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

Restaurants at the Prestige in Radium “ready and eager to welcome patrons”

Conrad’s Kitchen and Grill as well as Don Agave Cantina re-open.

Local company’s sweet burn fades

Local owners Dave and Kathy Sutherland are moving on, leaving stockpiles of their jelly dwindling.

Video invites visitors back to valley

Chamber video says: “Hey, hey! Come back and play, play.”

Invermere deer ‘hoofs’ woman and dog

Aggressive deer incidents increase this year, as woman and dog left bruised and injured

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

‘Trauma equals addiction’ – why some seek solace in illicit substances

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Most Read