Fans arrive at the Air Canada Center for the Maple Leafs-Bruins game as Toronto police provide security. (Tom Szczerbowski / USA Today Sports)
Police implemented security measures around Air Canada Center before Monday night's Game 6 of the Toronto Maple Leafs-Boston Bruins Stanley Cup playoff series. The steps, including road closures and additional security, were made following an incident on the day that a rental car in another part of Toronto overturned a busy street, killing nine and injuring nine.
to say whether they believe the incident was an act of terrorism, but they reportedly arrested a man in connection with it after the car was stopped near the carnage. The episode occurred around 1:30 pm, five and a half hours before the Maple Leafs were to play a home game that, if they lost, would be their last competition of the season.
As the teams approached The Ice for the Game, they strung up as the arena became dark and fans were asked to turn the players into a moment of silence for the victims of the "horrific incident." Previously, during a warm-up skate, Toronto defender Ron Hainsey said, "On behalf of his teammates, he wanted to send his' deepest worries and thoughts" to the victims and their families.
"Hold your loved ones, give them an extra kiss today – I know I will," said Hainsey. "You just never know anymore."
The Maple Leafs said in a statement that they "retain all of them" in Considering the tragic events in Toronto in our thoughts and prayers. "As their organization continues to work closely with Toronto police to ensure fans' safety at all events, the team said the authorities were implementing" a number of additional measures "around the arena.
Despite Extra Security Devin Heroux reported from CBC News Maple Leaf Square was "packed" about an hour before the game. He added that the crowd is already "frenzied," confirming Toronto's status as a hockey-crazy city.
The Maple Leafs fell 3-1 in the Best-of-Seven series against the Bruins, but Toronto won Game 5 in Boston to force Monday's competition. If the Maple Leafs win Monday, Game 7 will be in Boston on Wednesday night.
Air Canada Center will host an NBA playoff game between the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards on Wednesday. The police are reported to have yet to announce whether additional security measures are being taken for this event.
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