Offers of help are pouring in for families of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team, which was involved in a horrific crash that left 15 dead and 14 others injured.
The accident occurred Friday when a truck collided with a bus carrying the junior hockey team to a playoff game in northeastern Saskatchewan. No names were released and police would not say whether the dead include players or coaches.
A photo tweeted early Saturday showed three players lying in side-by-side hospital beds, holding hands.
The mother of former NHLer Colby Armstrong tweeted that families could contact her if they needed a place to stay in Saskatoon.
Canalta Hotels were offering to take in family members of those affected.
In a post on Facebook, P3 Sports Inc. said ice time was booked at the Cochrane Arena Saturday from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. to rally the hockey community “to raise money for another hockey community that has lost so much.”
The $5-per-person skate will raise funds for the Humbolt Broncos gofundme initiative.
Since it was created Friday night, the fundraising campaign has collected more than $850,000 as of Saturday at noon. As of 5:30 p.m. Saturday, it had grown to $1.8 million.
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Hockey teams and players from leagues across North America tweeted messages of support, many with the hashtag #prayersforhumboldt.
“I cannot imagine what these parents are going through, and my heart goes out to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy, in the Humboldt community and beyond,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote on Twitter late Friday.
Hundreds of people gathered Friday night at the Apostolic Church in Nipawin, waiting for information.
Broncos president Kevin Garinger says the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League team includes players from Edmonton, Slave Lake and Airdrie in Alberta and from Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Garinger said the Broncos are a close-knit team from the small city of about 6,000 people 110 kilometres east of Saskatoon.
The team was on its way to play in Game 5 of a semifinal against the Nipawin Hawks.
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Darren Opp, president of the Hawks, said a semi T-boned the players’ bus.
The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League is a Junior ‘A’ hockey league under Hockey Canada, which is part of the Canadian Junior Hockey League. It’s open to North American-born players between the ages of 16 and 20.
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