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Gaudreau pulling for Eagles in Super Bowl

Flames forward grew up 40 minutes from Philadelphia

by Aaron Vickers / Correspondent

CALGARY -- Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau can typically be found wearing red.

He was sporting plenty of green Monday.

Wearing a Philadelphia Eagles hoodie at media availability in advance of a game against the Buffalo Sabres on Monday (9 p.m. ET; SNW, MSG-B, NHL.TV), Gaudreau let the happiness shine through a smile that his favorite National Football League team will compete in the Super Bowl.

"It's exciting," said Gaudreau, who grew up Carneys Point, New Jersey, 40 minutes from Philadelphia. "It's been a long time since we've had a Philadelphia team … I think it's been since '08 when the Phillies won (the World Series) we had a team make the championship like that and win it. 

"They've got some fans from Calgary up here cheering them on. I'm excited for it."

Quarterback Nick Foles threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns to help the Eagles to a 38-7 win against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday. The win set up a Super Bowl matchup against quarterback Tom Brady and the defending champion New England Patriots, who defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-20 in the AFC Championship Game. 

The Eagles and Patriots will play in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Feb. 4. 

It's an ideal matchup for Gaudreau, who spent three years at Boston College from 2011-14. Gillette Stadium, home of the Patriots, is 25 miles from campus.

"The whole school was Pats fans," Gaudreau said. "I'd always hear about Tom Brady and the Pats. All my buddies would text me from Boston always giving me a hard time saying the [Patriots] would never lose to the Eagles. Now we get a shot to prove that."

One of those friends was New York Rangers forward Kevin Hayes. The two were linemates at Boston College. 

"He always gave me a hard time in college about how the Eagles would never beat the [Patriots]," said Gaudreau, who tweeted at Hayes after the Eagles victory. "Now we get the chance to see that happen."

Tweet from @NHLFlames: ���Me and my buddy from Philly sang (Fly, Eagles Fly) a few times last night.��� - Johnny Gaudreau on his post-@Eagles win celebration yesterday

Hayes isn't the only linemate he's battling. Flames teammate Sean Monahan is rooting opposite Gaudreau and the Eagles. 

"He was pretty pumped," Monahan said. "He came in with a sweater and a backpack and a hat today. He's a big Eagles fan. I'm happy for him that they're in the Super Bowl here. 

"I like the Eagles too since Johnny is all over them, but I have to stay with the [Patriots] here, stay hot with them."

Gaudreau is willing to take that bet. 

"I'm just predicting a win. I don't really care about the score," he said. "Just a big win. They've never won it, so hopefully this is their shot right here."

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