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Preds, Nashville Fans Raise Over $60,000 at Hockey Fights Cancer Game

Predators and Their Fans Combine to Raise Funds, Support to Fight Pediatric Cancer

by Simon Gibbs @SimonGibbs26 /

Bridgestone Arena looked a bit brighter than usual on Saturday afternoon.

From lavender colored soft-serve ice cream, to eccentric purple masks for Juuse Saros and Pekka Rinne, and even radiant purple warm-up jerseys, it was evident that the Nashville Predators took the ice fighting for more than just two points.

They were fighting to beat cancer.

The lavender jerseys, accessories and ribbons illuminated Bridgestone with a color of hope. It allowed Smashville's hockey family inspire those living with, going through and moving past cancer.

Since 1998, the NHL has labeled November its Hockey Fights Cancer Month. Each organization helps raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society, Canadian Cancer Society, and Movember Foundation.

On Saturday, the Preds hosted their Hockey Fights Cancer game - during which proceeds went toward the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by Twice Daily - and raised a total of over $60,000.

In addition to the money raised, the Predators planned a full day of activities for numerous pediatric cancer patients in attendance.

Video: NYR@NSH: Hockey Fights Cancer ceremonial puck drop

For four-year-old patient Sam Hatch, the Hockey Fights Cancer game meant he could meet, greet and take photos with some of his biggest idols.

His day began at 11:30 a.m. when the game's officials - Garrett Rank, Gord Dwyer, Pierre Racicot and Kory Nagy - took Sam under their wing. They led him into the officials' locker room, ate candy with him and made sure he was given a matching referee jersey for their photo op.

Much to Sam's surprise, that photo took place on the ice. The referees brought him and his family inside the rink before the game began, and Sam could hardly believe it - he was stepping foot on the very ice that his Nashville Predators call home.

But that enthusiasm paled in comparison to what he would do next.

At 12:15, Sam was brought into Lexus Lounge to stand in the Predators' high-five line. One by one, the Preds walked out of the locker room only to be greeted by Sam squealing with excitement.

He waited with an ear-to-ear smile until he had high fived every last player on the roster; then, he was brought onto the Zamboni to go for a pregame spin.

The pregame activities didn't end there. Sam was taken into the locker room to help escort the Predators starting lineup onto the ice for their clash with the Rangers.

On Saturday, the Preds took their Hockey Fights Cancer programming to a new level; it was truly about more than just raising money, awareness and support for cancer research.

It was about fulfilling the dreams of many young Preds fans like Sam, who use the Predators as their own source of joy in times of need.

For more information on the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund presented by Twice Daily, click here.

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