Five Months After A Fatal Bus Crash, One Hockey Team Bravely Returns To The Ice

"I hope that today's game helps us all take another step forward."

Five months after members of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team were involved in a fatal bus crash that left 16 people dead, the team stepped back onto the ice for their first regular season home game on Wednesday. 

Head coach Nathan Oystrick tweeted a heartfelt note prior to the game. 

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"To everyone who has supported us on our journey to this point: thank you," he wrote. "We will never forget the tragedy of April 6th, but I hope that today's game helps us all take another step forward. That it helps to heal, and bring us all — our team, our families our community and yours — closer together. Today, like every day, we honor the Humboldt Broncos' crest and all it stands for, which is so much more than a game. We do so by competing and giving everything we've got to be the best people we can be, on and off the ice." 

The Broncos honored the 16 lives lost with 16 hockey sticks all lined up together, and shared memories and moments from the game with the hashtag #HumboldtStrong. 

In a video shared on Twitter, viewers can hear the energy from the crowd as the Broncos took to the ice to play against the Nipawin Hawks. 

According to USA Today, Brayden Camrud and Derek Patter — the only two who survived the April crash to return to the Broncos this season — participted in an opening faceoff. Other survivors were present, however, including Jacob Wassermann, a goalie who now uses a wheelchair.

There was also a post-game ceremony to honor those affected by the tragedy. 

Though the Broncos ultimately ended up losing to the Hawks 2-1, this game was clearly about so much more than numbers. We wish the Broncos all the best in their upcoming season. 

Cover image: kovop58 / Shutterstock.com

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