Team Canada fans' new reality: no beer in Helsinki stands

Canadian hockey fans at the world junior hockey championship may be a little less rowdy than usual.

Most who travelled to Helsinki for world junior hockey championships not too unhappy about law

David Paynter, left, and Steven Aucoin of Calgary cheer for Team Canada at its opening game at the IIHF World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland, on Saturday. Team USA won the match, and to add insult to injury the Canadian fans couldn't drown their sorrow in beer. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Canadian hockey fans at the world junior hockey championship may be a little less rowdy than usual.

A law in Finland prevents consumption of alcohol in the stands of an arena or stadium, much to the disappointment of many fans who were turned back while trying to carry beer to their seats on Saturday as Canada faced the United States in its opening game of the tournament.

Canada lost the game,4-2.

"It's unfortunate, but it's a Canadian thing," Jerry Fortier of Fort McMurray, Alta., said on Saturday while drinking during the first intermission of Canada's game against the U.S. "We do bring our beers into the stands and, y'know, Canada rocks."

The long-standing Finnish law is in place due to safety concerns at public venues.

"You can't take alcohol in the staircases, at all," a spokesperson from the catering services of Helsinki Ice Hall, where Canada will play all of its preliminary games, told The Canadian Press. "You can't buy a beer up here [in the concourse] and take it downstairs. We have very strict alcohol laws in Finland. Very strict."

Although they were disappointed in the law, Canadian fans appreciated its intent.

"From a safety side I can see that," said Darryl Rasmussen, who flew to Helsinki from Edmonton for the event. "A lot of beer gets spilled and you can slip — spilling on stairs."

"Yeah, I can see that," said Ashley Langevine of Edmonton, who added with a laugh. "Makes me wish I'd brought my mitten flasks, I think."


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