“It’s a road trip that we never finished,” said Humboldt Broncos player and crash survivor Brayden Camrud. But tonight they will do just that.
And the sold-out, small town hockey game in an 1800-seat arena will be broadcast live across the nation.
Five months after the horrific bus crash that killed sixteen people, ten of them young players, and injured thirteen, the Humboldt Broncos will face the Nipawin Hawks. The team they were travelling to meet the night of the fateful crash.
Two surviving players, Brayden Camrud and Derek Patter, will be on the ice playing and the parents of Logan Boulet will be watching from the stands. Logan is the 21-year-old player who had signed his organ donor card before the crash which led to him saving six other lives with his passing. And because of what Logan did, almost 100,000 Canadians signed their donor cards too.
Player Ryan Straschnitzki, who was paralyzed in the crash, has been working tirelessly in physical therapy and has been back on the ice playing sledge hockey which has inspired everyone.
The world wept as this tragedy unfolded. Such a senseless loss of life. Young men living their dreams cut down in the prime of their lives. In the safety of their road trip bus. Their home away from home.
So many front porches held hockey sticks for the boys in case they needed them for a pick-up game in heaven.
Tonight, as the two teams meet on the ice once again, it will be a game in memory of those who were lost and a celebration of those who are climbing a mountain physically and emotionally ever since that tragic day.
May the affected families find peace and may the boys on the ice play their hearts out tonight for themselves and for their teammates who can no longer play with them. #HumboldtStrong