GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — While a crowd watched the Grand Rapids Griffins beat the Oklahoma City Barons last week, they had no idea that a drama was playing out in a parking lot behind Van Andel Arena.
Chantel Brown, a recent transplant to West Michigan, was out on a date with her husband. They planned to take in Brown’s first-ever hockey game.
“We got out of the car right here and we walked over to Hop Cat right over here to have dinner and I noticed my ring was missing,” she said. “I was freaking out, totally.”
Wayne Bursey was also at Van Andel Arena Wednesday night. He’s from Newfoundland and was in Grand Rapids to visit his daughter and son-in-law.
Bursey is a longtime hockey fan — he supports the Chicago Blackhawks, he said — but Wednesday’s was his first Griffins game. He went with his son-in-law Jim Bowman.
“Jim stopped the vehicle and I put out my right leg to exit the vehicle and something caught my eye,” Bursey said. “I reached and picked it up and I said, ‘Oh my God, Jim, look what I just found.’”
Bursey pocketed the ring and went into the game.
While the Griffins were punishing the Barons — it was a 7-1 blowout –Brown and her husband were outside in the dark, scouring the parking lot for the ring.
“I was down searching in the snow, cracks. I mean, I even came back that night after the hockey game was over,” Brown said. “I was sick to my stomach.”
Mandy Bursey, Wayne Bursey’s daughter, didn’t go to the hockey game. Her dad texted her when he found the ring.
“I said, ‘Man, we really got to find who owns that wedding ring,’” she said.
So she searched Craigslist and found an ad Brown had placed, asking if someone had picked up the ring.
She contacted Brown, and the ring was soon back on the finger where it belongs.
“I never thought that I would find that. I never used to believe in miracles and now I do,” Brown said.