the Bruins ahead with a one-timer in the slot on a sharp pass from Marchand, the rookie who has emerged remarkably in the finals. Luongo couldn't be blamed for his teammates' soft checking when Bergeron's shot caught the goalpost and ricocheted home.

Bergeron, who won a gold medal with Canada on this same rink last year, hadn't scored a goal in Boston's last nine playoff games, including the entire finals.

Marchand hit Luongo's crossbar early in the second period, and he scored from behind the net several minutes later with ample help from the diving Luongo, who knocked the puck into the net after getting pushed by his scrambling teammate, Daniel Sedin.

Rogers Arena deflated with that score, and the Canucks' suddenly problematic power play allowed Bergeron essentially to finish them off. He got a loose puck at his blue line and outskated two Canucks toward Luongo, and the puck skittered underneath the goalie while Bergeron went to the ice.

Thomas was unflappable in the third period, and Marchand added an empty-net goal with 2:44 to play.

"We got the first goal, and we knew that would be important coming here," said 43-year-old Mark Recchi, who plans to retire after winning the Stanley Cup with his third franchise. "If they got any chances, Timmy was there, and it was just scary how good he was."

Roberto Luongo, the Canucks star goalie, said: "We're devastated as a team. We worked all year to get to this point. To fall short like that is a tough one to take ... but we're a good team, and we'll be back."