Posted: April 10, 2018
By Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
As family members mourn the players killed and injured in a bus crash in Canada, hockey fans around the world are paying tribute to the Humboldt Broncos hockey team.
It’s a simple display that’s popping up on porches: a hockey stick propped up outside. It was suggested by Brian Munz, a broadcaster with The Sports Network (TSN). He drew inspiration from a high school friend, CNN reported.
Got this text from a friend who I went to high school with in Humboldt.— Brian Munz (@BrianMunzTSN) April 9, 2018
Inviting you to do the same as we remember and send our thoughts to the #HumboldtBroncos.#PrayersForHumboldt #Broncostrong #Humboldtstrong #theSJHL #TSNHockey pic.twitter.com/HHwZyUZ5KG
Some added a candle to light the way for those players lost in the crash.
We are with you in Yorkton pic.twitter.com/gZ96sfZ22G— Carla Lammers (@LammersCarla) April 9, 2018
Buddy of mine moved away last year and asked if I needed an extra stick. Wrong curve for me but said it would probably come in handy at some point.— Catherine Silverman (@catmsilverman) April 9, 2018
Hope it comes in handy, Parker. #sticksoutside #Humboldt pic.twitter.com/dxLcMZ6i01
It's there, boys. Teach the angels to skate. pic.twitter.com/Zbl0H1zA7O— Gord Dobie (@gordiedoobs) April 9, 2018
My boys said that @HumboldtBroncos needed these more than we did tonight. #PutYourSticksOut #HumboldtStrong @penguinsrinks @RMUMHockey @AlphaIceComplex @pensfoundation @penguins @NHL @odrbuilder @IronSleek @hankster28 @Himes412 pic.twitter.com/PeDjmioI4K— Stanley B. Whiteman (@StanWhiteman) April 10, 2018
Sticks out in Pittsburgh, PA. Our hearts are broken. #putyoursticksout #sticksoutforHumboldt #CBCNN #HumboldtBroncos #Humboldtstrong #hockeyfamily @ChillKessel @penguins @PenguinsJesus spread the word... pic.twitter.com/rNZMEZEKs5— Anita Dunham-Potter (@ExpertCruiser) April 9, 2018
Others left sticks ready at a rink in the players’ memory.
Explained to the boys why some other boys might borrow their sticks for a game in heaven. #putyoursticksout beside the #backyardrink at sunset and a pack of coyotes started to howl. A somber moment for sure. #prayforhumbolt from Chatsworth, ON @HumboldtBroncos #odr #odrbuilder pic.twitter.com/NAXtjZw76X— Shelley Jackson (@sjacksondesign) April 10, 2018
And if there wasn’t a stick available, a jersey and a puck took the place.
@DarrenDreger I don't have a stick, but here are a couple sweaters & a puck in case the boys need them from Chambersburg, PA. #PrayersForHumboldt 💚💛 #HumboldtStrong God Bless Humboldt. ❤🙏 pic.twitter.com/TrjeU2sn3J— #3ELIEVE 🐧🦋 #LetsGoPens #SHALIEVE (@PghGrlAtHeart) April 9, 2018
While at the Hockey Hall of Fame, the sticks had a place of honor next to the Stanley Cup.
Ten players with the Humboldt Broncos died in a crash last week. They were on the way to a playoff game when the team’s bus hit a tractor-trailer in Saskatchewan. Five others with connections to the team -- including two coaches, a volunteer statistician, a broadcaster and the bus driver -- also died, The Washington Post reported.
Fourteen others were hurt, CTV News reported.
Fifteen people were killed and 14 others were injured Friday after a bus carrying a Canadian junior hockey team and a tractor-trailer collided in western Canada, CNN reported.
The crash happened in Saskatchewan. Members of the Humboldt Broncos were traveling to Nipawin for a playoff game in the western Canadian province when the crash occurred around 5 p.m. north of Tisdale, CNN reported.
Three of the 14 people wounded were in critical condition, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police told CTV.
“We can now confirm 14 people have died as a result of this collision,” the RCMP said in a release early Saturday. “The other 14 people were sent to hospital with a variety of injuries; three of these people have injuries that are critical in nature.”
Twenty-eight people, including the driver, were on the bus at the time of the crash, police said.
Authorities have not identified the victims and would not confirm whether they were players or coaches.
"Our thoughts and prayers are extended to the families of our staff and athletes as well as to all who have been impacted by this horrible tragedy," Kevin Garinger, the team's president said in a statement. "Our Broncos family is in shock as we try to come to grips with our incredible loss."
The team was scheduled to play Friday. The team lost in triple overtime to the Nipawin Hawks on Wednesday night.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted his condolences to the victims of the crash.
Michelle Straschnitzki, who lives in Airdrie, said her 18-year old son Ryan had been taken to hospital in Saskatoon.
“We talked to him, but he said he couldn’t feel his lower extremities so I don’t know what’s going on,” she told Canadian Press. “I am freaking out. I am so sad for all of the teammates and I am losing my mind.”
Darren Opp, president of the Nipawin Hawks, said a semi T-boned the players’ bus.
“It’s a horrible accident, my God,” he told the Canadian Press. “It’s very, very bad.
“It’s terrible. It’s absolutely terrible.”
An online fundraising campaign set up for family members of the team had raised more than $60,000 early Saturday.
The Humboldt Broncos were heading to Nipawin, Saskatchewan, when the bus the players and coaches were riding on was T-boned by a tractor-trailer. Here are a few things to know about this junior team that plays in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
Home base: Humboldt is a city in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada. It is located 70 miles west of Saskatoon.
Trailing series: Humboldt was facing a 3-1 series deficit in the semifinals of their SJHL series. The Broncos lost in triple overtime to Napawin on Wednesday night in Humboldt. Game 5 was postponed by the junior-A league Friday night. Game 6 was scheduled for Sunday in Humboldt. The Estevan Bruins had already advanced to the championship final.
Great record: The Broncos are the most successful team in SJHL history, winning 10 league championships. Humboldt has won the RBC Cup, which is Canada’s junior A championship, two times since 1996.
Broncos in the NHL: Humboldt has produced six players who have played in the NHL since the Broncos were founded in 1970: Sheldon Brookbank, Curt Giles, Neil Hawryliw, Grant Jennings, Bill McDougall and Terry Ruskowski played for Humboldt. Jennings won a pair of Stanley Cup titles with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991 and 1992.
From all over: Humboldt team president Kevin Garinger said the Broncos roster includes players from Edmonton, Slave Lake and Airdrie in Alberta and from Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Authorities mixed up the identities of two players involved in the bus crash involving members of the Humboldt Broncos that killed 15 people, a spokesman for Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Justice told Canadian Press.
Drew Wilby said Monday that officials at the coroner’s office misidentified the body of Parker Tobin, 18, for that of Xavier Labelle.
Labelle is injured but alive, Wilby said. Tobin is among the 15 who were killed when the bus carrying the junior hockey team to a playoff game in northeastern Saskatchewan collided with a tractor-trailer Friday.
Wilby said the coroner’s office followed standard procedure to identify the victim, but the mixup occurred because the players had all dyed their hair blond, were around the same age and had the same athletic build, Canadian Press reported.
Over the weekend, Tobin’s family had tweeted that the goalie was alive .
“This is one of the hardest posts I have ever had to make,” Rhonda Clarke Tobin wrote Saturday. “Parker is stable at the moment and being airlifted to Saskatoon hospital. Thank you all for your kind words and messages. Please continue to pray for his Humboldt family.”
Labelle's family had confirmed his death over the weekend before the mistake was revealed.
Wilby said dental records are the best way to make an identification, but would take days to track down because the players lived in different areas of western Canada, Canadian Press reported.
Wilby said the mistake was “unprecedented,” adding that the families affected have been very understanding.
Humboldt Mayor Rob Muench called it “an unfortunate mistake.”
“It’s hard to comprehend that,” he told The Associated Press.
Broncos club President Kevin Garinger said he was contacted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police early Monday.
“At this point, I just want to reach out and support the families,” Garinger told the AP. “It’s not about understanding anything.”
Fourteen people also were injured in the collision.
A vigil for those killed was held at the team’s home arena and was attended by thousands, Canadian Press reported.
Among those attending was Nick Shumlanski, the first player released from hospital.
On Sunday night, he tweeted out a statement saying the support he's received has been helpful.
"Although reality hasn't really set in yet, it is truly devastating to have lost so many close friends, brothers and amazing coaches. Times are tough right now but the support you all have shown is so amazing," he wrote.
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