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Scenes From Finland, As Avalanche Get Ready For Games Again



Avalanche Finland
Photos by Lars Mehrendorf

BY LARS MEHRENDORF, For Colorado Hockey Now

TAMPERE, Finland – As Avalanche fans arrive in Tampere, the team is about to hit the ice.

After having some fun with Finnish sauna traditions, the Avalanche will start the official part of their trip to Europe on Thursday. Both Colorado and Columbus will hold one practice session each this afternoon in the Nokia Arena.

Afterward, Coach Bednar and some players will face the media for questions. While traveling to Tampere, there were already some signs that Avalanche fans are excited for their team come to Europe again.

After picking up my luggage in Helsinki Airport, I was greeted by a red vintage Joe Sakic jersey. A group of Finnish Avalanche fans was having fun with adult beverages outside the main hall. Later, on the bus to Tampere, there was Ava, who is a season ticket holder and made the trip all the way from Denver with her girlfriend to watch the Avalanche play.

“I didn’t even wait for the official ticket prices when I ordered,“ she said.


To be fair, a young lady from Britain who donned a Blue Jackets bobble hat, was on the bus as well. Strolling around Tampere though, there were no signs until Wednesday night that on Friday and Saturday, for the first time in three years, two NHL teams will play regular season games in Scandinavia.

But the fan festivities will start on Thursday evening as well, so maybe the buzz will pick up then.

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