On ice reunion for 2 injured Humboldt Broncos hockey players

Seven months after they were both paralyzed in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash Ryan Straschnitzki and Jacob Wassermann will finally have a proper reunion. Humboldt Broncos bus crash survivor Ryan Straschnitzki, centre, plays in a fund raising sledge hockey game in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. Jeff McIntosh / The Canadian Press

Seven months after they were both paralyzed in a devastating bus crash, Humboldt Broncos teammates Ryan Straschnitzki and Jacob Wassermann will have a proper reunion.

Straschnitzki, a defenceman, and Wassermann, a goaltender, last played together in April during the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) playoffs.

But the hockey team’s season was cut short when a crash between the Broncos bus and a semi-trailer at a rural intersection killed 16 people and left 13 others with serious injuries.

READ MORE: Humboldt Broncos unveil 29 banners to honour victims of bus crash

The two young men have been in contact constantly since the accident, which paralyzed Straschnitzki from the chest down and Wassermann from the navel down.

Story continues below advertisement

Both have turned to sledge hockey to keep their on-ice dream alive, and they’ve been invited to participate in a short exhibition game at the University of Denver on Friday.

WATCH BELOW: Former Humboldt Bronco makes victorious return to the ice

Click to play video: 'Former Humboldt Bronco makes victorious return to the ice' Former Humboldt Bronco makes victorious return to the ice
Former Humboldt Bronco makes victorious return to the ice – Sep 16, 2018

“We’re going to an NCAA game and you know that was mine and Wassermann’s goal – to play college hockey or pro hockey and it’s going to be exciting,” said Straschnitzki.

“During the intermission, we’re playing a little sledge hockey scrimmage, so it’ll be the first time I’m on the ice with Wassermann since back in April, so I’m pretty pumped.”

The scrimmage will be during an extended first period of a National Collegiate Athletic Association game between the University of Denver Pioneers and the Providence Friars.

Story continues below advertisement

The weekend will also include dropping the puck at an NHL Colorado Avalanche game as well as attending an NFL game with the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

READ MORE: Humboldt Broncos player learns old skills after bus crash

Straschnitzki is most excited about the on-ice reunion.

“It’s going to be thrilling, exciting, a whole mix of emotions, but I’m happy that I have him. We went through similar injuries and we’re there for each other,” he said.

“We’re going through the same thing right now and, if we have each other’s backs, I think one day we’ll get through it.”

READ MORE: Humboldt Broncos player returns to the ice for first-ever sledge hockey game

The invitation to Denver came from The Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation, a charity which helps adult hockey players and their families in times of crises due to catastrophic injury or illness.

“It’s going to be really, really great,” said Marty Richardson, executive director for Dawg National.

Straschnitzki played in an exhibition sledge hockey charity game in Calgary in September. He practises four nights a week and aims to represent Canada at the Winter Olympics.


Sponsored content