More than 5,000 people converged on a busy street corner in Newton Tuesday night as the Canucks won the Western Conference Final, securing a berth for the Stanley Cup finals.
The cliffhanger game was a seesaw battle between the Vancouver Canucks and the San Jose Sharks, with the Canucks taking the game in double overtime. It ended with an unattractive, yet effective, goal by Kevin Bieksa.
Shortly thereafter, an immense crowd descended on Scott Road at 72 Avenue to celebrate the victory.
The busy street corner has become a celebration spot for Canucks fans over the past few years. Police say Tuesday’s crowd was the largest of the playoff series so far.
RCMP Cpl. Drew Grainger said the crowd was estimated at “conservatively” 5,000.
And for a group that size, they were extremely well-behaved, Grainger said.
“It was a great crowd, very celebratory,” Grainger said Wednesday. Police shut down the intersection to traffic at about 10:20 p.m. for the safety of the crowd.
“They stayed on the street for about an hour,” Grainger said. “Then we slowly started to filter our members through the crowd to positively engage them letting them know it’s probably time to go home and they responded favourably.”
There were no arrests or injuries during the impromptu party, Grainger said.
“It was great,” Grainger said, although “it was probably inconvenient to the people living in the area with the noise and the traffic disruption.”
The intersection was reopened just before midnight, “then it was business as usual,” Grainger said.
Grainger, who is responsible for police planning for events like this, said the number of people that showed up last night will probably be typical following Canucks’ wins moving into the Stanley Cup finals.
The Canucks will be either facing the Boston Bruins or the Tampa Bay Lightning, depending on the outcome of that series.
Because that series was not complete Wednesday afternoon, the schedule for games is not yet known.
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