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Thread: 8 games in 8 days - December 2013

  1. #1
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    8 games in 8 days - December 2013

    I have looked into schedules of several European leagues on Eurohockey.com and I have come up with the following hockey trip. It starts on December 1, 2012 and ends on December 8, 2013.
    I am currently booking hotels, then I'll do the same for trains/buses and game tickets when an advance purchase is necessary.

    Here's the tour I'm planning to do (day, city, league, game):

    1. Villach - EBEL - VSV vs Red Bull Salzburg
    2. Bratislava - KHL - Slovan vs Severstal
    3. Brno - Extraliga - Kometa vs Paradubice
    4. Praha - KHL - Lev vs Severstal
    5. Praha - Extraliga - Slavia vs Kometa
    6. Muenchen - DEL - EHC Muenchen vs Adler Mannheim
    7. Kloten - NLA - Flyers vs Rapperswil-Jona Lakers
    8. Lugano - NLA - HC Lugano vs Genève-Servette

    For what I know, the games where I have to get tickets in advance are 2 and 3.

    If any fan of teams above in this forum is going to attend those game, please let me know. I'd love to watch the games with someone who can tell me about the team!

  2. #2
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    Yeah, I think you are right about games 2 and 3. The others you should be fine to buy tickets on the day. You should be able to buy Kometa tickets a couple of weeks or so before you go from www.ticketportal.cz easily enough. The Slovak version of the same site also sells tickets for Slovan (if available) so I would check there nearer the time.

    Sound like great trip. I'm sure you'll have an amazing time.

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    Got the tickets for Bratislava and Brno (standing room).
    Most of trains/buses and hotels have been booked too.
    Ready to go!

  4. #4
    IHF Member Garethw87's Avatar
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    Looks great, enjoy!
    Dinamo Riga, Manchester Storm

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Welcome to IHF, and enjoy! Let us know your thoughts on the games!

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    Quote Originally Posted by maxtoki View Post
    Got the tickets for Bratislava and Brno (standing room).
    Most of trains/buses and hotels have been booked too.
    Ready to go!
    Fantastic. I'm sure you'll have a great time. I would probably try and get to the arena in Brno relatively early (maybe 45-60 minutes or so before the start) as the standing areas tend to fill up quite early so if you want to get a good view then its worth doing. They've got standing areas behind both goals so you could go in either as you can walk around the arena inside-both have very good atmospheres. Enjoy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shefpie View Post
    Fantastic. I'm sure you'll have a great time. I would probably try and get to the arena in Brno relatively early (maybe 45-60 minutes or so before the start) as the standing areas tend to fill up quite early so if you want to get a good view then its worth doing. They've got standing areas behind both goals so you could go in either as you can walk around the arena inside-both have very good atmospheres. Enjoy.
    Thanks for the suggestion. Brno is one of the places where I'll be arriving early, so I'll make use of it.

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    Nice trip in any case, also looks like you will get nice winter weather. If you haven't done so already, for the game in Villach I'd consider buying the ticket in advance. VSV is doing well now and Salzburg is the top team of the league anyway so this game should be selling very well although it will also be on TV.

    And let us know how you liked all that hockey ;-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by RexKramer View Post
    Nice trip in any case, also looks like you will get nice winter weather. If you haven't done so already, for the game in Villach I'd consider buying the ticket in advance. VSV is doing well now and Salzburg is the top team of the league anyway so this game should be selling very well although it will also be on TV.

    And let us know how you liked all that hockey ;-)
    I followed your suggestion and bought a ticket for the Villach vs Salzburg game. Thanks for the suggestion.
    Just a few days remaining to Day-1!

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    Hope you're enjoying your trip. How was Brno? Looks like you got to see a good game.

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    I'm back after a really enjoyable trip.
    I'll write specifically about each day later.
    By the way, I watched home teams combining for 8 wins (1 OT) and no losses!

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    So, in Villach I watched VSV defeating 1st place Salzburg. The visitors appeared to be the best team, with really intense fore-checking, but VSV made the most of its chances, including a shorthanded goal.
    The arena was nearly packed. Unfortunately, not speaking German, the ticket I bought from the website was not for the sector I was expecting. It was for numbered seats below the scoreboard, that have a terrible visual, and you have to follow the game standing, despite being numbered seats. So I moved to the general admission tribune where I really enjoyed the match.

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    Day 2 started with scenic views as I traveled by train from Villach to Salzburg then to Vienna and (after using a couple of metros for going from Wien Westbahnhof to Wien Hauptbahnhof) Bratislava.
    All the connections did not leave me much time for visiting Slovak capital, but I had been there earlier this year.

    As expected, despite Slovan not being in the playoff hunt this season, the Slovnaft Arena was packed. The crowd was so excited after a late go-ahead goal that Severstal players could not hear the end-of-the-game siren, and they continued to play for several seconds.

    It was the third KHL game I attended in Bratislava in this calendar year and I really loved the atmosphere each time.

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    As shefpie said, on Day 3 I got a really great game in Brno. The teams did not waste any puck, as I rarely saw dumps to change lines. Kometa came back from a 2-goal deficit and the deciding goal was reviewed for several minutes before being convalidated. The final minutes of the games saw Pardubice attacking 6 vs 4 as they pulled the goalie while Kometa was shorthanded. It was one of those games that, with a Pardubice offensive faceoff and 2 seconds remaining, people (myself included) were not sure the game was really over.

    I watched the game standing among Brno fans and it was really exciting. They kept chanting and making noise and they were always in the game.

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    Day 4 and 5 in Prague got me the first (somewhat expected) disappointments.
    After three consecutive packed arenas, Lev vs Severstal was attended by 2,900 people in the 15,000 seats Tipsport Arena. I had the impression of being in a theatre (or a temple which, given it's also home to 110-years-old team Sparta, probably is).
    Similarly, I was reached by HC Kometa in the 17,000 seats beautiful O2 Arena, but only 3500 were in attendance.

    The schedule in Prague was quite full for that week and that might have been the cause for the poor showings in the stands.
    On Dec. 2, more than 10,000 had attended Lev vs SKA. The following night 4600 were watching Sparta vs Mountfield.
    Then, after the two games I attended, Lev played Lokomitiv on Dec 6th, and on the 8th both Lev and Slavia played home.
    People make choices, not everyone attends 8 games in 8 days!

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    Thanks for your report, the plenty of hockey guarantees a pleasurable trip ;-)
    don't know how active you were before that seeing games abroad but I bet this trip alone propells you into the very top of Italian hockey arena hoppers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RexKramer View Post
    Thanks for your report, the plenty of hockey guarantees a pleasurable trip ;-)
    don't know how active you were before that seeing games abroad but I bet this trip alone propells you into the very top of Italian hockey arena hoppers.
    Before this trip I had caught a HC Slavia game in Prague back in 2004 (during the first NHL strike, so a few NHL players in that game), one in Zurich (was there for a Chuck Berry / Jerry Lee Lewis concert and made sure to add a ZSC game), two KHL games in Bratislava last January, one in Stockholm in October (was there for work and took the chance for the AIK-MoDo game).

    Plus two NHL games in London and one in Stockholm.

    And I nearly watched Stanley Cup playoffs: I was in San Jose in 2008 at a friend's home. He had season tickets for his family and his older son was away, so I would have benefited for the spare tickets. But the Sharks were eliminated just before I arrived . I still have tickets for the Stanley Cup finals (obviously never played in SJ).

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    Sounds like you had a great time. How were games 6-8? I'd be interested to read about what the game in Muenchen was like?

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    In Munchen, for some reason, I had forgotten to print myself a map for the path between the metro station and the arena. Luckily, I spotted a nice old man in his Red Bull scarf and hat, who walked me to the place.

    I bought tickets for the Munchen fans sector (standing room). It was not a sold out game, but the place was quite crowded and fans made their noise while always being in the game.
    I definitely appreciated the work done with the projectors during the presentations and between periods: other arenas do show stuff on the ice surface, but in Munchen they did it best.

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    Game 7.
    I watched the game in the Kloten fans sector, standing room. One thing I did not like about the arena, is that once you are in, you're limited to move to the concessions of your sector, so I couldn't go to the fanshop inside.
    The Flyers fandom is composed of a lot of very young people!
    The game was nothing remarkable as the home team quickly jumped to a 6-1 lead. For the whole third period teams seemed to just be careful that no one would get hurt (maybe the fact that the Flyers would play in Zurich the following afternoon did play a role in this).

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    And then the final day.
    The game in Lugano wasn't exceptionally good: both teams committed a lot of mistakes--I'm inclined to think the game played a few hours before had something to do with this.
    However it was a very close game, the only one of my trip requiring overtime.
    An interruption occurred midway through the first period, as the fans threw a shower of puppets on the ice when Lugano tied the game at 1. The puppets were for donation to unlucky kids. They filled quite some bags with them!

    And that was my trip.
    I'll be back later with a few final considerations.

  22. #22
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    Some final thoughts.

    I definitely enjoyed my time during this trip. The choice of Dec. 1-8 was a lucky one because I got nice weather everywhere, which was all the more enjoyable because everywhere there were Christmas markets, so I enjoyed meals in the towns' squares.

    Obviously the games are best followed if you have a seat on the long side of the rink possibly at center ice and not too close to the rink. However, if there's no availability (or they cost too much), standing with the home team fans is definitely enjoyable. Again, I was lucky to attend 8 home team wins!

    And now on the preparation of the trip.
    Finding 8 consecutive games that you can reach in a few hours is not an easy task. Also I traveled by train/bus, which poses a few more constraints than if you are traveling with your own car.
    I actually wrote a small computer program for myself that spits out possible combinations of games. When I did that I was hopeful to get combinations of 4/5 games in a row, but I was lucky enough to get this 8 games combo, which also was convenient because both the starting and ending point of the trip were close to where I live (well, I instructed my program to favor such kind of solutions, as well as those that featured games from a higher number of different leagues).

    Time permitting, and if there's interest, in the future I might run my program a few times and share combinations here, in case someone wants to tackle them.

    These days, preparing such a trip is not a very hard task. There are online booking services for hotels, trains, buses, game tickets... I left home with nearly everything I needed for the trip.
    Tip for anyone wanting to perform similar trips: given your luggage will be heavy, favor hotels close to the station, as you immediately drop your burden and you're free to move around.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxtoki View Post
    Some final thoughts.

    I definitely enjoyed my time during this trip. The choice of Dec. 1-8 was a lucky one because I got nice weather everywhere, which was all the more enjoyable because everywhere there were Christmas markets, so I enjoyed meals in the towns' squares.

    Obviously the games are best followed if you have a seat on the long side of the rink possibly at center ice and not too close to the rink. However, if there's no availability (or they cost too much), standing with the home team fans is definitely enjoyable. Again, I was lucky to attend 8 home team wins!

    And now on the preparation of the trip.
    Finding 8 consecutive games that you can reach in a few hours is not an easy task. Also I traveled by train/bus, which poses a few more constraints than if you are traveling with your own car.
    I actually wrote a small computer program for myself that spits out possible combinations of games. When I did that I was hopeful to get combinations of 4/5 games in a row, but I was lucky enough to get this 8 games combo, which also was convenient because both the starting and ending point of the trip were close to where I live (well, I instructed my program to favor such kind of solutions, as well as those that featured games from a higher number of different leagues).

    Time permitting, and if there's interest, in the future I might run my program a few times and share combinations here, in case someone wants to tackle them.

    These days, preparing such a trip is not a very hard task. There are online booking services for hotels, trains, buses, game tickets... I left home with nearly everything I needed for the trip.
    Tip for anyone wanting to perform similar trips: given your luggage will be heavy, favor hotels close to the station, as you immediately drop your burden and you're free to move around.
    Cool, operations research goes hockey. With your program you get the IHF hockey nerd of the year award ;-)

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