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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

City of Losers Erupts in Violence

VANCOUVER, Canada -- What began as a downtown celebration of a roller-coaster playoff run for the Vancouver Canucks ended in clouds of tear gas when police in riot gear stormed through an unruly mob. Store windows were smashed and some businesses were looted Tuesday night, said police spokeswoman Anne Drennan. She estimated the crowd of revelers after the Canucks lost 3-2 to the New York Rangers at about 70,000, most of whom were hockey fans or face-painted teens wanting to party. Drennan said a hard core of hooligans started the riot nearly three hours after the deciding Game 7 ended. Many of the trouble-makers fought each other. Drennan said numerous arrests were made but could give no specifics. But she said there were no serious injuries to the public or police, although the two major downtown hospital emergency wards were busy. In New York the strain, tension and embarrassment of going 54 years without the Rangers winning the Stanley Cup were gone, lifted from the team and the metropolis with Tuesday's victory. It was almost too much to believe for fans who needed a calculator to total past disappointments. "I'm breathless," shouted Ed Alburque, hugging his daughter. "I've waited 43 years for this." The diehards in red, white and blue jerseys celebrated -- a long, loud, raucous party that exorcised demons, snapped hexes, smashed curses. "The Cup!" screamed Tom Raia, 20, of Totowa, N.J. "This is the greatest night of my life." In Moscow, hours before the game began, fans were less partisan in their enthusiasm. Pride for Russian players was so thick at the Sports Bar on Novy Arbat that even Pavel Bure couldn't have sliced through it. "Our Russian guys are on both teams and they don't hold back," said Pavel Milyutin, 22, who came to the bar to play pool and talk hockey. "They're like the cosmonauts. Heroes." Russians were not able to watch the seventh and deciding game of the Stanley Cup finals until Wednesday night, when it was to be aired nationwide. But many have been avidly following the series between the Vancouver Canucks and the New York Rangers in newspapers and delayed late-night broadcasts. "Russian attack on the NHL throne," the daily Izvestia trumpeted last week. Bure is a star in Moscow as well as Vancouver. Although the Rangers' Russians -- Sergei Zubov, Sergei Nemchinov, Alexei Kovalev -- don't have the same star power, they are widely known as solid players who contributed greatly to the Rangers' success. (AP, Washington Post