LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 20: Christina Haugan, wife of Humboldt Broncos junior hockey league team coach Darcy Haugan, hugs Brayden Camrud of the Broncos after she accepted the inaugural Willie O'Ree Community Hero Award on Darcy Haugan's behalf during the 2018 NHL Awards presented by Hulu at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on June 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Many across the hockey community put their sticks out one last time for the Humbolt Broncos’ emotional return to the ice. This marks the first time after the tragic bus accident in April of 2018. From the pregame ceremony to the post-game ceremony, it was both uplifting and gut-wrenching to watch.

The Humboldt Broncos Emotional Return to the Ice

As the media from all over the country descended upon the small town of Humboldt, Saskatchewan to watch this game, the rest of the country tuned in to watch the broadcast. The ceremonial puck drop broke tradition and had 2 Humboldt Broncos line up to take the face off. Brayden Camrud and Derek Patter were the only two players involved in the bus accident last spring to be in the line up with the Broncos. They lined up to face each other in the faux face off. The puck was dropped by 8 of the players injured in the bus accident in what amounted to be a powerful moment. “I think it is a step in the healing process,” said Kaleb Dahlgren.

The Broncos Open the Scoring

The Broncos were up against the Nipawin Hawks. The same team The Broncos were en route to meet the day of the bus crash. Hockey’s “good guys” opened the scoring. Michael Clarke scored the season-opening goal for the Humboldt Broncos. This first goal was met with the roar that sounded like it came from the inside of an NHL arena. Though the Elgar Petersen Arena holds less than 1900 people. The Broncos eventually fell 2-1 to the Nipawin Hawks. Head coach Nathan Oystrick said, “all in all, I thought it was a really good game”

The Hockey World Will Never Forget

Following the game, was a ceremony to honor all 29 of those involved in the bus accident. The organization thanked the over 150 of the first responders that helped the team in April of last year. Evan Thomas’ father, Scott Thomas, gave a speech to thank everyone who supported the families in the wake of the tragedy.

Though the team looked very different than the one that laced up the skates last year, we will not forget the ones that didn’t get a chance to do so this year.

Main Image: Embed from Getty Images

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