The best way to recover from tragedy is to simply move on. However that is much easier said than done. But the first steps towards recovery were taken today, as the Humboldt Broncos had their first hockey match-up since their tragedy this past spring.
The Humboldt Broncos hit their home ice, ready to play game one of the 2018-19 season, as they hosted the Nipawin Hawks on Wednesday evening. The Broncos ultimately fell to their guests by a score of 2-1. However, the Broncos would be first to light the lamp:
But this is a rare case in the game of hockey where the score doesn’t matter. Win, lose, or draw, the healing process continued, as the Broncos played their first game since the horrible accident on April 6.
Before the game, there was a moment of silence. Both teams bowed their heads in silent reflection, as did the crowd. And Scott Thomas, who’s son, Evan, was killed in the terrible accident, addressed the attendees on behalf of everyone who was affected by the crash. He said:
“On behalf of all our sons and daughters, our fathers, brothers and sisters, our nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles — we want to thank everyone in this building tonight and everyone at home watching on TV: Thank you, thank you, thank you and thank you.”
Following the short, emotional speech, eight players from last years Broncos line up, no longer with the team, took to the ice for a ceremonial puck drop. And while those eight cheered from stands, two players overcame their injuries and returned to the ice.
Brayden Camrud and Derek Patter were both in the accident, and both of them represented the Broncos in glorious fashion on the ice, expressing the what it truly means to be Humboldt Strong.
Following their narrow defeat, another emotional event took place as a performance of Amazing Grace ended the night, as banners honoring those who’s lives were lost were placed on the ice.
Team president Jamie Brockman said the organization is grateful for all the love and support they team has received from the all around the world over the last few months.
“We’re going to find out what our new normal is after today; I think we did right by last year’s team here.”
The Broncos’ next game is Friday. They look forward to a rematch with the Hawks. It is will be their first away game since the accident.
By: Chris Laroche