Rowdy crowd in Providence as students celebrate Friars win

Providence police cars responded to Pembroke Avenue to control a large crowd of celebrating students. (Corey Welch/WPRI)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A rowdy crowd took to the streets near the Providence College campus Saturday night to celebrate the Friars winning the NCAA hockey championship.

Providence Police said about 2,500 students clogged Pembroke Avenue at the intersection with Eaton Street after the Friars beat Boston University 4-3 in Boston late Saturday. Students danced and cheered, and some climbed trees along the road and even clambered atop fire trucks.

Students allegedly set a couch and several chairs on fire in the street, prompting the Providence Fire Department to respond. But firefighters said every time they extinguished one of the small fires, it would either be re-lit or another would start nearby.

One Providence police officer was struck in the head with a thrown bottle; the officer was taken to the hospital to be treated. Police said they couldn’t tell who threw it.

Eventually police corralled the students back towards campus and firefighters managed to put out the flames for good. Police told Eyewitness News that they were heavily outnumbered at the scene and didn’t make any arrests in order not to further incite the crowd. Several State Troopers assisted Providence officers.

“I worry about the parents, the parents whose kids are out here doing this, who don’t know their kids are doing it,” said Providence resident Lisa Pennacchio as she watched the crowd.

Some students agreed that the celebrations had gone too far, but others were less concerned.

“Sometimes we get a little too rowdy,” said Patricia Roth, a senior. “But you know what? This happens anywhere.”

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