The hockey world has it’s fair share of hate, rivalry, disagreement, and attitude, but all of that was put to a screeching halt last night near Gronlid, Saskatchewan.
The Humboldt Broncos were on their way via bus to Nipawin, Saskatchewan for Game Five of a semi-final series against the Nipawin Hawks. The Broncos were down in the series three games to one, losing game four in triple overtime. At this time, the team bus was T-boned by a transport truck on Highway 35, killing 14 of the passengers on the bus and injuring the other fourteen.
The Humboldt Broncos were brought into the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League back in 1970 and since their creation, have become the most successful team in the SJHL. The Broncos have won the league championship on ten occasions as well as the RBC Cup, Canada’s Junior A Championship in 2003 and 2008.
The organization has been the starting roots for six NHL players. Curt Giles, Bill McDougall, Sheldon Brookbank, Terry Ruskowski, Neil Hawryliw, and Grant Jennings had a career in the National Hockey League, with Jennings having the most successful career out of the bunch. In 389 NHL games, Jennings played with four organizations, while winning the Stanley Cup twice in 1991 and 1992 with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The tragedy that struck late Friday night was devastating not only to the Humboldt Broncos and their families but the entire hockey community. Condolences and support for the victims, the injured, and all of the families came from many different people across North America.
As Mark Allred stated, everyone here on the Black n Gold Hockey website and podcast team sends our condolences and best thoughts to the victims and their families. We also all want to send our positive thoughts to those fourteen individuals who remain in the hospital, recovering together.
No parent, grandparent, or family member should have to experience this tragedy so close to home. In this time, it may be difficult for some families to provide the funds for hospital costs, funeral services, or anything they may need in this terrible time of distress. If you would like to donate some money towards the people impacted, we welcome you to visit the Go Fund Me page that they have set up. The support already has been amazing. In only 13 hours, the page has raised nearly $280,000 out of their $500,000 goal and it continues to grow. You can click the Twitter link below to donate.
To all involved, we at the BNG website support you. We are all with you.