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Ice hockey fans riot after final

Angry ice hockey fans have run wild after the Vancouver Canucks lost the sport's showpiece finale, the Stanley Cup.

Supporters in the Canadian city set cars and rubbish bins alight, overturned vehicles, smashed windows and showered giant TV screens with beer bottles.

Looters smashed windows and ransacked department stores in the city centre after a 4-0 defeat at home to Boston Bruins in the final game of a best-of-seven series.

"We have a small number of hooligans on the streets of Vancouver causing problems," said Mayor Gregor Robertson. "It's absolutely disgraceful and shameful and by no means represents the city of Vancouver.

"We have had an extraordinary run in the play-off, great celebration. What's happened tonight is despicable."

A landmark Bay store filled with smoke as people, their faces covered by bandanas, continued the violence.

"It's terrible," Canucks captain Henrik Sedin said. "This city and province has a lot to be proud of, the team we have and the guys we have in here. It's too bad."

Basketball star Steve Nash, from nearby Victoria and the brother-in-law of Canucks forward Manny Malhotra, sent a Twitter message imploring the fans to stop the violence. "We're a great city and have a lot of class. Our team is great and our championship will come. Soon," Nash wrote.

While Mr Robertson said there had been no fatalities, ambulances appeared to be having trouble getting inside the zone to help the injured and TV images showed at least one woman mopping blood from her forehead.

Mr Robertson praised police and firefighters and asked people to stay away from the city centre area.

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