Good evening folks. Our good friend Seraquel is on the scene in Stockholm and has agreed to share his experiences leading up to the Avalanche games this weekend with us. Away we go!
Hi everyone. I’ll start my inaugural travel blog with an introduction on how I came to be an Avalanche fan.
I’m a Norwegian and my first ever sporting memory is of ice hockey when I was 4 or 5 years old. My dad was watching ice hockey on TV with me sat on his lap. Norway scored a goal and in celebration my dad threw me straight up as he got to his feet, I went flying and I think he caught me again.
Fast forward a few years to 1994, I’m twelve years old and the Winter Olympics are being hosted in Lillehammer, Norway. All of us school kids were given an extended winter holiday, so that we were able to watch the full two weeks of the games. As a Norwegian, cross country and speed skating were our big events; we did really well there, but for me it was the ice hockey tournament that was most interesting. I watched all the Norwegian games and some of the Swedish games. Bear in mind that Norway and Sweden have a big rivalry in most sports, however, there really wasn’t a contest in ice hockey due to their superiority. This Swedish team won me over with their style of play and a couple of their players; in particular former Calgary Flames all star, Stanley cup champion Haakan Loob and a young centre by the name of Peter Forsberg. Norway were quickly eliminated from the tournament, losing all their games until the final one, a decider between the bottom two teams fighting over 11th place. Sweden went through to the final and played a hard fought game against Canada who were led by future NHL star Paul Karyia. After finishing 2-2 and a scoreless overtime it went into a shootout; Forsberg scored twice, the second goal standing up as the winner after his famous move.
Fast forwarding a few more years I’d finally managed to scrape together enough savings to buy myself a PC and one of the games I played was NHL 97. As I went through the teams on there I spotted one with a cool A logo (Colorado Avalanche). As I checked who the players on the team were I spotted Peter Forsberg and they became my team of choice.
Over the years I used the internet to keep up to date with the fortunes of the Avs reading the recaps on ColoradoAvalanche.com and news on other sites. For many years this and the Denver post online were my only source of Avalanche news, until I came across a blog by David Driscoll Carignan called Inthecheapseats, which quickly merged into MileHighHockey.com, and now we are here at the burgundy-rainbow.com
I continued to play the NHL games and Eastside Hockey manager (a hockey management sim) which I sunk many many hours into, always as the Avalanche.
I moved from Norway to England in 2004 and in 2007 I discovered that the NHL were sending 2 teams for a set of games in London. After over 20 years I finally secured tickets for my first live professional ice hockey game. I watched the Ducks get revenge for losing against the Kings the previous match 4-1 by reversing the score line against Jason La Barbera and the kings (as a side note current Avs backup Jonathan Bernier at 19 years old stood on his head and won the game the previous night) and I got to see former Avs star defenseman Rob Blake do his thing.
I got married in 2010 where my wife surprised me with this signed flag by the 2009-2010 Avalanche (the last remaining player who signed it was traded last week!).
Back to this weekends games, as soon as I heard about them I bought tickets for my wife and I and an extra ticket for my dad so that we could watch them together. It will be his first live NHL game.
Mrs and I are currently in Stockholm having arrived mid day and will do a bit of sightseeing tomorrow, with hopefully a stop at the Globen arena to get some merchandise ahead of the games. My dad joins us on Friday ready for the game.
I’ll report back with more then with some photos to go along with the wall of text!
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Look for more articles throughout the week and many thanks to Seraquel for giving his insights on Stockholm and the Avs trip for us.