February 25, 2022

Montreal Canadiens celebration leads to 15 arrests, 2 police officers injured

Montreal police say 15 people were arrested, 60 tickets were handed out and two officers injured amid a flurry of excitement and vandalism in the city’s downtown core following the Canadiens winning Game 6 against the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday night.

The overtime win prompted festivities that went on for hours but police quickly dispersed the crowd outside the Bell Centre with tear gas. Projectiles were launched at officers, according to police.

Julien Lévesque, a spokesperson for the police force, said the 15 arrests were for several reasons, including armed assault, mischief and obstructing the work of a police officer.

READ MORE: Montreal streets awash with celebration, tear gas as Habs eliminate Golden Knights in overtime

Eight police cars were also damaged during the night, he added. The injuries to two police officers, were minor.

Story continues below advertisement

“This is the only information I have concerning last evening’s police intervention,” he said.

Fans congregated outside the Bell Centre before the game even started on a night that happened to also be Quebec’s Fête nationale, a statutory holiday in the province. The thick throng of jersey-wearing Montrealers stayed throughout the match, breaking into celebration once the victory was clinched in an overtime goal.

Montreal Canadiens fans celebrate on Rue Ste-Catherine after the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Vegas Golden Knights in overtime game 6 NHL Stanley Cup playoff hockey semifinal action in Montreal on Thursday.

Peter McCabe/The Canadian Press

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante had called for calm ahead of the decisive meetup between the two teams, urging people to party safely. The city’s police force also had more officers on hand for the festivities and closed streets shortly after the first period.

On Friday morning, Plante thanked those who celebrated responsibly and for police intervening when things got out of hand. City crews are also cleaning up the area.

Story continues below advertisement

“There was a bit of ruckus, but overall it went well,” she told reporters.

Plante said the city is in talks with public health authorities and the Canadiens organization about how to safely broadcast games outdoors.

Montreal Canadiens fans run from tear gas fired by the police to break up the huge crowds as Canadiens fans celebrate on Rue Rene Levesque after the Canadiens defeated the Vegas Golden Knights in overtime Game 6 NHL Stanley Cup playoff hockey semifinal action in Montreal, Thursday, June 24, 2021. .

Peter McCabe/The Canadian Press

She said she would also like to see COVID-19 restrictions eased to allow more fans inside the Bell Centre during the final round of the playoffs. The cap is currently 3,500 people.

In the meantime, authorities urged ecstatic fans to be careful about large gatherings as the pandemic continues.

“Wear your mask when you are celebrating if you are close to people,” Plante said.

Quebec’s Health Department said that the “situation is stable” in a statement to Global News, but added that it “deplored the excesses” seen Thursday and cautioned people to follow the rules.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Call of the Wilde — Canadiens advance to Stanley Cup Finals with 3-2 win over Golden Knights

The Habs’ 3-2 win over the Golden Knights in Game 6 means the team is advancing to the Stanley Cup final for the first time since 1993.

Montreal will take on the winner of Friday night’s Game 7 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders.

with files from Global News’ Amanda Jelowicki and The Canadian Press

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Source link