Raucous, but peaceful celebrations in Montreal as Habs win in 7
Published Wednesday, May 14, 2014 1:21PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 15, 2014 8:37AM EDT
Despite fears of a repeat of past riots, tens of thousands of Canadiens fans celebrating a Game 7 win against the Boston Bruins made their way home peacefully.
Montreal police had a very large presence, with multiple officers on street corners around the Bell Centre and officers patrolling on horses.
Two people were arrested for assaulting an officer, while three more were stopped and fined for minor infractions such as drinking in public.
Tickets for Wednesday’s giant-screen viewing in Montreal cost $10, with some of the proceeds going to a Canadiens charity fund for children.
Team spokesman Donald Beauchamp says the 21,000-odd tickets sold out in two hours.
Cmdr. Ian Lafreniere with the Montreal police said that for the most part, it’s not Habs fans who are ones inciting violence.
“A hundred percent of (the people who start the rioting) haven't seen the game at all. Not even getting the results on the radio. Why am I telling you that? Because at the end of it it's not fans. It's people taking advantage of that. It's people with criminal intentions.”
In 2010 after fans at the Bell Centre watched the Canadiens eliminate the Penguins in a game played in Pittsburgh, mayhem ensued in downtown Montreal, with store windows smashed and rioters clashing with police.
Beauchamp said authorities have done a good job "as far as prevention with what happens post-Canadiens games."
"What happened in the past was not necessarily people who were at the venue," he said.
"It was people who were not necessarily in the building."
The Canadiens won the game and will move on to play the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference final starting Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Bell Centre.
With a file from The Canadian Press
Montreal Canadiens fans file into the Bell Centre May 14, 2014, ahead of seventh and final game in the Habs-Bruins series.