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Much to the surprise of Avalanche players, fans fill the bleachers for start of training camp

The fans crammed into the bleachers and lined one side of the ice rink, waiting for the Colorado Avalanche to take the ice.

Maybe they were there to simply catch a glimpse of the Avalanche during their first official practice since the lockout was lifted.

Or maybe they filled the tiny arena on Sunday because it was a way to forget — at least for a moment — the Denver Broncos' stinging loss the day before to Baltimore that sent the city into a somber mood.

Either way, the players were sure appreciative. A little shocked even, when they were greeted to cheers as they stepped out of the locker room and onto the ice.

They expected maybe a handful of fans to show up. Just nothing like this.