All levels of Frog Lake T-Birds hockey came out to home to honour the Humboldt Broncos hockey team on Monday evening. Over 40 players and community members filled the arena to pay tribute to the 16 individuals who lost their lives due to the tragic bus crash on April 8th.
Frog Lake First Nations Youth & Recreation Development Director, Cliffton Cross, said the idea came from a community member, “The idea was brought forward by Tracy Abraham, our 2017-18 season assistant coach for the Frog Lake Midget T-Birds team.”
“We had 40 plus minor and junior players come out with their parents, along with our volunteers, coaching staffs and arena workers come out to support the effort.”
The evening included a candle light vigil, drum circle, and songs. One of the singers, Kache Waskahat, is known in the junior hockey world, said Cross.
“Kache Waskahat, who played the last half of the season with the Vegreville Rangers, also played the beginning of the season briefly with the Kalkaska Rhinos, with two players who were in the accident.” Waskahat spoke to address to tragedy’s impact within the Junior Hockey world and its players.
The atmosphere was sombre and respectful, said Cross.
“We had sweetgrass lit for the prayers to reach the families in mourning and a moment of silence follow by the honour song.” The song was sang by staff members, who travel the powwow trail during the off-season.
” I then spoke directly to the players on behalf of Frog Lake Minor Hockey and our community program, the Youth and Recreation Development Program – focusing on the need to respect all their hockey families, opposing teams with the game’s final act of shaking hands.”
We never know it will be the last time we have the opportunity to shake that person’s hand again.