US & Canada

Vancouver Canucks ice hockey riot sees 100 arrested

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Media captionMobs of angry fans roamed central Vancouver after the game.

Nearly 100 people were arrested amid city centre rioting after Vancouver's ice hockey team lost the deciding game of the Stanley Cup final, police say.

Chief Constable Jim Chu blamed the violence on "anarchists and criminals" and said police had seized weapons.

Cars were set on fire and shops were looted following Vancouver Canucks' 4-0 defeat to the Boston Bruins.

Residents said they were embarrassed at the spectacle, and volunteers helped clean up the mess on Thursday morning.

"I woke up today to read all the news reports about just how much Vancouver embarrassed ourselves yesterday," Barrett Nash told CBC News.

Image caption Police have asked fans who took video or photos during the riots to share them with investigators

"And I thought just before going to work I could just help clean up a bit. So I went downstairs, grabbed some garbage bags and gloves, and I am trying to help clean up."

Record crowds of supporters had gathered in the heart of the city on Wednesday in the hope of seeing the Canucks - the favourites - secure the Stanley Cup and be crowned winners of the National Hockey League (NHL).

But hope quickly turned to gloom after the Boston Bruins scored first and then went on to secure a comfortable victory.

Officers injured

People chanted obscenities, and witnesses said some people took out their anger on nearby cars. Fifteen vehicles were burned, including two police vehicles, Chief Constable Chu said.

Shop windows were smashed, with the stores then looted.

Chief Constable Chu said nine police officers were injured, including one who needed 14 stitches to close a wound suffered when a brick was thrown at his head.

Members of the public had sent in numerous tips identifying looters and rioters, and investigators had also gathered video footage and still photos shot by people in the crowd, he said at a news conference on Thursday.

Some fans were seen trying to hold back more unruly members of the crowd, without much success.

Fans also rioted in 1994 after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup series, and Chief Constable Chu rejected criticism police were unready or failed to take aggressive action once the rioting started.

"When a crowd is this large, it is difficult to go and pick off the instigators and troublemakers," he told reporters.

"That is what we encountered that night. The crowd was very, very large. At the live sites there was a plan to create corridors for people to get through but they were quickly taken over.

"Those criminals and anarchists hide behind the large number of people. They were looking for that opportunity."

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