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Campbell ready for hometown reunion

Candice Ward/Calgary Hitmen

 

Next stop: Everett.

Or in Hunter Campbell’s case, back home.

The sophomore Hitmen forward has been waiting in anticipation since he first cracked the WHL to go back and play in the rink he spent so many years in.

And on Tuesday night, he’ll get his wish.

“I’m super excited to be headed back home,” he said. “I have a lot of friends and family coming out to watch me play. We got 80-plus tickets for that game in Everett, so it’ll be special to play in front of all of them and have their support.

“I can’t wait and it’s going to be a special moment.”

Growing up as a Silvertips fan, Campbell made memories together with his family, as season-ticket holders when Hunter just was a youngster.

From watching from the stands where he spent his childhood, to now only a day away from skating on that very ice brings out the young boy that dreamed of making his wish of playing in the ‘Dub come true.

“There are so many memories we have that I’ll never forget,” he said. “I even remember dressing up in a dinosaur costume for a Halloween game and just dancing my tail off. I always had so much fun, to grow up with that in my backyard was awesome and really motivated me to work harder to make it to the WHL.

“There will be lots of nerves, but I’m going to try and not overthink it. I’m going to go out and play my game and just keep it simple.”

Even prior to the third game of the road swing, Campbell was having some more home cooking as he, along with the rest of the team, made a stop Sunday night for an early Thanksgiving dinner.

“It’s a great time of the year to be down here and I think the schedule played in our favour to be in the States right around Thanksgiving,” he said. “I love my grandma’s cooking and the whole team made a stop at my house to have a good meal.

“She’s used to cooking for that many mouths and she loves to cook. She was more than happy to accommodate.”

As he gears up for the homecoming, the 17-year-old finds himself on pace to surpass his rookie numbers from a year ago, all the while continuing to evolve his game.

“It was a learning experience to get up to speed, but now I know what to expect and have learned from my mistakes and learned what I need to do to be successful,” Campbell said. “I just have to keep pushing along and the experience I’m getting is valuable to my development.

“I want to do whatever I can to help the team win.”

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