HUMBOLDT, SK – The country continues to mourn the victims of the Humboldt Broncos tragedy.
The Junior A hockey team’s bus collided with a semi-truck Friday evening.
14 people were injured, while 15 fatalities have been reported.
A cause for the crash has yet to be released. The team was on its way to Nipawin for a Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoff game.
Pete Montana is the female director and coach of the Ontario Hockey Academy.
He spoke with Vista Radio on Monday morning.
“At this academy, we have eight buses that are on the road all the time with all of our student athletes over the winter season, so this is something that hits very close to home,” Montana said.
The life of a hockey player on the road can be quite taxing, according to Montana.
“It is a huge commitment. Even if you look at the Powell River Kings (of the BCHL), the amount of travel they have to do just because of where they are situated, just to be able to play Junior A hockey, it’s an incredible commitment for any player,” he said.
“It’s long days on the bus, and long nights on the bus. For our student athletes, we actually have study halls on the bus because we are on the road so much that they have to actually be able to do their homework and study on the bus to keep up.”
He said that this incident has brought the hockey community together and made it even stronger.
“I think it’s certainly galvanized our country and galvanized the hockey community and I hate to sound stereotypical but in Canada, that’s just what we do,” he said.
“We just pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off, we help out our brothers and sisters in need as best as we can and put one foot in front of the other and move on.”
The governor of the VIJHL’s Comox Valley Glacier Kings, Marsha Webb, released a statement to 98.9 The Goat on behalf of the team.
“I would be remiss if I did not mention that the Glacier Kings are equally as traumatized by this tragedy as most everyone else. Having said that we are so proud to be part of the hockey community and the people involved, the generosity is so overwhelming by caring Canadians as our thoughts and prayers are with the Humboldt Broncos, their families, friends, and hockey community. Tragedies like this can happen to anybody at anytime,” she said.
A GoFundMe campaign started to support the victims two days ago has raised over $6 million. You can donate to the cause through this link.