Police watching for Whyte Avenue troublemakers
Police will be mingling among hockey fans Monday night on Edmonton's trendy Whyte Avenue, using the same crowd-control strategies that resulted in more than 200 arrests over the weekend.
On Saturday, thousands of cheering Oilers fans filled the street after their team beat the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
During the celebration, police made 205 arrests, mostly for liquor offences, as part of a new strategy to control partying.
Most of those arrested were held overnight and released. Seven people face criminal charges.
For Monday's game in Edmonton, police spokesman Jeff Wuite said city officers will be joined by the RCMP and Camrose police.
Wuite said police will be using cameras to gather evidence. "We're not going to tolerate public intoxication or public transport of liquor," he said.
The strategy was also in place after the Oilers' first two games in the playoff final, but Wuite said few fans took to the street after those losses.
Edmonton was taken aback by overzealous crowds in late May, when a near riot erupted along Whyte Avenue following the Oilers win in the Western Conference final.
That celebration, involving a crowd of more than 30,000 people, turned ugly when store windows were broken and bonfires were lit in the middle of the street.
After that incident, Edmonton police removed its officer in charge of crowd control and replaced him with the head of its riot squad.