Thousands of Montreal Canadiens fans celebrated their team’s first Stanley Cup Finals berth since 1993 by flipping police cars, lighting fireworks, and tussling with officers outside the city’s Bell Centre arena after Thursday night’s Game 6 win over Vegas.
Montreal police say 15 people were arrested, 60 tickets were given, and two officers were injured, according to
Ultimately police dispersed the crowd using tear gas, but not until after eight police cars were damaged and fans were apprehended for everything from armed assault and mischief to obstructing a police officer. Two cops suffered minor injuries.
Police use teargas to disperse the Montreal Canadiens fans who were celebrating after the Habs won Game 6 in the NHL Semi-Finals against the Las Vegas Golden Knights on Rene Levesque Boulevard in Montreal
Eight police cars were damaged, including several that were flipped, after the Habs’ victory
Canadiens fans light fireworks outside the Bell Centre after their first Finals berth since 1993
A man holds an inflatable Stanley Cup as people clear the area after police dispersed the Montreal Canadiens fans on Thursday night outside the Bell Centre
Montreal Canadiens fans celebrate after the Habs won Game 6 in the NHL Semi-Finals against the Las Vegas Golden Knights
A Canadiens fan lifts up a traffic cone near the Bell Centre while celebrating Thursday’s win
Crowds were reportedly growing rowdy before the overtime win (right), in part, because Montreal was also celebrating Fête de la Saint-Jean-Baptiste, which is a major holiday in Quebec. (Left) Crowds only grew larger and more destructive after the win
Police disperse the Montreal Canadiens fans who were celebrating after the Habs won Game 6
In one video, fans are seen kicking a patrol car after it had been flipped. Intermittent chants of ‘Ole’ can be heard from the crowd along with random cries of ‘Allez les Habs,’ a nickname for the team abbreviated from ‘Les Habitants,’ a term for French settlers in Quebec.
Crowds were reportedly growing rowdy before the overtime win, in part, because Montreal was also celebrating Fête de la Saint-Jean-Baptiste, which is a major holiday in Quebec.
Due to pandemic restrictions and public health guidelines, attendance at the Bell Centre was limited to 3,500, all of whom were asked to stay in the arena until the fans on the street could be dispersed.
Although the Canadiens rank among the most successful franchise’s in sports, having won the Stanley Cup an NHL-best 24 times, the franchise hasn’t played for a title since beating Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings in 1993.
After dropping the Vegas Golden Knights, 3-2, on an overtime goal by Artturi Lehkonen on Thursday night, the Canadiens are awaiting the winner of Friday’s New York Islander-Tampa Bay Lighting Game 7 matchup.
The Lightning are the defending champions while the Islanders have not raised the Cup since 1983, which was their fourth-consecutive title.
The Montreal Canadiens celebrate the game-winning overtime goal scored by Artturi Lehkonen (not pictured) against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game Six of the Stanley Cup Semifinals of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre on Thursday