After Gophers win, would you call what happened in Dinkytown a 'riot'?
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On Dinkytown streets following the Gophers' Frozen Four victory over the University of North Dakota on Thursday, police donned their riot gear. Social media sites like Twitter revealed photos of fans hanging from streetlights and lighting fireworks.
And that was after a semifinal victory, albeit over former WCHA rival UND.
The shenanigans resulted in fewer than a dozen arrests, per KSTP, but seem to be a far cry from the Gophers back-to-back titles in 2002 and 2003 that sparked what has set the bar for Dinkytown drunken high jinx. The pair of riots resulted in reports ranging from $100,000 to $200,000 in property damage as thousands of fans set fire to cars, mattresses and dumpsters on streets riddled with broken glass.
After Thursday's Gophers win, about 100 police officers were dispersed before the celebration could get out of hand, but that didn't stop the use of tear gas, paint pellets and pepper spray to stop rowdy fans. There are reports of fans damaging squad cars, throwing bottles at police and in one instance -- lighting a fire on 7th street.
In 2014 fashion, one student (@ConnorPatty) took a 'selfie' with a line of riot officers in the background.
Due to Dinkytown's brief history with hockey riots, this year's semifinal version pales in comparison due in part because officers were at the ready. That's ideal to prevent property damage and injury to officers and celebration participants.
For the sake of conversation, Merriam-Webster defines riot as a "situation in which a large group of people behave in a violent and uncontrolled way."
From most accounts, police handled the situation before injury or major damage was done. While there were incidents caught on camera of police and students exerting force against each other, the days of the 2002 and 2003 riots could be gone for good as the University and police know what to expect before it happens.
The top-seeded Gophers play Union (N.Y.) for the NCAA championship on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CT.