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Humboldt Broncos

Jonathan Alfano, Sports Reporter

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What should have been a dream come true for any hockey player turned into a living nightmare.

On April 6, 2018, The Humboldt Broncos, a team that plays in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, were headed to a playoff game in Nipawin, Saskatchewan. Around 5 p.m. local time, the team bus collided with a semi-truck at an intersection. The resulting crash was the most deadly crash involving a sports team in North America, leaving 14 people dead initially. The other 15 people suffered injuries, with three left in critical condition.

Among those who died were head coach Darcy Haugan, an assistant coach, ten players, including team captain Logan Schatz, a statistician, an athletic therapist, and the bus driver.

The incident caused an immediate reaction of the entire hockey world. The president of the SJHL, Bill Chow, said that the accident was the league’s “worst nightmare.” Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock, a native of Saskatchewan, said in an interview the day after, “I can’t even imagine being a parent, or the wife, or the kids at home, going through something like this. The hockey world is an unbelievable world…you can’t make up for the loss, you just can’t. It’s going to rip the heart out of your chest.”

A number of tributes to the team were made in the aftermath. The most notable of these involved the Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks, who both wore “Broncos” on the nameplate for every player. Both teams also donated $25,000 to the Humboldt Broncos. Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby sent personalized photos to the survivors, and every member of the Penguins signed a custom jersey to be delivered to the Broncos, and each donated $10,000.

The GoFundMe page to aid the survivors reached over 4 million dollars in one day, and currently sits at over 15 million dollars in donations.

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Humboldt Broncos