Thousands gather in the streets of Montreal to celebrate hockey team victory, ignoring the government’s health measures

Thousands of Montrealers gathered by the Bell Center and throughout the city to celebrate the Montreal Canadiens win against the Las Vegas Golden Knights.

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Thousands of Montrealers gathered by the Bell Center and throughout the city to celebrate the Montreal Canadiens win against the Las Vegas Golden Knights.

The Montreal Canadiens won the sixth game of the playoff against Las Vegas in overtime. The Montreal time will be heading to the Stanley Cup final for the first time since 1993. 

The game occurred on June 24th, the national holiday of French Canadians, Saint-Jean Baptiste. 

Both the national holiday and the Canadiens match drew up large crowds throughout the city. In front of the Bell Center where the Canadiens played, an estimate of 20,000 gathered. 

While thousands were gathered outside with no regard for the province’s outdated health measures, only 3,500 individuals were allowed into the Bell Center whose regular capacity is 21,302. 

Fans watching the game inside the Bell Center had to be socially distanced and had to keep their mask on. 

In other parts of the city such as Plateau-Mont-Royal, the mood was also cheerful and fans gathered in the streets. 

In the Plateau residential neighbourhood, police cheered along with the fans as the mood remained joyful throughout most of the night. 

In the surroundings of the Bell Center, however, the situation escalated as individuals vandalized a police car. The police had to keep the Bell Center under lockdown for a few hours as they dispersed the crowds. 

Despite a seemingly return to normalcy, the government of Quebec has no intention of repealing its COVID measures in the weeks to come. The province’s case count has been steadily decreasing and now amounts to less than 100 new cases per day for the 8.5 million population. 

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