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Preds Fan Appreciation Night Culminates with Shirts Off Our Backs

Lucky Predators Fans Receive Players' Jerseys Immediately Following Win in Finale

by Zach Gilchriest @PredsNHL /

Minutes after Viktor Arvidsson's game-winning and record-breaking goal against the Chicago Blackhawks, his and his teammates' jerseys were in the hands of some very lucky Predators fans.

An end-of-season tradition in conjunction with Fan Appreciation Night, the "Shirts Off Our Back" contest selects several fans at random to win a special prize and an unforgettable experience.

After the final horn sounded and the Predators claimed their second-consecutive Central Division Championship, the contest winners walked out onto the ice to receive their prize from the players themselves in front of a packed home crowd.

Two winners, Sarah and Matt Nicholson, received jerseys from Calle Jarnkrok and Dan Hamhuis, respectively.

"I have the biggest crush on Calle Jarnkrok, so I was really stressed out," Sarah said. "I don't like to feel starstruck, but the way these boys have been playing and the group that we've had for the last couple of years, it's so great."

"I'm from Indiana - I wasn't a big hockey fan or anything but when I met her and we came down here, we started going to Preds games every now and then and it was actually the year of our Stanley Cup Final run when we got our season tickets - I was hooked ever since," Matt said. "It's great tonight, obviously to beat Chicago and to win the Central - it was just a really special win."

The Nicholson's lucky contest win capped off what they both wholeheartedly dubbed the "best day ever." Earlier in the day the couple adopted their second dog and before that both placed first in the Walk Across Sumner 5K - Sarah in female overall and Matt in his age group.

"We were actually pulling out of the parking lot at the Gallatin Civic Center when she got the email," Matt said. "She was like 'I think this is fake, but it looks like I won a jersey tonight.' And I looked at it and said 'No, that is definitely real.'"

"Our future child sucks because that is not going to be the best day of my life, this is the best day of my life," Sarah said.

The tradition caps off another Central Division Champion season by giving back to the community that continually shows up game after game to support the Preds.

To learn more about fan contests and redeemable rewards, click here.

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