The driver of the Humboldt Broncos bus and the team's stats keeper are among the 15 people who were killed in a horrific crash with a semi-truck on Friday evening.
"I grew up playing hockey in Saskatchewan, so just do what you can to help out the hockey community".
A vigil will be held on the hockey team's home ice on Sunday night, and a makeshift stage and hundreds of chairs sit ready for the memorial. The team were heading to the town of Nipawin for a play-off game. According to an online team roster, players range in age from 16 to 21 and many are from Saskatchewan, with two from Humboldt. During a big snowstorm this past winter, they all went out to clear people's driveways with shovels, former mayor Malcolm Eaton said.
"They become part of the family", said Mr Eaton.
Like many small towns across Canada, hockey is stitched into the identity of Humboldt, a farming and potash mining hub 87 miles northeast of Saskatoon.
Signs in Nipawin, Sask., hung before Game 5 of a semifinal in between host team Nipawin Hawks and the Humboldt Broncos.
By Saturday afternoon, there was a three-hour wait at a Saskatoon blood clinic with many people eager to donate to the victims. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said, the injured have been admitted in the hospital, with three of them in critical condition.
There and in different National Hockey League arenas - in cities akin to Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Nashville and Denver - gamers and followers who dwell a good distance from Saskatchewan additionally stood for a second of silence to honor those that misplaced their lives.
Our hearts, today, ache for Humboldt.
"I can not imagine what these parents are going through, and my heart goes out to everyone affected by this bad tragedy, in the Humboldt community and beyond", Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote in a tweet.
"To the entire Humboldt community: We are here for you. We will never forget them and we will be there for those who survived", he said. One tribute included a Kraft macaroni and cheese dinner box, which was a favorite meal of deceased forward Evan Thomas. The rest moved there from towns across Saskatchewan and neighboring provinces, and live with local families. Counseling services for the victims' relatives were offered in a nearby room.
"Our Broncos family is in shock as we try to come to grips with our incredible loss", Kevin Garinger, the team's president, said in a statement. "It's unbelievable how widespread this is and it's well beyond Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba".
Photos from the scenes of the crash show both vehicles overturned, with the team's bus partially busted open. He was barely able to retain his composure as he looked through enlarged photographs of the dead players.
However as NHL gamers and followers appeared ahead to subsequent week's begin of the Stanley Cup playoffs, many additionally targeted on Friday's tragic bus crash in Canada that killed 15 individuals - together with 10 younger novice hockey gamers.
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