It was a tough night.
A community and a nation came together last night as Humboldt gathered for their first game since last Spring’s tragedy to the Broncos when 16 were killed in a bus crash.
In a game televised commercial-free in Canada and the United States, the Broncos faced the Nipawin Hawks, the team they were travelling to face the night of the April crash with a tractor-trailer. The Broncos will board a bus again Friday to head to Nipawin for a rematch.
The ceremony was tasteful and moving.
Brayden Camrud and Derek Patter were back on the ice for the Humboldt Broncos. They are the only survivors back with the junior hockey team. Camrud overcame a severe concussion, loss of feeling in one of his arms and neck issues to make it back on the ice Wednesday. He and Patter shared a brief hug after they skated on the ice. They took part in a ceremonial puck drop with other crash survivors, with goalie Jacob Wassermann using a wheelchair to get on the ice.
“I think it’s a step in the healing process for sure,” said survivor Kaleb Dahlgren, who is now playing college hockey in Ontario. “Playing tonight definitely helps heal the wounds but it won’t for sure heal everything. There’s still lots that need to be done.”