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2 Survivors of the Canadian Ice Hockey Team Bus Crash Tragedy Suit Up and Return to the Rink

2 Survivors of the Canadian Ice Hockey Team Bus Crash Tragedy Suit Up and Return to the Rink

Five months after their bus crashed into a tractor-trailer and killed 16 team members of the Humboldt Broncos, two of the survivors returned to the ice.

Brayden Camrud and Derek Patter suited up on Wednesday night for the season opener of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, according to the Saskatoon Star Phoenix. The Broncos played the Nipawin Hawks in the first game of the season but fell short to their competitors, losing 2-1.

“It’s exciting,” Camrud said to the local publication prior to the game’s start. “At the same time, it’s scary, it’s overwhelming, it’s going to be sad — we’re paying tribute to the boys.”

A day ahead of the season opener, TSN released an original 12-minute film where they spoke to Camrud and Patter about the unimaginable tragedy and their return to hockey alongside many new team members.

“I’m just going to play for the guys that can’t play hockey anymore,” Patter told TSN. “To represent those 29 families, 29 people that were on that bus.”

Camrud and Patter were onboard the 28-passenger bus in April when it collided with a tractor-trailer in western Canada’s Saskatchewan province. The team, made up of athletes aged 16 to 20, was on its way to a playoff game in the town of Nipawin — the same town that the Broncos opened their 2018 season against.

Of the 29 people who were on the bus at the time of the crash, including team members, coaches, support staff, and the bus driver, 16 people were killed — 10 of them being players — while 13 others were injured. Camrud and Patter are the only two players to survive the crash and return to the sport.

“I thought it was important to the community of Humboldt that I don’t bail on them,” Camrud told TSN.

Prior to Wednesday’s game, community members showed their support to the Broncos by leaving hockey sticks outside of their front doors. Many shared photos on social media, paying tribute to the team with #HumboldtStrong and acknowledged how the community will “never forget” the unimaginable tragedy.

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