The Humboldt Broncos are headed to the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoffs almost one year after the team's bus collided with a transport truck in a deadly crash.
The Broncos rebuilt their roster this season after the crash last April in Saskatchewan, Canada, when the team was traveling to a playoff game. Sixteen people, including 10 players, were killed in the crash and an additional 13 players were injured.
Two survivors from the crash, centers Brayden Camrud and Derek Patter, returned to the Broncos' roster this season. Camrud, who scored 27 goals this year, suffered a severe concussion and lost feeling in his left arm as a result of the crash. Patter, who still deals with a leg injury, recorded 10 goals this season.
The league's regular season concluded on Tuesday night, and the Broncos finished sixth out of 12 teams. They went 35–19–4 for the season with 74 points. Humboldt will face the Estevan Bruins in the first round of the playoffs starting on Friday, March 15.
Broncos alternate captain Michael Clarke told The Canadian Press that having Camrud and Patter on the team motivates everyone.
"It’s good in the sense that it helps us relate to what happened even more," Clarke said. "Seeing two guys, Brayden and Derek, to be able to play through something like that and come back this year.
"They want to play the game they love — it motivates the rest of the guys."
Broncos player Logan Boulet, who was killed in the crash, is the subject of a new documentary available now on SI TV,
The final Broncos player, Morgan Gobeil, was released from the hospital on Monday—333 days after the crash. Gobeil has undergone multiple medical procedures in the past year and been through occupational, physical and speech therapy. However, he has not regained his speech or his ability to walk yet, but his family "remains hopeful that those will be the kind of milestones we will someday be able to celebrate," the Saskatchewan Health Authority released in a statement.
The truck driver responsible for the crash pleaded guilty to all charges in January.