Taking no chances, police close Ste. Catherine St. during hockey game
MONTREAL - Montreal police took no chances.
In an effort to prevent any possibility of public rowdiness, the local constabulary shut down the city's main drag during the Game Seven against the Bruins, held in faraway Boston.
The police had earned a reputation of faring poorly in their battles to quell hockey-related riots, perhaps the most epic of which occurred in 1986 and 1993. Those riots saw bottles tossed freely on St. Catherine and many store windows smashed and shops looted.
A police-monitored party area was set up in front of the Bell Centre for hockey fans who wish to celebrate outdoors.
Media companies were also asked to restrict their coverage of the night's events to the intersection of Mountain and Ste. Catherine Sts., in front of the arena.
In 2008 police cars were burned and several buildings were looted and vandalized when the Canadiens beat the Bruins.
Last year, when the Canadiens defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, unruly fans spilled out of the Bell Centre and after several hours some started looted several stores along Ste. Catherine St.
In both cases dozens of people were arrested and charged.
On this occasion however, people remained orderly throughout the city as the Canadiens were eliminated in overtime.