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Eurolanche Raid 2022

Eurolanche Raid 2022A summary of the biggest event in Eurolanche’s history.

Thanks to 70 participants from Austria, Czechia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the United Kingdom and United States, Eurolanche Raid 2022 became the biggest event in the history of Eurolanche, the biggest Colorado Avalanche fan club in the world. The record-setting number of participants was joined by dozens Avs fans who travelled individually for the Avalanche's doubleheader against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Tampere, Finland. The main part of the group spent four nights in Finland from November 2 to November 6, 2022. In addition to two wins, they had lots of experiences and meetings.



For some Eurolanche members, the Colorado Avalanche’s European visit began a little earlier. Several Fan Club members also visited the Finnish capital of Helsinki, where the team spent several days. While there, they managed to get some of the trips’ “biggest catches” in the form of group photos and autographs. Another group of fans even travelled further north to see the aurora borealis.



The two biggest groups of fans flew on Wednesday, November 2 from Vienna and Prague to Helsinki, where they met other fans from other European cities, as well as the US. From there, they jointly transferred via a rented bus to Tampere, which is almost two hours away. The group had a get-together at a nearby English bar, with one table in particular attracting attention – it was occupied by fans from purely non-hockey countries, yet all of them were united by their passion for the Colorado Avalanche.



The group perfectly captured the spirit of Eurolanche 2022, as the trip was all about friendships. Thanks to the European doubleheader, which is more affordable than a trip directly to the US, old friends who met thanks to Eurolanche had the opportunity to reunite after several years. New friendships have also been made, whether with native Finns or other fans from all across the globe. In some cases, online friendships became real ones for the very first time. For example, when the founder of Eurolanche finally met the Fan Club’s first registered member, Finnish YouTuber Joona, who was only 14 back when Eurolanche was founded, for the first time.


Eurolanche Raid 2022 photo gallery >>>


Each dinner in Tampere brought celebrations – be it the Avs’ two wins or their Stanley Cup Championship. Due to the number of Eurolanche members in the city, they had to split up into several groups almost every evening. The single biggest gathering took place on Thursday at a local chicken wing restaurant, where around 40 fans occupied an entire floor. They were also joined by Altitude Sports play-by-play announcer Mark Moser, analyst Mark Rycroft, presenter Kyle Keefe and radio announcer Conor McGahey.



In addition to the group gathering, Thursday also included a walk around Tampere, which ended in a local forest by the sea. Other activities included visits to two sightseeing towers and an aquarium. Those lucky enough caught the Avs’ arriving by train at the local train station. This was followed by a similar experience in the evening in front of the team’s hotel, where the fans managed to meet most of the players led by Cale Makar and Pavel Francouz, as well as Joe Sakic and coach Jared Bednar. The group later moved on to dinner after attending public practice. Several fans also found themselves on the jumbotron above the ice.



Friday and Saturday were mainly about two games, which both ended with fantastic results. Up until then, some Eurolanche members only saw Colorado lose 9 games in a row – 7 during the disastrous 2016/17 season during Eurolanche Invasion IX and two in Sweden. The curse was ultimately broken and both dinners were about two awesome celebrations, which gradually spread from local bars to the rooms of some Eurolanche members.



The most memorable moments the fans experienced during the games themselves included the entire arena singing the Finnish national anthem, the wave or the shouting of hat-trick hero Mikko Rantanen. In a moment of pure joy, a person close to him gave an Eurolanche member 200 Euros to buy drinks directly at the bar during post-game celebrations.



It wasn’t just Mikko Rantanen’s family members and friends, with whom several Eurolanche members had interesting conversations, but also Peter Forsberg, who, like Rantanen’s entourage, stayed at the same hotel as the Eurolanche group. This is why both game days were also about the fact that whoever didn’t manage to meet the Swedish legend had to be extremely unlucky, as he was almost always somewhere someone from Eurolanche was as well.


Eurolanche Raid 2022 photo gallery >>>


The participants of Eurolanche Raid 2022 had a free program in Tampere and everyone could join the group they wanted. Some managed a day-long trip to Helsinki, others got a taste of a real Finnish sauna and cold water hardening in the icy sea. Other options included a visit to the world’s first espionage museum, a tour of the Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame and other museums in the building, activities in the fan zone and much, much more.



Most fans transferred back to Helsinki by rented bus on Sunday, November 6, from where they travelled home. Eurolanche Raid 2022 brought an interesting program, two wins, many celebrations, as well as several media mentions. Everyone is already looking forward to the Avs’ potential games in Prague.


A look at Eurolanche Raid 2022 through the eyes of some participants:


David, Slovakia (Eurolanche President): "It was an awesome event, I enjoyed it much more than Sweden, maybe because we celebrated the Stanley Cup Championship almost every night. I met many of our members from more than a dozen countries, many of them for the first time. I experienced some downright surreal moments, some of which I can’t even talk about… but going to sleep early in the morning after a series of talks about what is going on behind the scenes of the team is something I can say in general. Otherwise, I was very pleased when I watched how different groups of our members got together, how fans from different countries were able to talk to each other… I’m really glad that Eurolanche keeps connecting people from both ends of the world, that there is a strong community and the Fan Club plays a big part in that. I personally experienced lots of activities, conversations, the days were really busy, which surprised me quite a bit. I believe there’s going to be another opportunity to meet like this somewhere in Europe in the future and that it’ll be just as unique. I would like to thank all participants for their support.”



Barnabas, Hungary: "It’s a shame that we could only watch the first game and that we were not able to celebrate the win because we had to rush to the airport in Helsinki. Fortunately, this short period of time was enough to see some familiar faces and meet new ones! And of course, the game itself was huge. A nerve-racking rollercoaster, which ended well. What a huge relief to finally witness a win on my 10th try! Thanks for everything, it was a quick and exhausting trip with long travels, but definitely worth it!"



Kieran, Scotland: "Wow. What can I say. This was by far one of the best trips I've ever been on. Meeting old friends, familiar faces and making new friends. Avs win both games and, of course, being lucky enough to meet Peter Forsberg and all the Altitude TV guys. Big shout out to whoever's dad it was who gave us 200 Euros purely for wearing a Rantanen jersey. Also, big props to the Beaver Bar and getting new people into the fantastic Minttu. Hopefully, one day the Avs will be back in Europe and we can do it all over again. As always, thank you, David, for all the work and dedication into organising these trips for us."


Andrzej, Poland: "Before the trip, I wasn’t even sure what to expect: first trip to Finland, first NHL games live, first Eurolanche event… Now I can say it all exceeded my expectations. First of all, Finland is a very nice country with an interesting history, and home to many famous athletes, apart from winter sports surprisingly, in motorsports. Secondly, getting to meet fellow Eurolanchers not only from Czechia or Slovakia but also from places like England, Scotland or the Netherlands, which are not traditionally hockey countries, was really cool. I do look forward to keep those contacts alive. Then there are „the original” Avs faithfull from Colorado - those who I had the chance to meet: Ryan, Jamie, Jim and Karmen - amazing to hear all your Avs stories and I am happy that we now share a part of Avs history, too!  Finally, the team and the games. From legends from the past - Joe Sakic or Peter Forsberg, to heroes of today - Nate, Gabe or Mikko - meeting them was the best thing that could happen to an Avs fan. And one thing better than an NHL game? An NHL game watched live!  P.S. How many people can say that they bought Peter Forsberg a beer? ;)"



Michal, Slovakia: "I really enjoyed Eurolanche Raid. It was my first Eurolanche event and the first NHL games I’ve seen live as well. I have to say that I can’t wait to do this all over again. Seeing the Avs play, practice or even wait in front of the hotel was something I won’t ever forget. I’ve only praise for Tampere in general as well. The city, arena and the atmosphere in it were fantastic, especially after Mikko’s hattrick. It was also great meeting the play-by-play announcers and analysts from Denver, as well as other Avs fans from all around the world and to chat with them. This experience certainly motivated me to take part in future trips to the US or, should the NHL give us the opportunity again, to see the Avs in Europe. Thanks!"


Daniel, Slovakia: "I’ve been a fan of Colorado for decades, but only now has the opportunity to see them live opened up for me. When the NHL announced that the Avs will return to Europe, I knew I couldn’t miss it this time. Huge thanks to Eurolanche and especially David for the organizational arrangements, he undoubtedly made it way easier for many. As for the experience itself, I kind of had my set of expectations, but one never knows what to expect, really. Ultimately, reality turned out way better than expected. The atmosphere on the trip was great, the Eurolanche members who met there are a great group, it was great fun with them. Colorado won both games, Finland’s own Rantanen scored a hattrick in the first one, a successful “hunt” for player and team staff autographs. For me personally, the photos with Sakic and Forsberg were a highlight, I’ve never dreamed that this could happen. If I had to rate it with stars, I would definitely give it at least 12 out of 10."


Eurolanche Raid 2022 photo gallery >>>


Marek, Czech Republic: "The trip to Finland was fantastic. The Avs delighted us with two wins, especially the first game, which ended 6:3, was one of the very best I’ve seen live. The trip wasn’t just about hockey. A great group of people got together in Finland, we got to know the beautiful city of Tampere and the high quality of services in Finland. It was fun and a big thank you goes out to David for the overall organization of the trip."


Marek, Slovakia: "To go with a big fan club group, which supports its team, is an entirely different experience than going individually. I experienced NHL games for the very first time, I’ve been to a practice and had the opportunity to meet players. And to manage to meet legends like Sakic and Forsberg – this was the absolute best. David, once again, thank you!"



Jozef, Slovakia: "The trip to Finland was great, we met several players in, as well as coach Bednar and Sakic, with whom we took pictures together, got some autographs, or exchanged a few sentences. Practice was also interesting, where we saw all the stars of Colorado in different game situations. Also, especially the 1st game was great, with the number of goals, the game going back and forth, many chances, posts, atmosphere and the famous "cherry on top" was the hattrick of Finn Rantanen. I think this was my 22nd live NHL game in a row, but this one was definitely the best. It was also very good that we were a larger group, so there always was someone to talk to. Overall, the whole trip was not very expensive (cheaper than in Sweden), so a great experience for a reasonable price."


Translation to English by Michal Hezely, Worldwide,
23/12/2022 - 10:00


NHL on Nov 11, 2017: "Eurolanche is the world's largest Colorado Avalanche fan club."