BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA– More than 5,000 miles from Denver, Colorado on the banks of the Danube River you’ll find one of the biggest Avalanche fans in the world.
David Puchovsky’s walls are lined with Avalanche memorabilia. From autographed sweaters, an autographed selfie with Joe Sackic, to a replica Stanley Cup, Puchovksy’s collection is impressive. He started following the Avs when he was 10 years old, just a year before they won the Stanley Cup in 2001.
“I played street hockey with my childhood friends and the only team they knew was the Avalanche,” Puchovsky said. “So, I started to get more information on them.”
Puchovsky’s love for the Avs grew. When he was 17 years old he founded Eurolanche, a European based fan club for the Colorado Avalanche.
“The first idea was just to unite all international Avalanche fans to one group, one discussion board one website,” he said.
Eurolanche grew far beyond anything Puchovsky could have imagined. In 13 years, the fan club has more than 1,000 registered members from 45 countries across the world. Puchovsky and Eurolanche have even been featured on several national sports media outlets.
Over those 13 years, several members of Eurolanche traveled to the United States to watch Avalanche games in person. Puchovsky has been on 11 trips himself, bringing hundreds of autographs and pictures with Avalanche players back to Slovakia with him over the years.
“It was just a simple amateur looking website 13 years ago. I never imagined I’d be in the Avalanche locker room, that I’d meet Joe Sackic multiple times. My dreams came true many, many times,” Puchovsky said.
While the coronavirus has halted any trips the Eurolanche can take to watch the Avs in person for the moment, Puchovsky said the club will be back as soon as possible, so say hello if you see them at Ball Arena!