The Vegas Golden Knights invited the widow and two sons of Humboldt Broncos’ coach Darcy Haugan to Game 3 of the Western Conference final against the Winnipeg Jets in Las Vegas Wednesday night.
The Golden Knights welcomed Christina, Carson and Jackson ahead of the game to watch as the home team doubled up the visiting Jets 4-2.
“We’re honored to host Christina, Carson & Jackson, the family of Humboldt head coach & GM Darcy Haugan at tonight’s game #HumboldtStrong,” the team tweeted along with a photo of the family at ice level, decked out in Golden Knights jerseys.
The family received a loud ovation when they were introduced to the crowd during the game.
Haugan, 42, was one of 16 people killed when a bus carrying the the junior hockey team to a playoff game in Nipawin, Sask., collided with a semi-truck at a rural intersection north of Tisdale, on April 6. Thirteen others were injured in the horrific crash.
Following Wednesday night’s win, Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury invited the Haugan family into the dressing room, where the sons met with the Canadian hockey star.
As ESPN’s Arash Markazi reported, Carson and Jackson got to try on Fleury’s helmet and talk about the game. Photos show Fleury milling about with the boys, while each tried on the helmet.
Several hockey players have paid tribute to the Humboldt tragedy that shocked a nation. Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby honoured the team by having his team’s equipment manager customize a special team jersey with the Broncos’ name on the back, and a customized tag stitched inside the sweater.
Last week, the Humboldt Broncos announced they plan to be back on the ice next season. The club announced Friday much needed to be done to rebuild the team, including hiring a new general manager and head coach to replace Haugan.
“Darcy Haugan was selfless, inspirational and motivating, building up his players to be great ambassadors and role models both on the ice and in the community,” Garinger said in a statement.
“He was the coach every player wanted, and that other coaches wanted to emulate.”
–with a file from David Giles