At the outset of the final round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, Mayor Larry O'Brien said a city with swagger always knows how to behave.
If that's the case, Ottawa showed swagger Saturday night as most hockey fans partied responsibly and behaved themselves.
Ottawa police Const. Isabelle Lemieux said only 18 arrests were made related to the festivities, which attracted 33,000 fans throughout the city -- by far the biggest crowd to date.
Police described the arrests as isolated incidents that were mostly attributed to excessive drinking. Most arrests were for offences such as public intoxication, drug possession and mischief, police said.
About 10,000 fans attended Festival Plaza outside City Hall, another 10,000 hit the Elgin St. area, 6,000 packed the market and another 7,000 gathered outside Scotiabank Place.
After the Sens' win, police closed Elgin St. between Gladstone Ave. and Laurier Ave. as a sea of fans poured out of the bars and into the streets.
Laurier Ave. between Elgin St. and Nicholas St. was also closed as a result of the crowds.
While there were early rumblings that police might pre-emptively close the Sens Mile to traffic as the team got further into the playoffs, police said yesterday only that they will maintain their measured response approach on a game-by-game basis.
A mere eight arrests were made during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final, but there were only 13,500 fans at various locations throughout the city. Game 2 saw five arrests for minor infractions and a similar turnout to Game 1.
Police Chief Vernon White has estimated that the cost of the extra officers needed to patrol the Sens Mile and other locations across the city will top $500,000 and could go as high as almost $1 million, depending on the length of the series.