Eurolanche Invasion V: Hello from Toronto
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03-05-2013, 06:09 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
The history of Eurolanche Invasion
The Eurolanche fan club was founded in August 2007. Only few months later, in December, the founder of the Eurolanche, David Puchovsky, and one fan from Croatia talked to each other for the first time about the possible trips of European fans to Denver to watch Colorado Avalanche games. In that time, the Eurolanche had very simple-looked website with no-activity. Nobody was thinking the idea for the trip could become real soon. Nobody knew the first Eurolanche´s trip to Denver would be organized one year later.
Eurolanche Invasion I (December 26th, 2008 – January 11th, 2009)
The historical first trip of Eurolanche members to Denver lasted for 16 days. Until the organization of the Invasion IV, it was the longest trip in the Eurolanche history. The president of the fan club, David Puchovsky, another two fans from Slovakia and Czech Republic, spent 16 beautiful days at Jody Robinson´s home, one of the US supporters of the Eurolanche. The very first game of all Invasions was played against the great rival – Detroit Red Wings. Avalanche was leading 3:0, deceased Ruslan Salei opened the score. Red Wings tied a game, but the home team won it in the shootouts, mainly thanks to a goalie Peter Budaj. Overall, Avs won four of six games during the Invasion I. It was the start of their unbelievable winning series during the following trips. Avs have never lost more than two games during the each Invasion.
At the present, I think the first Invasion was kind of unique. We had no experience at the time. But the first organization of the trip has built so-called cornerstones for the following Invasions. Sum up, we could start to build on something. We got first key contacts amongst the fans and the Avalanche organization, without which it would not be possible to continue in our project. It would be hard to write a full list of my memories on the first Invasion. The flight, the obtaining of visa or walking in Denver were all amazing. I remember on our first steps with VIP tickets in the Pepsi Center, when we met all Avalanche coaching staff. It was like a fairy tale. The boy´s dream was fulfilled. We made it, we were there, nothing was impossible for us from that point!
Eurolanche Invasion II (January 30th – February 6th, 2009)
The second trip of Eurolanche members to Denver was organized less than one month later than the first one. It was a little miracle, but also kind of disadvantage. It was not right decision to organize such a big event like the Invasion two times in one season. More members could join and created one big group in the first or second case. But the Invasion II was another important part of the puzzle in the development of the relations with the Colorado Avalanche organization. The Eurolanche members watched only three games, but experienced their first moment unforggatable moments. We had learnt a lot from the first two trips and corrected our mistakes for the next trips. The first two Invasions were very simple and there were mainly about getting knew new scene. When I compare them with the current situation, I can say we have passed a long way to reach the present success. It would not be possible without the first Invasions. Three members – two from Czech Republic and one from Austria took a part in the event.
Eurolanche Invasion III (January 30th – February 13th, 2010)
Only one year after the second Invasion, the third trip was organized. The highest number of member traveled, what is still the all-time record of the Eurolanche. Three Austrians, two Slovaks and one Romanian spent two weeks in Denver. More people meant more ideas. Thanks to a lot of free time we had hours and hours to get know lovely Denver than never before. We enjoyed the souvenirs shopping, visits of museums, eating American food, and mainly watching the Avalanche games in the Pepsi Center. Colorado Avalanche lost the first game of the Invasion III 1:3 against New York Rangers after Marian Gaborik´s hattrick. It was the first and last loss of the Avalanche team during the European trip. The great Avalanche´s winning record during the Invasions continued.
The start of the third Invasion was mainly about to get the right orientation in Denver without any US friends. We made it, got a new experience and thankfully met new great fans, who have become our great friends – not only during the Invasion III, but for the rest of our lives. Even two of them visited us later in our European countries. We were interviewed for the third dime during the NHL game and even the local FOX channel broadcasted the report about the Eurolanche in the evening news. Again, we experienced unforgettable moments and nobody could think the Invasions would continue after three organized trips.
Eurolanche Invasion IV (December 15th-30th, 2011)
The fourth Eurolanche´s trip to Denver was supposed to be the biggest event in the history. We hoped the record number of fans would participate, but after months of the organization it did not happen. Three Eurolanche members traveled to Denver during the Christmas time. Like the previous time, three different nationalities came to Denver – one Slovak, Czech and Austrian fan. Another common feature with the previous Invasion was the Avalanche winning record – they lost only one game in front of the Eurolanche members in the Pepsi Center.
During the Invasion IV we were continuing in the development of our relations with the local fans and the Avs players. Every player received the Eurolanche info card with the basic information about our history, goals and activity. The schedule included a locker room tour, visiting of practices, trips outside Denver and lot more. Thanks to our friendships with US fans, we did not stay alone in the city thousands miles away of our countries. We can say these friendships are forever.
It would be hard for most of the people to spend Christmas on the hotel in the foreign country. Our friends prepared for us perfect Christmas lunch and dinner. Also these cultural moments developed our overall experiences in Denver. We did not feel a stereotype. The great atmosphere has persuaded us we should continue in the Eurolanche Invasion project.
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