Hockey teams on the West Shore are mourning the loss of 15 members of the Humboldt Broncos, who were killed after a collision between a bus and a tractor trailer in Saskatchewan on Friday.
The Victoria Grizzlies were one of numerous hockey teams across the country who reached out to offer condolences after the tragedy.
“Thoughts and prayers on behalf of the Victoria Grizzlies organization to the players, staff and families of @HumboldtBroncos #PrayForHumboldt #morethanhockey,” said a tweet by the Grizzlies.
The Juan de Fuca Minor Hockey Association said the Broncos Junior A Hockey Club suffered an “unimaginable loss.”
“We extend out deepest sympathies to the Humboldt Broncos Junior A Hockey Club and the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League,” said the statement released April 7. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends, teammates and fans on the Broncos and the entire Humboldt community during this most difficult time.”
During game 2 of the playoff series between the Victoria Royals and the Tri-City Americans at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre Saturday night, the teams held a moment of silence in honour of the victims as well.
On Friday, April 6, around 5 p.m. a bus and a tractor trailer collided on Highway 35 north of Tisdale, killing 15 people and leaving 14 injured.
So far, family members have confirmed that head coach Darcy Haugan, team captain Logan Schatz, former BCHL player Jaxon Joseph, bus driver Glen Doerksen, defencemen Adam Herold and Xavier Labelle, and the team’s play-by-play radio announcer Tyler Bieber are among those dead.
The team was on its way to play in game 5 of a semi-final playoff game against the Nipawin Hawks.
The truck driver was the lone occupant of the other vehicle at the time of the collision and was not injured. The driver was detained by police but released.
An online fundraising campaign has since been set up to help to players and families affected. It has raised more than $3.4 million so far.
—With files from Ashley Wadhwani and Katya Slepian