A cross made out of hockey sticks is seen at the intersection of a fatal bus crash near Tisdale, Sask., Monday, April, 9, 2018. A bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos hockey team crashed into a truck en route to Nipawin for a game Friday night killing 15 and sending over a dozen more to the hospital. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

In Our Opinion: Humboldt hockey family

Small towns in Canada felt a collection pang in their hearts when they heard of the hockey tragedy

An entire community half the size of Prince Rupert is mourning a loss that is being felt across the country and beyond.

When reports of the bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team collided with a semi-truck on April 6 in Saskatchewan began, anyone who has ever lived in a small town, been on a hockey team, or driven their child three hours in a snowstorm to get to the arena on time, felt goosebumps and a pang in their heart.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a sports fan or not, Canada is a hockey country, and there are hockey towns in every nook and cranny on the map.

READ MORE: Former BCHL hockey player one of 15 dead in Broncos bus crash

Prince Rupert is one of them. The Rampage, Seawolves and the Raiders all travel for games, which usually means a long haul along Highway 16 where there have been numourous avalanches and closures. We all know what that drive is like in the winter, but it’s the love and dedication to the sport that makes the trip worthwhile for the parents and the kids.

This tragedy even goes beyond hockey lovers. We have basketball teams, swimmers, gymnists and ski bums, all who travel off the North Coast to pursue competition or even just for the love of their sport.

Let’s all take a moment this week and remember the Broncos, because even if we live 2,000km away from Humboldt, they were a part of the Canadian hockey family and their memories can live on with us as we continue to play for all of them.

On April 12, it’s Jersey Day for the Humboldt Broncos. Wear a jersey to school and show your support.

READ MORE: B.C. hockey moms’ jersey campaign supports Broncos

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