15 arrests, tear gas and a flipped cop car as Montreal Canadiens eliminate Golden Knights, advance to finals
MONTREAL -- Montreal police (SPVM) arrested 15 people and gave out 60 tickets following the Montreal Canadiens' overtime win against the Las Vegas Golden Knights to advance to the Stanley Cup finals.
"Arrests were made for assault, obstruction against police work and armed assault on a police officer," confirmed Julien Lévesque, a spokesperson with Montreal police. "Sixty tickets were also given out."
Some of those tickets were for violations against municipal fireworks regulations.
In the aftermath of the Habs' winning goal, authorities say a cruiser was flipped onto its side and officers sprayed tear gas to disperse rowdy crowds who were throwing objects.
"Some people were doing some bad things, but everybody was just jumping and they started shooting it at us," said Steven Bergeron, a fan celebrating the victory. "I thought it was another firework and I had something in my eyes, but when I saw everybody running, I knew it was the cops."
He adds being tear gassed without warning took some of the joy out of the celebration for him.
The 3,500 people in attendance at the Bell Centre were asked to momentarily stay inside the arena by police.
Canadiens owner Geoff Molson addressed the crowd, saying "Police have asked us to stay inside tonight until they advise us we can leave. So everyone stay here, cheer hard, have fun and go Habs go."
The force also preventatively shut down both de Maisonneuve and René-Lévesque boulevards between Guy Street and Robert-Bourassa Boulevard as a crowd of 5,000 gathered to celebrate the Habs' playoff run.
"We have a special cocktail of events," said Manuel Couture, a spokesperson with Montreal police. "We're talking about the Habs game, the Saint-Jean-Baptiste."
Montreal police says it started preparing for Thursday night the minute the Habs won Game 5 to lead the series 3-2.