LOS ANGELES (AP) — Move over, Lakers and Dodgers. Step aside, Trojans and Bruins. For now, hockey is King for LA fans.
Los Angeles got its first chance to celebrate a Stanley Cup on Monday night as people decked in black, purple and ear-to-ear grins partied outside Staples Center and across the city following the Kings’ 6-1 victory Monday over the New Jersey Devils in Game 6 to clinch the series.
“It’s a hockey town now!” said Kings fan Kate Byrne Haltom, who has long been a hockey fan but didn’t have much company in Southern California.
Lifelong Kings fan Andrew Gonzales, 21, was a bundle of tears and screams in the streets as he reveled with friends on Figueroa Street outside Staples on a night he thought might never come.
“It’s been 14 years I’ve been a fan, I started when I was 6, I’ve been to over 200 games,” said Gonzales. “It’s the happiest day of my life. I could die. Yeeaaah!”
One group of fans started a mosh pit in the street and lit some small fires, but the fans were mostly tame as police and politicians had wanted, hoping to avoid some of the ugly violence and vandalism that has followed some Lakers’ titles.
There were scores of police in riot gear lining the streets in the hour after the game, and police said they placed several undercover officers among the fans.
A citywide tactical alert was called during the game with the Kings ahead early.
But police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said Kings fans have been easy to deal with throughout the playoff run and expected that the victory party would be no different.
“We’re big fans of the hockey fans right now, they’ve been very, very cordial,” Smith said during the game.
The team announced it would throw a downtown victory parade Thursday morning, ending with a party inside Staples Center.
The team made it interesting for the fans, thwarting their plans for a party to celebrate a sweep last week by losing Game 4, then dropping Game 5 in New Jersey.
But their fears and doubts were quickly put down Monday night as the Kings scored three quick goals on their way to a 6-1 win.
“Being a Kings fan we always know that disappointment is right around the corner,” said Nando Duran, who watched the game with his wife Amber in South Pasadena. “It feels good to be alive and be able to see them win the cup. We’re ready to pop the champagne.”
Associated Press Writer Grant Hindsley contributed to this report.
More Related Stories
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Teenage girl claims she was beaten up for looking like Taylor Swift
- UK Military: London attack victim was a "model soldier"
- Billionaire hedge funder: Babies, breast-feeding "kill" focus, keep women from succeeding
- "Bookless library" set to open in Texas
- 2 more arrested in London attacks
- Glenn Beck: CNN interview with atheist tornado survivor was a setup!
- Incoming BBC news director on journalism gender gap: "We can do better"
- Illegal construction, shoddy materials at fault in Bangladesh factory disaster
- Ahead of Obama's speech, U.S. acknowledges four American drone killings
- Must-see morning clip: Bill O'Reilly visits "The Daily Show"
- Lawsuit alleges anti-gay hiring practices at ExxonMobil
- Boy Scouts poised to vote, still greatly divided on gay youth
- House supporters of KXL received $56m from fossil fuel industry
- 80-year-old becomes oldest to climb Mount Everest
- Before FBI shooting man implicated self, Tsarnaev in triple murder
- Paul McCartney backs Pussy Riot
- UK emergency committee convenes after attack
- Brave scout leader tried to reason with London attackers
- If Alex Pareene were a cable news executive...
- El Salvador court delays ruling on abortion case while woman's life hangs in the balance
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11