Humboldt Broncos Play First Game Since Fatal Bus Crash

Five months after a fatal bus crash killed 10 of their teammates, Humboldt Broncos hockey players Brayden Camrud and Derek Patter were on the ice Wednesday for the again.

On April 6, 10 players of the junior hockey team and six others were killed in a bus crash on their way from Humboldt to Nipawin in Saskatchewan, Canada.

The bus crashed into an oncoming tractor-trailer truck. Camrud and Patter were the only survivors to return to the team this season, reports The Associated Press.

"We know that, while the darkness is much less, it will never truly leave us as it holds the love that we have left for those who are no longer with us and those who have been impacted by this tragedy," former Broncos president Kevin Garinger said at Wednesday's game against the Nipawin Hawks, the same team they were traveling to play in April. "But we will forever cherish their memories and honor their legacy and, as hard as it has been, we have and will continue to move forward with them and because of them."

Camrud suffered a severe concussion, loss of feeling in one of his arms and injuries to his neck. Goalie Jacob Wassermann, who needed a wheelchair to get onto the ice because of his injuries, joined Camrud and Patter for the ceremonial pick drop.

The arena where the Broncos play, Elgar Petersen Arena, had a memorial installed for the victims. Pictures of the victims, along with 16 hockey sticks covered in green and yellow ribbons, were at the entrance. The phrase "Always in our hearts. 29 on the fateful ride, 16 souls died" was painted on a bench.

"We're going to find out what our new normal is after today. Hockey is back in Humboldt. We are strong and we are going to survive and we are going to move forward," team president Jamie Brockman said after the game.

The victims of the crash were team therapist Dayna Brons; players Parker Tobin, Logan Schatz, Jaxon Joseph, Stephen Wack, Adam Herold, Logan Hunter, Logan Boulet, Evan Thomas, Conner Lukan and Jacob Leicht; head coach Dary Haugan; play-by-play announcer Tyler Bieber; driver Glen Doerksen; assistant coach Mark Cross; and intern Brody Hinz.

"In the wake of this tragedy, Humboldt has shown incredible resilience and strength," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during a Liberal meeting in Saskatoon. "Canadians were quick to share their love, support, generosity and kindness in a moment when it was so desperately needed. So to the people of Humboldt, know that we are with you. Know that we will continue to support you as you heal."

The Broncos lost Wednesday 2-1, and play the Hawks again on Friday, this time in Nipawin.


Photo credit: Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images