Love was in the air at the GFL Memorial Gardens on Sunday as a surprise proposal brought hockey fans to their feet.
Michelle Coates went from girlfriend status to fiancée status during the second intermission of the Soo Greyhounds and Windsor Spitfires game after her partner Darren Schrik popped the question in the front row of section 105.
The couple met through an online dating service exactly one year ago today.
“I noticed our one-year anniversary lined up with a hockey game,” Schrik says. “So, I decided to do it then. The timing worked out great.”
Schrik works in IT at the Sault Area Hospital and says he had been planning to get down on one knee for the past couple of months.
Coates has been a Greyhounds season ticket holder and avid fan of the team for a number of years, and she also works at the Holiday Inn Express next door to the Gardens.
She often looks after the Greyhound players’ families when they come from out of town to watch games in the Sault.
“I had a feeling it might happen, but I wasn’t totally sure,” Coates says. “I’m super excited.”
Alison Cragg, a close friend of Coates’ and a season ticket holder herself, says she couldn’t be happier for the newly engaged couple.
“They’re a real true love story,” she says. “They knew within months they were right for each other. I think it’s fabulous.”
Some of the couple’s family members were sitting in the row behind them to take in the special moment, and Greyhounds mascot Dash came by to celebrate the occasion.
While their wedding date is to be determined, Coates and Schrik say they’re