Hundreds of Glace Bay youth participate in 'Hockey for Humboldt' tournament
Sunday marked the one month anniversary of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, and a community far away from Saskatchewan continued the outpouring of support for Humboldt, as hundreds of players came out to a fundraising hockey tournament in a show of solidarity.
Decked out in Humboldt Broncos colours of green and yellow, and spread across three sections of Glace Bay's Dominion Rink, more than 300 players from Glace Bay Minor Hockey showed their support by participating in the ‘Hockey for Humboldt’ ball hockey tournament.
"What we've decided to do is give the money to the Humboldt Minor Hockey Association. Just to show our support for that association, we can't imagine how we would be affected in a similar situation," says Glace Bay Minor Hockey President James Edwards.
Last month, 16 members of the Humboldt Broncos Junior Hockey Team and Staff were killed on their way to a game when the bus they were travelling in collided with an 18-wheeler.
Millions have been raised for the victims and their families, with support for the small Saskatchewan community coming from around the world.
Everyone from the timekeepers to the referees volunteered their time.
"I coached and refereed hockey all my life. To see the Humboldt Broncos disaster, it's a lot of pain. It puts it in the bank that you just never know. Hockey players are important and hockey makes the world go round," says referee Nick Bonnar.
Among the crowd included Bill O'Brien who spent four seasons as a player with the Broncos.
"I've been able to chat with one of the families through Facebook, just to tell them we're thinking of them. My number was 17 and I was able to reach out to their number 17. Unfortunately he lost his life. It's just to let the family know we're still thinking of them and they have a lot of support," says O'Brien.
Organizers hope the tournament will become an annual tribute, happening every year on the anniversary of the tragedy.
"The hockey community sticks together and we wanted to show our support. Not only as Glace Bay Minor Hockey, but indeed the entire Cape Breton Regional Municipality," explains Edwards.
Everyone who participated in Sunday's tournament will also sign a banner that will be sent to Humboldt as a show of solidarity.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kyle Moore.