Humboldt Broncos coach prepares team for emotional return to the ice

HUMBOLDT, Sask. — The head coach of the Humboldt Broncos says he’s not sure what to expect when his players get on the ice Wednesday night for their first regular-season game since the team was involved in a deadly bus crash.

Nathan Oystrick says he hopes its just like any other game and that the team is focused on playing its best.

But he says he knows it will probably be emotional, especially for the players who are returning to the Broncos this year.

The opponent Wednesday is the Nipawin Hawks, the same junior A hockey team the Broncos were on their way to play April 6 when their bus collided with a tractor-trailer at a rural intersection, killing 16.

Only two of the crash survivors — Derek Patter and Brayden Camrud — are back on the team this season and were to play in Wednesday’s sold-out game.

Oystrick takes over as coach from Darcy Haugan, who was also killed in the crash.

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