Two people were stabbed and an unidentified man is listed in critical condition with head injuries in the aftermath of the Vancouver Canucks’ Game 7 loss in the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday.
All told, nearly 150 people required hospital treatment as rioters swept the British Columbian city in a rage. Most of the injured were treated at St. Paul’s Hospital in the city, while others – including both the stabbing cases – were taken to Vancouver General Hospital. Cars were set ablaze, explosions rattled nearby buildings and swarms of people chanted and jumped over bonfires in a downtown area littered with smoke and garbage as police tried to calm the situation. Looters smashed windows across the downtown core and made their way into several establishments, including a bank. Police used tear gas, flash bombs and pepper spray in an effort to disperse the mob, a task made more difficult by the fact that streets were jammed with fans who flooded the downtown to watch the Canucks-Bruins tilt on several large screens. Fans reportedly tossed beer bottles at the screens in the final moments of the loss. Police and RCMP officers from around the city converged on the downtown in a scene reminiscent of the 1994 finals, when rioters and vandals ran amok following the Canucks’ Game 7 loss to the New York Rangers. Fights broke out in several locations Wednesday and several injuries were reported. Public transit was shut down shortly after, leaving tens of thousands of people scrambling to make their way home. Looters targeted several marquee locations, including the Bay and Sears department stores and an RBC bank. Vandals also tossed live firecrackers, setting off a series of loud explosions. Emergency vehicles struggled to attend to lingering fires and injured bystanders as mobs heckled them and impeded their progress.