The Nashville Predators fan who chucked a DEAD CATFISH on the ice during game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals has been hit with criminal charges ... officials say.
Officials say 36-year-old Jacob Waddell smuggled the dead fish into PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh on Monday -- and flung it onto the ice as the Preds took on the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Waddell has bragged online that he snuck the fish into the arena by vacuum sealing it and stuffing it into his shorts ... then unwrapping it in a bathroom once inside.
He unleashed the fish in the 2nd period.
It's kind of a big deal -- if convicted on all counts he could face around 6 years behind bars.
The Preds lost the game 5-3, but Waddell is being hailed as a hero in Nashville ... just ask Carrie Underwood, who tweeted, "My hero."
My hero... 💙💛💙💛 https://t.co/2sW9P7mrOg— Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) May 30, 2017