RALEIGH, N.C. -- Hamilton the Pig has been elevated to VIP status by the Carolina Hurricanes.
Hamilton proved again to be a good-luck charm for the Hurricanes during a 5-2 victory in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Washington Capitals. Game 7 is at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, SN360, TVAS, NBCSW, FS-CR).
Needing a win, the Hurricanes invited him to the game. He received a tour of PNC Arena in the morning and was a guest on Fox Sports Carolinas pregame show. He watched the game from the bottom of Section 108.
Hamilton, who is a fan of Carolina defenseman Dougie Hamilton but was not named for him, was outside PNC Arena before wins there by the Hurricanes in Games 3 and 4.
After the game, Hamilton the Pig met Hamliton the defenseman for the first time, which had been a goal of the pig's owner Kyle Eckenrode, who identifies himself as the pig's "dad."
"I've had a lot people tag Dougie (on Instragram) and his pictures," Eckenrode said. "I'm trying to get him into the locker room one day so we can round up the guys with him."
Before the game, Hamilton the Pig was popular among fans tailgating in the parking lot with many walking over to pet and take photos with him.
Stormy, the Hurricanes mascot, posted a picture with him on Twitter before the 5-0 win in Game 3 on April 15.
But Hamilton, who has his own Instagram account (HamiltonDTR) wasn't permitted inside the arena previously, Eckenrode took him home before Games 3 and 4 and they watched on television. That wouldn't be the case with the Hurricanes season on the line on Monday.
Eckenrode and his fiancée, Karoline Briggs, adopted Hamilton as a piglet from a farm in Laurinburg, North Carolina two years ago and he lives with them and their nine chickens on a small farm about a mile from PNC Arena.
"He's great," Eckenrode said before Carolina's 2-1 win in Game 4 on Thursday. "He sleeps inside. He likes to lay on the couch, so we put him on the couch when we watch the Canes games now and it's been our good luck charm."