The festive and supercharged atmosphere of the Canadians’ victory in the sixth game of the series against the Las Vegas Golden Knights led to the occasional riot in downtown Montreal on Thursday night.
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Thousands of Canadian fans gathered in front of the Bell Center on Thursday night to avoid winning the sixth game of the series against the Golden Knights.
Minutes after the Canadian victory, just after 11pm, the SPVM reported throwing projectiles in the direction of police. “Mistakes are being made, we added. Please avoid the area. Targeted intervention #SPVM in progress.”
“These behaviors were done by a minority of people. Most people behaved in an ideal way,” SPVM spokesman Manuel Couture said in an interview with LCN.
Spectators who had gathered at the Bell Center to watch the clash were forced to stay inside at the end of the game for security reasons at the request of the police.
The number of hockey fans was so large that the Montreal Police Service (SPVM) announced that it was closing the quadrangle around the Bell Center at 8:50 p.m., “due to overcrowding”.
Dozens of fireworks were set off throughout the evening as hockey fans tried to watch the showdown on their mobile device.
However, some had to abandon the project as the cellular network was slowed down by many users.
Faced with a turn of events, police declared the meeting illegal before dispersing the crowd with tear gas canisters.
On this National Day evening, police expected a large number of hockey fans to gather in front of the Bell Center. The Hobbs victory allows the team to reach the first Stanley Cup final since 1993.
Roger Ferland, an expert on police intervention, explained in an interview with LCN that “police officers need to think about protecting spectators and supporters”, emphasizing the “very unpredictable” role of the audience.
“These are evenings, and there is a lot of tension here,” said a former investigator with the Quebec City Police Department.