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No more cheesesteaks at Carolina Hurricanes games.

McGuire family superstition says that eating a cheesesteak is a sure fire way to have your team lose.

Caitlin has been going to Carolina Hurricanes games with her dad since she was seven and a family tradition that goes back as far as elementary school certainly comes with its own set of rules – like no cheesesteaks at games.  And during a winning streak you have to wear the same jersey.  Face a bad loss?  Bury that jersey in the back of the closet, because it is not coming out again for a while. Caitlin and her dad have shared two season ticket seats at the PNC arena since 2002.

Next year one of those seats will be missing a fan as Caitlin goes off to Massachusetts for her freshman year at Holy Cross and little sister Haley takes the celebrated seat at her dad’s side.

Caitlin’s love for all things Carolina Hurricanes started rather modestly – with a shrug and a smile, “sure” 7 year old Caitlin said when her dad mentioned the tickets he’d bought to a hockey game.  She didn’t expect to love it as much as she did:  the slight cool breeze in the air inside the arena blowing over the ice, the roar of Canes fans in their red and black, the special time with just her and dad studying the game together and comparing notes.

These ten years of season tickets have seen alot of jerseys – from elementary school tiny sizes to high school young adult.  Somewhere in the middle of those years little sister Haley came along and inherited her big sister’s old stash of jerseys and somewhere in the middle of those years Caitlin moved in to the third floor bedroom – lining the walls with Hurricanes posters and penants.  High school life got busy, as it always does:  taking challenging AP classes at Cary Academy, pouring hours in to co-leading the yearbook staff, and co-leading a tutoring program ESL students twice a week at Reedy Creek Elementary School but every October when hockey season would come along there was always time for games with dad.

Oh and there was time for mom too – let’s not forget the nights Caitlin and her mom stretched out on her big blue comforter in her big blue room and talked about anything and everything.  What started with a quick check-in before bed almost always turned in to hours.  It wasn’t always serious, and then again sometimes it was.

Caitlin’s future at Holy Cross is set to be as remarkable as her time at CaryAcademy:  filled with exciting new friendships, challenging new courses, and adventures yet unknown.  In all the newness this next year will bring, one thing does seem for certain: the Carolina Hurricanes banner hanging in her room here in NC will most certainly make a trip up north.

We’ll wait and see if the cheesesteaks are still off-limits.