Montreal Police confirmed that one police car was flipped on its side and tear gas was used to disperse a rowdy group outside the Bell Centre following the Habs series-clinching overtime victory over the Las Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday night.
Artturi Lehkonen scored in overtime to give Montreal a 3-2 win and the third-round series victory in six games. The goal and victory set off wild scenes both inside and outside the Bell Centre.
Police began firing tear gas into the crowd surrounding Bell Centre at around 11:15 p.m. ET. Police spokesman Const. Manuel Couture said police began trying to disperse the crowd after officers were assaulted and vehicles were vandalized. Shortly before 2 a.m., riot police were still working to disperse groups of revellers.
The 3,500 people who were able to attend the Canadiens’ sixth and decisive game against the Golden Knights were asked to temporarily stay inside the Bell Centre by police.
The streets of Montreal are BUZZING pic.twitter.com/RgD6ncwkOx
— Spittin’ Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) June 25, 2021
After the winning overtime goal, 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.”
— Kelly Greig (@KellyGreig) June 25, 2021
A total of 15 people were arrested, with charges ranging from armed assault, assault and obstructing the work of a police officer, Montreal police Constable Julien Lévesque said Friday morning. Another 60 infractions were handed out for violating numerous city by-laws.
The Canadiens will face the winner of tonight’s Game 7 between the Islanders and the Lightning in the Stanley Cup final.
By Jon Sorensen