Swede's father on long road trip

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:07 AM ET

Micko Pettersson is finally getting some sleep -- now that he's in Calgary.

He's usually burning the midnight oil in Sweden, watching his son Freddie ply his trade with the Calgary Hitmen on the Internet.

"We watch every game," the proud papa says. "In Sweden, the game starts around 2 or 3 a.m. On game nights, we go to bed early so we're not so tired the day after."

As soon as the game ends, Micko heads off to a construction company where he works in product development.

"We were more or less prepared to listen to the Internet radio broadcasts," says Micko, who arrived in Calgary on the weekend.

"When the WHL said it would broadcast games live on the Internet, it was so great for us."

This has been the longest he has gone without seeing his son, says Micko, who will take in a total of five games (including tonight's tilt against Kamloops, 7 p.m. at the 'Dome) before returning home.

"I think it's been two months," he says. "He was away with the national (junior) team for one or two weeks."

Watching your son pack his bag and head overseas would be difficult for any father but he says the family has supported Freddie's decision to pursue a professional hockey career.

"I don't think the family feels it's a problem," he says. "We talk on the phone every day. This has been his call all the way through. He knows why he is here. His dream is to one day play in the NHL.

"He needs to be around better players than he can be with in Sweden. So I think this is his only alternative -- to come over here and prove himself. And to join a great team like the Hitmen is a great honour for him."

The Edmonton Oilers prospect leads the Hitmen with seven goals and 12 points in 13 games.

"I think he's been playing pretty good," Micko says.

"I've been watching him since he was five years old. He's shooting better and he's skating faster and he's taking on the bigger opponents quite well."

Freddie, whose Hitmen have dropped three of their last four games, has been bunking with his father at the home of his billets, Glen and Susan Gray.

"It's really fun," Freddie says.

"When I lived in Sweden, he would drive me to practice, watch all the practices and wait to drive me home.

"He loves hockey, just like me."


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