Superfan Marijan Paver fell in love with hockey back in 1966 when he first came to the Salata skating rink to watch the sport's World Championship. And since then, he hasn't left the 'icy stands'.
''Hockey is my passion. So far I've been to over six hundred hockey games. Since we've been in EBEL, then the KHL, since 2009 that is, I've never missed a single home game!'', 68-year-old fan Marijan Paver, who has never played hockey himself, told the newspaper Vecernji List, adding that:
''I skated when I was a kid at the Maksimir lake, to the horror of my parents of course. I skied, played chess, was a pro cyclist, and I rode all up until I was fifty years old. I competed for BK Dinamo. I've swam the Velebit Canal by myself several times.''
Paver recalls a time when hockey euphoria took over Zagreb, back in the late 60's/early 70's.
''There was a golden age before too, even though there are those who claim the euphoria was never there, which they're wrong about. From 1966-1970 we celebrated, we were three-time champions of the former nation, and in those four years Salata was always packed. In 1972 Dom Sportova opened and hockey players came here. In the late 80's there were known to be up to ten thousand spectators at Medvescak's games. When Jesenice, Olimpija, and Partizan came, you couldn't breathe in the stands, there would be double the capacity in the stands.''