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.

Just Posted

Rescued snowmobilers ill-prepared for emergency, Castlegar RCMP say

Two men rescued Wednesday night were not ready for overnight in back country

B.C. Interior free from measles

Vancouver measles outbreak hasn’t spread to the B.C. Interior

Boundary Showcase, Take a Seat exhibits call for submissions

The upcoming spring exhibits call for community involvement.

Celebrating Family Day at Wilgress Lake fishing derby

The annual event was attended by over 125 people.

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Australian woman killed in avalanche while snowboarding at Whistler Blackcomb

The woman and her partner were reportedly rescued by ski patrol, but the woman died in hospital

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

Regulator’s report unlikely to settle Trans Mountain pipeline expansion battle

The Trans Mountain pipeline will remain a controversial topic both in the political ring and out

B.C. woman shares story of abuse with church officials ahead of Vatican summit

Leona Huggins was the only Canadian in the gathering ahead of a historic summit at the Vatican

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

Most Read