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Love And Ducks Hockey
By Richard Gonzalez
Love is a simple four lettered word defined as, “an intense feeling of deep affections,” according to the dictionary. In others words, a person you have a deep connection with; however, it seems to be hard to find at times.
Finding your true love is important for a lot of people. Most want a significant other to spend their life with. Dating apps like Tinder, Match.com, etc. thrive with people wanting to find companionship. They even have a show called, Married at First Site, which you marry a complete stranger.
Erick Castanon, of Santa Ana, was no exception to most wanting true love. He decided to take a chance and create a post to find someone to attend an Anaheim Ducks game with him. He just wanted to get out of the house and enjoy a game with good company. Fortunately, for him, it paid dividends. On October 18th, 2017, he posted the following on the Ducks Nation Facebook group page, “So I have an extra ticket for Friday and looking for a date, single women PM me if interested.”
Ducks Nation is one of the biggest Facebook groups for Ducks fans. Nick Sauer, along with Vicki Tynedale, co-created Ducks Nation because they wanted a better community of fans to interact online and in person via watch parties and other social events. They started a booster club for the Ducks, which was ultimately taken over by the Ducks.
That’s absolutely incredible,” Nick said. “When you build a group like this from scratch, you hope to bring all kinds of good people together. “You’re just trying to give strangers a place to high-five at watch parties but then it finds ways to connect people you never thought possible.”
Nick went on to say the group has volunteered with CHOC, traveled to Sweden and Finland for the Ducks, established a friendship with other team’s booster clubs and heard some great stories from international fans, who utilized Ducks Nation for advice when traveling to Anaheim for games.
When asked about this love story he said that was a new one. “That might be the ultimate fan experience,” Nick said.
Being a follower of Ducks nation and seeing similar posts, I know he was met with some others poking fun, but against the odds and some of the negative feedback, Erik got a positive response and a fairy tale ending with Robyn Lynn Gomez-Castanon, also of Santa Ana.
“She was the first to respond,” Erick said. Robyn responded with a gif reading, “I’m in.” I saw a free Anaheim Ducks game out of it at first, Robyn said jokingly. “I made sure that nachos and beer were included.”
After a rough time that both of them were experiencing from their personal adversities, they just wanted to escape reality and watch their Ducks play.
“I was running super late and wasn’t expecting anything,” Robyn said. “When I first saw him it was instant chemistry.” They both attended a pre-game meet up at JT Schmid’s, located adjacent to the Honda Center and is a frequent place where fans meet up prior to Ducks’ games.
The game was Oct, 20th, 2017. They would see the Ducks beat the Montreal Canadians, 6-2. Erick and Robyn would get their own hat-trick from this game. They found friendship, fell in love and got married.
Robyn’s first impression of Erick was that he looked friendly. “He looked nervous but had a smile on his face,” Robyn said. She took notice of his curly hair too. Erick said she seemed like a really cool girl and was really down to earth. “It was a love at first sight,” Erick said.
They both had an instant connection. They hit it off so well that night they decide to share another day together by having coffee the next day. They ended up seeing a lot more of each other. “We couldn’t be separated,” Erick said. “She was down to earth and I fell in love with her.”
They had a chemistry and connection that didn’t resort to them “officially” becoming boyfriend and girlfriend. The “circle: yes or no question,” referring to what a lot of us did as kids when we asked someone out wasn’t needed. They just knew they were a couple.
They didn’t expect this interaction would lead to falling in love and getting married. Coming up on their one-year anniversary they knew they wanted and would be together permanently. Erick officially proposed to Robyn in front of their each other’s children. They went to dinner and attended another game, which was Paul Kariya’s number retirement night, married on Oct. 26, 2018.
“It seemed like the right thing to do,” Erick said. “Right thing not just for the hell of it but for the love of it.” The right thing to do for both of them because they knew they were meant to be together forever.
After getting their own personal hat-tricks, we sent them to a Ducks game and they got to witness another one from Cam Fowler at the Ducks game on Nov. 4th, 2018. Hats off to them and we wish them everlasting love and happiness.
The best advice they give anyone is everything happens when it happens. Even at your lowest, keep going and don’t ever give up. “Don’t look for love,” Erick said. “Love will find you.”
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November 8th, 2018