RALEIGH, NC. - Although hockey for the season officially came to a close earlier in the week, there was one final memory to be made at PNC Arena for Carolina Hurricanes Season Ticket Members (STMs).
After two preseason games, 41 regular season contests and eight thrilling postseason affairs, it was finally their turn to leave their mark on the ice.
For some it was one more way to say thank you to the players for their entertaining season. For others, it was a way to creatively display their artistic talents, encorporating the team and some of their most memorable moments of the year.
"These were obviously hilarious moments from the season," Michelle from Section 108 offered when asked of the inspiration behind artwork, which was displayed just south of the team's center ice logos. "I'm basically self-taught and I just figured out in middle school that you just try and copy what you see and it works out. I'm not a professional artist and I haven't done anything artistic in a while."
"Not a professional..." right. It gets even harder to believe Michelle after seeing her work from the 2021 event, which you may be familiar with.
Michelle's work caught the attention of many throughout the event, but she wasn't alone, as many stopped to glance at the artistry contributed by first-year STMs Hailey, Kara and Erika.
"We were stuck between doing something everyone could identify and trying a Prius with Trocheck's number on the back," the trio giggled.
Did we mention that all of these paintings were completed within 45 minutes?
Nearly 1,000 STMs were spread out over the course of four shifts, leaving very minimal white untouched on the playing surface by the time all was said and done.
The event wasn't just limited to serious artwork though, as fun was had by all, including Viola, a young goaltender for the Junior Canes. With the assistance of her parents, Jennifer and Hector, she was able to give it her best depiction of Stormy.
And, of course, no matter how recently the aspirations of a 2022 Stanley Cup in Raleigh were recently shot down, there were of course optimistic folks who are already willing a 2023 one into existence.
"This is our fourth year at the event and we had to do something new," Mitch Strobin, an STM since 2006 spoke of his combined effort with his daughter Samantha. "We've gotten so close the last two years, now the third time is the charm," Samantha chimed in with.
Here's to hoping that this time next year that Mitch and Samantha's prediction has come true.
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