Ryan Straschnitzki takes to the ice to practice his sledge hockey skills in Calgary on Tuesday, August 7, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol

‘I’m pretty pumped:’ On-ice reunion for injured Humboldt Broncos

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.

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

Straschnitzki, a defenceman, and Wasserman, a goaltender, last played together in April during the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League 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.

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

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.

“We’re going to an NCAA game and you know that was mine and Wasserman’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 Wasserman since back in April, so I’m pretty pumped.”

Read more: Elgar Petersen, namesake for the Humboldt Broncos’ home rink, dies at 82

Read more: ‘It’s a road trip that we never finished:’ Humboldt Broncos back on the ice

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.

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.

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.”

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.

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Town grants Chamber $20K

Chamber estimates up to $65K in lost revenue, turns to council for help

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

New Salt Boutique the realization of a vision for owner Caroline Marko

Marko combines the rough and the soft in a minimalist, clean airy space

Coastal GasLink pipeline work ramps up

With spring thaw ending, workers start to arrive for summer season

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Most Read