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Back in time: Eurolanche on Tour XIII

Back in time: Eurolanche on Tour XIIIHannes and Patrik became the very first Eurolanche members from Sweden to take part in the Tour project. This is his recap of Tour XIII.


At the end of February 2023, fourteen Europeans – five from Slovakia, seven from the Czech Republic, and two from Sweden – travelled to Denver, CO. A trip that, among countless other things, should encompass the arrival to a non-existing hotel, a meet and greet with Milan Hejduk, and American people who really wanted to make us feel welcome. But let us take it from the beginning.

Denver, also known as the Mile High City due to being situated exactly one mile above sea level, is the capital of the state of Colorado. It's the seventh largest metropolitan area of the western parts of the US, but most of all, it's the hometown of the Colorado Avalanche. The Colorado Avalanche was, of course, a big part of this trip and now we were looking forward to a total of eight games, seven at home in Ball Arena. The first game was already on the first night, and upon arrival, we found a fantastic burger restaurant near Union Station, where we had some food and drinks before beginning the short walk to Ball Arena. As we arrived a bit later than the rest of our group, we planned to meet them there. Despite the stress of locating our parked van among many other vehicles (a testament to the Americans' love for driving), we were settled in our seats at the top tier of Ball Arena just in time for the national anthems.

The first game resulted in a pretty comfortable win, 4-1 against the Calgary Flames. So, we were happy when we jumped into the van for the trip to our hotel. The hotel was located about 20 minutes by car from downtown Denver, in a suburb named Lakewood.

The summary was written by Hannes Boberg (on the right) who had traveled to Denver with his father Patrik (on the left).

On the second day, we went out on a road trip in the Rockies. On the small roads, we got to see a fantastic part of the amazing state of Colorado. We had whiskey in Estes Park, chicken wings 2,820 meters above sea level, and a walk in Black Hawk, a small town with more than one casino per ten inhabitants.

Other things we did in the upcoming days of course included visiting the central parts of Denver, but also a visit at United States Air Force Academy and the fantastic park Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, CO, two very interesting places. It was really interesting to see how the cadets lived and Garden of the Gods is just a must to visit if you're visiting Colorado Springs. Two games were played during the upcoming days as well, a victory against the Vegas Golden Knights and a loss to the New Jersey Devils.

After the game against the Devils, it was time for the big adventure in the adventure, a road trip to Dallas, TX. Dallas is the third largest city in Texas and also part of the fourth largest metropolitan area of the US (Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington). The main purpose of this trip was of course the away game against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center, but that was just one of countless things that would happen during these days. The road trip was going through five different states and several miles along the legendary U.S. Route 66.

The beginning was a bit of a surprise, though. Upon arriving at our first booked hotel, we were surprised to find that it had been converted into a long-term housing unit. So in the middle of the night, we had to drive to the nearby Cañon City, CO, where we were able to find a place to sleep. When the freezing cold room had reached a more comfortable temperature, we could all fall asleep very quickly to get a few hours of necessary sleep.

The road trip continued to Tucumcari, NM the next day and from there we continued along Route 66 to the capital of Oklahoma – Oklahoma City, OK. Upon arrival in Oklahoma City, we visited the Oklahoma City National Memorial, a tribute to all affected by the tragic bombing on April 19, 1995. Oklahoma City was also the last stop before the final destination of the road trip and upon arrival in Dallas, we visited The Sixth Floor Museum. The museum told the story about the murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and also provided the possibility to see the place where he was shot. An interesting visit that we can recommend if you ever visit Dallas. The game? We had already forgotten about it when we started the drive towards Shamrock, TX afterwards.

The next game was played one day after the game against the Dallas Stars, so we had to drive many miles the next day. So, with a short detour via Kansas, we drove all the way back to Denver in one day and, a few hours before the game, we were back at the hotel. Back in Denver, the upcoming days should become a bit calmer. But the intense road trip really provided so many experiences and I'm already looking forward to the next road trip in this fascinating country.

We can't write this recap without an honorable mention of Ken and Molly. This fantastic couple invited us over to their house for a fantastic BBQ and a lot of local beers. This visit was one of the highlights of this trip and of all the amazing people we met during those days, they were something extra! After the visit at Ken and Molly's place, it was time for the NBA game between the Denver Nuggets and Toronto Raptors, a game where the future champions Nuggets could get the victory after being in a losing position for most of the game.

In the upcoming days, we also visited the suburb Centennial to see the team practice at Family Sports Center. Unfortunately, this was our only opportunity to see Gabriel Landeskog, as his injury unfortunately meant that he wouldn’t play during the season. The days were otherwise spent mostly in and around Denver.

During the seventh game, we were surprised with the opportunity to meet Hejduk and Jan Hejda during one of the intermissions. They generously gave us their time, signing shirts, taking pictures, and even engaging in some conversation. With 1,020 games for the Avalanche, Milan Hejduk does not need any introduction, so this was really a highlight of the trip.

In the last few days, we watched a lacrosse game (Colorado Mammoth - Calgary Roughnecks) and a final overtime win against the Arizona Coyotes after a very nice game-winner from Cale Makar. After this, we had a great party at Soho 151 before we split, with several new friends and countless memories. Personally, I can't wait until my next visit to Denver!  

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08/05/2024 - 18:30


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