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Ice Hockey: Cup riots in Vancouver

AROUND 200 people were injured, including two with serious head wounds, in the melee that broke out in Vancouver on Tuesday night after the Vancouver Canucks lost the final game of the Stanley Cup play-offs 3-2 on their visit to the New York Rangers.

With some 70,000 roaming a downtown area of the city, store windows were smashed and some business premises looted. Many of the troublemakers fought with each other and the police had to resort to the use of tear gas to disperse rioters after an officer had become trapped in the midst of a mob.

Finally, waves of riot police, supported by dogs, moved in to take command of the situation and later Vancouver's gaols were said to be full to overflowing.

In contrast, the Canucks team arrived back in Vancouver in the early hours of yesterday morning to be greeted at the airport by a well-behaved crowd of around 1,000.

It was the second year of Stanley Cup rioting in a Canadian city after a final game. Thirty people faced charges following ugly scenes in Montreal in which cars were overturned, stores looted and damages ran to millions of dollars.