Exactly three months after a horrific bus crash that has claimed the lives of 16 people, injured others and devastated the global hockey community, a charity hockey tournament hit the ice north of Edmonton to pay tribute to the Humboldt Broncos and raise money for their families.
“Over the next few days we’re going to play some hockey for the boys we lost,” said Connor Tupala, one of the tournament’s organizers. “This is the best way we know to lift up their legacies; to play the game we love, for the ones we love — the game that brought us all together in the first place.”
The tournament is taking place at the Mark Messier Arena in St. Albert, Alta., a community deeply impacted by the April 6 crash near Tisdale, Sask. Four of the Broncos who died once played hockey in St. Albert with the Raiders: Logan Hunter, Jaxon Joseph, Conner Lukan and Stephen Wack.
“Logan, Jaxon, Conner and Stephen. We miss you. You will always be forever young. See you on the ice,” Tupala said.
The tournament is raising money for the St. Albert Humboldt Remembrance Committee and the Humboldt Strong Community Foundation.
Watch below: On July 5, 2018, Kevin Karius spoke to the organizers of a hockey tournament in St. Albert in support of the Humboldt Broncos.
“We’ve all been knocked down, and you guys have done a wonderful job of picking us up,” Chris Joseph, whose son Jaxon was killed in the crash, told the crowd. “For that we thank you. We are so extremely proud of all of you.”
WATCH: ‘Let’s have some fun’: Mother of Humboldt Broncos’ Logan Hunter thanks organizers of charity tournament
Tyler Smith and Derek Patter, two Broncos who survived the crash, appeared at centre ice for a photo before the puck was dropped.
The tournament features four teams, each named after a former St. Albert Raider who died in the crash.
WATCH: Chris Joseph thanks hockey community for ‘picking us up’ after Humboldt Broncos bus crash
The puck dropped on the tournament just hours after the RCMP announced the driver of the semi-truck that collided with the Broncos’ bus had been charged.
Jaskirat Sidhu is facing 16 charges of dangerous driving of a motor vehicle causing death. He is also facing 13 counts of dangerous driving of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm.
–With files from Global News’ Sarah Kraus