A Facebook post asking Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows News readers where they were during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots generated some terrific responses about a not-so-terrific timeline in regional sports history.
The night is unforgettable for many.
The setting was Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final between the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins. It was the third time the Canucks had played in the finals, and unfortunately the result was the same as previous attempts to win-it-all in 1982 and 1994.
To put it lightly, the fans that gathered in the streets did not take the loss well.
Around 1,000 rioters caused almost $4 million in damages over the course of five hours.
Facebook user Mary Graves said she was standing next to a car which was set on fire.
“It was so tense,” she wrote. “You just knew something bad was going to happen. We got out of there as soon as we could.”
Nicole Fletcher had a similar experience.
“I was right by the first portable toilet pushed over. Thankfully I could feel the tension rising and we gotta outta there about 2 mins before that. It was terrifying.”
Many readers who were in Vancouver, hoping to see the Canucks win, sensed something bad was going to happen.
Jen So said she left downtown at the end of the second period.
“Because we knew win or lose, there would have been a riot,” she wrote. “Sure enough, as we got back towards waterfront, we saw plumes of smoke rise up.”
David Piper ran to the SkyTrain as tensions rose.
“We were at the big screen set up on the street. Saw the first signs of the situation and wanted no part of what turned into the world laughing at us,” he wrote.
Deon van der Heever shared his thoughts on the aftermath.
“The following morning I went to my office on W Georgia street and walking from Waterfront station I was shocked and repulsed at the carnage and disgusted at the barbaric behaviour and mob mentality from people living in an allegedly civilized country,” he wrote.
Jennifer Lee described a ‘scary night’ worrying about her mother, who was in Vancouver during the chaos.
“My mom was downtown for a show and ended up trapped in the theater because rioters were outside,” she wrote. “At one point, they were told the roof was on fire. All the bridges were closed down, and it took hours before my dad could get to her.”
The riot was a repeat of similar rampage following a Game 7 loss to the New York Rangers in 1994.
Would this happen again if the Canucks were to lose after another close run at the Cup?
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