A sold out Elgar Petersen Arena witnessed the return of the Humboldt Broncos Wednesday night, as they played their first game of their new season with the Nipawin Hawks in town.
It’s the first time the Broncos have played since the team was involved in a bus crash that killed 16 members of the team, injuring another 13, while on their way to a playoff game in Nipawin last April.
Humboldt’s Mayor, Rob Muench said the game brought many fans from various places to Humboldt.
“There was lots of people from Nipawin, I talked to some of the fans there, and they said I think 150 people from Nipawin came along to watch and be with us,” Muench said. “I talked to a guy (Wednesday night) that drove here from Kelowna for the game, so it’s been something that’s overwhleming for our community I think.”
The team honoured the victims of the bus crash with a banner ceremony after the game, as well as various tributes throughout the night.
— Ryan McNally (@RyanE_McNally) September 13, 2018
Muench said this game is a major part of the healing process.
“It’s been a long five months, and I think people are ready to move to the next stage (with) a new hockey season coming up,” Muench said. “There’s still people that we’re concerned about in grieving, and that’s okay, they’ll get through everything at their own pace.”
While it was a tightly contested game the entire night, the hometown Broncos fell 2-1 to the Hawks.
The two teams will meet again Friday night in Nipawin.