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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Town of Ladysmith receives $3.3 million grant for Arts & Heritage Hub

The funds will go to creating artist studios around the Machine Shop and maintaining heritage assets

Extension given for Cowichan region homeless tenting sites

Meeting with BC Housing to determine the next step

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses claim against Island Corridor Foundation

Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation was seeking return of reserve land as railway sits unused

What’s in a name? Ladysmith’s historical streets re-examined

Several streets in downtown Ladysmith are named after generals that served in the Boer War

UPDATE: Knuckles has been returned to LCHC display

Knuckles was stolen between 11:00am - 12:00pm on July 1

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

Most Read