A hockey player left paralyzed from the chest down in the horrific Humboldt Broncos bus crash earlier this year will be returning to the ice to take on a new game.
Ryan Straschnitzki is playing his first-ever sledge hockey game at the WinSport Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary on Saturday, Sept. 15 for the Cowboys ‘n Sleds event, in support of STARS Air Ambulance and StrazStrong Foundation.
Watch below from Aug. 17: Just months after the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, 19-year-old Ryan Straschnitzki is back on the ice relearning the game he loves. Guided by a former national team member, he’s making remarkable progress. Blake Lough reports.
Organizers said it’s about bringing people together to heal after the tragedy, while promoting services that responded to the scene.
In addition to paralysis, the 19-year-old suffered a spinal injury, broken ribs, a broken collar bone, a punctured lung and bleeding in his head and pelvis after the bus crash on April 6. Straschnitzki has since been in rehab, pursuing his dream of someday winning a gold medal for Canada.
“It’s important for us to raise some money for those two groups, but also to get Ryan on the ice and getting him back in a game situation and just having people there and making this an incredible experience for him to be back on the ice, playing hockey,” said Chris Cederstrand, co-chair of Cowboys ‘N Sleds.
Cederstrand added the event also serves to help Straschnitzki “[get] back some normalcy in his life and this is something that I know is missing from it.”
He said they hope to fill the stands at the event to give Straschnitzki a standing ovation as he gets on the ice.
Select jerseys worn during the game will be auctioned off online supporting the StrazStrong Society and Stars Air Ambulance.
You can bid on the jerseys starting Saturday afternoon here.
Country music singers George Canyon and Aaron Pritchett will put on a post-game acoustic-style musical event in the festival tent at WinSport.
Tickets to the game and concert are available here.
All players will be signing autographs before the game.
Doors open at noon with the puck-drop at 2 p.m. MT.
Global’s parent company, Corus Entertainment, is a media partner of this event. Other partners include Stars Air Ambulance, StrazStrong Foundation, Canadian Blood Services, Alberta Organ & Tissue Donation and Spinal Cord Injury Research Alberta.
Click through the photo gallery for photos of Straschnitzki at a sledge hockey practice in August:
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