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Predators centre from Metro Vancouver facing off against team he once idolized

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As a young hockey player growing up in North Vancouver, Colton Sissons was a die-hard Canucks fan. Twelve years after being drafted by Nashville, the Predators centre is facing off against the Canucks during the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in his career.

“Playing against the team I grew up idolizing is a pretty cool experience, so it’s awesome that we got matched up in the playoffs,” he said after Tuesday’s game day skate.

The Canucks-Predators round one match up is a dream come true for Colton’s parents Doug and Debbie.

“We were excited solely due to the fact we would see Colton here for dinner at our house on Friday night and be able to see him a couple of times during the week,” said Doug, who still lives in the North Vancouver home where Colton grew up.

Doug says his son is living his childhood dream playing playoff hockey at Rogers Arena – even if it is for the visiting team.

“There was a ton of nerves going out onto the ice the other night. But once the puck drops and you make contact with that first guy in a Canucks jersey, the jitters go away and you get down to business,” said Doug, who watched game one in the stands with Debbie. “It’s a tough situation, my wife and I were a little bit out of place the other night, to say the least, with all the fans.”

Doug says he and Debbie watched the game incognito, rather than wearing gold Nashville Predators jerseys. But there is no question where their allegiance lies.

“We are just devout Preds fans, that’s it,” said Doug.

Colton said the love for the Canucks in the Sissons' household died when he became a Nashville Predator. “It’s been gone for quite some time now. Yeah, probably since 2012 when I was drafted. Those days are over,” said Colton.

“It was so exciting when he got drafted by the Preds, and then he’s just taken off from there,” said Doug. “He’s been a very reliable two-way player, one of the best in the league on face-offs, and his leadership has grown there dramatically as well.”

Colton’s Nashville Predators got to the Stanley Cup final in 2017, only to lose to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Doug knows his son’s team is the underdog against the Canucks, and most other playoff teams this time around. But he’s confident they have a shot.

“Oh I believe it, 100 per cent.”

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