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Ryan Straschnitzki to play 1st-ever sledge hockey game at Cowboys ‘n Sleds event

Ryan Straschnitzki to play 1st-ever sledge hockey game at Cowboys ‘n Sleds event
WATCH: It’s called Cowboys ‘n Sleds, a charity sledge hockey game this weekend in Calgary. Some of the players include country singer George Canyon and drivers and outriders from the World Professional Chuckwagon Association. As Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports, a survivor of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash is the guest of honour.

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.

Humboldt bus crash survivor Ryan Straschnitzki working towards sledge hockey dream
Humboldt bus crash survivor Ryan Straschnitzki working towards sledge hockey dream

READ MORE: Humboldt survivor Ryan Straschnitzki on how sledge hockey helps him ‘stay part of the game’

Organizers said it’s about bringing people together to heal after the tragedy, while promoting services that responded to the scene.

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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.

READ MORE: Humboldt Broncos player learns old skills after bus crash: ‘It’s almost like you’re restarting life again’

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.

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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:

Erika Bruns poses with Straz after his intense sledge hockey practice in August 2018. .
Erika Bruns poses with Straz after his intense sledge hockey practice in August 2018. . Kimberly Parsons/Global News
Ryan Straschnitzki and his sledge hockey coach will both be participating in the Cowboys 'n Sleds event Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018.
Ryan Straschnitzki and his sledge hockey coach will both be participating in the Cowboys 'n Sleds event Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. Kimberly Parsons/Global News
Ryan Straschnitzki is playing his first-ever sledge hockey game at the WinSport Markin MacPhail Centre on Sept. 15, 2018 for the Cowboys 'n Sleds event.
Ryan Straschnitzki is playing his first-ever sledge hockey game at the WinSport Markin MacPhail Centre on Sept. 15, 2018 for the Cowboys 'n Sleds event. Kimberly Parsons/Global News
Straz practising sledge hockey with his two younger brothers, Jett and Connor.
Straz practising sledge hockey with his two younger brothers, Jett and Connor. Kimberly Parsons/Global News
Ryan Straschnitzki is playing his first-ever sledge hockey game at the WinSport Markin MacPhail Centre on Sept. 15, 2018 for the Cowboys 'n Sleds event.
Ryan Straschnitzki is playing his first-ever sledge hockey game at the WinSport Markin MacPhail Centre on Sept. 15, 2018 for the Cowboys 'n Sleds event. Kimberly Parsons/Global News
Ryan Straschnitzki and his sledge hockey coach will both be participating in the Cowboys 'n Sleds event on Sept. 15, 2018.
Ryan Straschnitzki and his sledge hockey coach will both be participating in the Cowboys 'n Sleds event on Sept. 15, 2018. Kimberly Parsons/Global News
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Ryan Straschnitzki receives stick-handling tips from former Team Canada sledge hockey player Chris Cederstrand.
Ryan Straschnitzki receives stick-handling tips from former Team Canada sledge hockey player Chris Cederstrand. Kimberly Parsons/Global News
Straz proudly sports his Humboldt Broncos helmet while practising sledge hockey.
Straz proudly sports his Humboldt Broncos helmet while practising sledge hockey. Kimberly Parsons/Global News
Ryan Straschnitzki shoots and scores while practising his sledge hockey skills.
Ryan Straschnitzki shoots and scores while practising his sledge hockey skills. Kimberly Parsons/Global News
Humboldt Broncos bus crash survivor Ryan Straschnitzki will soon be able to show off his skills while participating in Cowboys ‘N Sleds charity sledge hockey game on Sept. 15.
Humboldt Broncos bus crash survivor Ryan Straschnitzki will soon be able to show off his skills while participating in Cowboys ‘N Sleds charity sledge hockey game on Sept. 15. Kimberly Parsons/Global News
Humboldt Broncos bus crash survivor Ryan Straschnitzki learns the importance of balance and core strength while on his sled.
Humboldt Broncos bus crash survivor Ryan Straschnitzki learns the importance of balance and core strength while on his sled. Kimberly Parsons/Global News