A group of Maritime kids are honouring Humboldt in a way that would no doubt make the Broncos themselves proud.

They’re holding a fundraising road hockey tournament one month after the crash, and plan to play every year on the anniversary of the tragedy.

“If that happened to us, it’d be the same thing,” says minor hockey player Luke Sinclair. “I can just picture how sad that would be if it happened to my friends. So all of those people, friends and family of those people, it’s just so sad. So it means a lot to raise money for those kids.”

The children’s sheer joy for the game is in itself a tribute to the feelings shared by the Broncos players and staff.

That’s why they insist this will be a celebration of hockey, rather than mourning a loss.

“It’ll be more happiness than sad,” explains minor hockey player Keegan O’Neill, “because you’re trying to forget, but you’re going to try to remember too.”       

Glace Bay Minor Hockey is hoping to have as many as 500 kids come out and play, and they are issuing a call to other minor hockey associations across the country.

“We’re putting a challenge across the country,” adds Brian O’Neill, who’s with the minor hockey association. “Hopefully other associations will get involved and have their own minor hockey day, and road hockey tournament. And maybe this will be something we’ll make as an annual thing, in raising money.”

The game this year will be held on May 6, the one month anniversary of the Broncos bus crash.

Now, the plan for subsequent years is to hold the game on April 6, the anniversary of the tragedy.

“Whether it’s in Cape Breton, Humboldt, Saskatchewan, or Toronto, hockey’s a family,” says Brian O’Neill,” and everyone looks out for each other.”

The goal is for the game to serve as a life lesson for the kids, too, about sticking together in times of need.

“It’s gonna raise a lot of money,” says Luke Sinclair. “And here, they’re not going to remember the crash, they’re going to remember the road hockey tournament that helped the crash.”

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ryan MacDonald.