Almost exactly a year has passed since one of the most heartbreaking tragedies in Junior hockey history happened. Tuesday night, the Humboldt Bronco's season came to an end with a 3-2 OT loss in Game 7 of the SJHL playoffs.
Humboldt who actually led the series 3-1, ended up losing the next 4 straight games and was eliminated by the Estevan Bruins.
But the point of this piece is not to be a "downer", but to bring light to the positives that have happened over this past year.
The most important and most positive thing that has happened is that defenseman Morgan Gobeil, who suffered a serious head injury and was the last member of the surviving team in the hospital, was finally released after 333 days in stay.
Not only that but the unfortunate incident has brought the entire hockey community together, from youth to professionals, and provided recognition, support and outreach for everyone. Whether it was players leaving their hockey sticks outside the doors to their homes, or exceeding their goal and raising over 15 million dollars for emergency funds to the affected on gofundme from 80 different countries or players wearing memorial stickers on their helmets, everyone took part in the solidarity of being #HumboldtStrong.
One could say it would have been easy and understandable for the organization to shutdown or take a year off from league play, but the board of directors pushed forward, brought in new staff and built a roster around the surviving members who were able to play and gave the city of Humboldt as well as showed the entire world that even through times of darkness, there is still light.
Humboldt Mayor Rob Muench tweeted:
From all of us at TJHP, congratulations to a great season to the Humboldt Bronco's team! Your perseverance and attitude is what hockey is truly about!