The opening game of the 2018-19 SJHL season was played Wednesday night, as the Humboldt Broncos played host to the Nipawin Hawks. The evening was an emotional one, as it was the first game played by the Broncos since the tragic crash April 6th.
The game itself saw the Hawks skating to a 2-1 win to start the 50th season of SJHL hockey.
The Broncos were the first to get on the board, scoring a power-play goal in the second period when Michael Clarke beat Declan Hobbs for his first as a Bronco. Brayden Camrud, one of just two players on the Broncos roster who was on the bus last season, got the assist on the goal, along with Owen Guenter.
The Hawks tied the game up shortly afterwards, with Cole Beamin scoring his first of the season, assisted by Jake Tremblay and Arik Breton. The Hawks then took the lead when Jeremy Bisson was credited with a goal after Broncos goaltender Dane Dow inadvertently knocked the puck into the net with the butt end of his stick.
Neither team would score again, although the Broncos had a number of good chances. They outshot the visitors 40-26, with Hobbs making 39 saves for the win. At the other end, Dow stopped 24 of 26 shots faced.
After the game, the 1998 in attendance stayed in their seats, as the team honoured the 29 who were on the bus. Banners were unveiled commemorating the 16 who lost their lives on April 6th, and the 13 who were injured. The team announcing all the numbers worn by players on the bus would be retired.