Canadians were moved to tears on Saturday as they learned of the identities of the deceased on the bus that was driving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team to a crucial playoff game Friday against the Nipawin Hawks.
The father of Logan Schatz says his 20-year-old son had played for the Humboldt Broncos for the past four years and had been the team's captain for two of those.
It collided with a transport truck in Saskatchewan.
Canadiens defenceman Brett Lernout played 2 1/2 seasons in the WHL for the Swift Current Broncos, a team that was touched by tragedy when four players were killed in a bus crash in 1986. "Please continue to pray for his Humboldt family".
It is every parent's worst nightmare.
Darren Opp, president of the Nipawin Hawks, said a semi T-boned the players' bus.
"This team has been an incredible rock in this community", he said. He wasn't sure of their condition, but Stephenson said one of the players had to be airlifted from the scene with a fractured skull.
That's because many junior hockey teams in the country rely on a process called billeting - where local families take in determined young hockey players from across Canada and the United States.
Those involved with hockey - especially at the junior level - brought up the bus rides the players and staff embark on on a daily basis.
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"The bus, some of the best memories playing in junior hockey", added Jets blue-liner Josh Morrissey. "We know that the coroner and their office need to do their work and let families know".
"I think one thing that we underestimate with the impact of trauma, and PTSD, and going through things like this, is the magnitude of the impact", he says.
Kevin Henry, a coach who runs a hockey school in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, said he knows players on the team. "Sitting at home last night, when I saw that come up on my phone, I just felt sick".
Humboldt Mayor Rob Muench said in a statement Friday night that community members gathered at the Uniplex arena, awaiting news and further details.
Friday's crash is not the first highway accident to kill hockey players in Saskatchewan.
Three STARS Air Ambulance helicopters were dispatched to the scene after the crash.
"The Philadelphia Flyers are devastated to learn of the tragedy involving members of the Humboldt Broncos Junior ice hockey team", Flyers president Paul Holmgren said.
The team's play-by-play radio announcer Tyler Bieberw, who was travelling with the Broncos onboard the bus, was also killed. The Humboldt group took the Swift Current Broncos up on their offer of an affiliation between the Western Canada Hockey League Broncos and a new junior-A club. Condolences and tributes soon poured in across social media, including from his sister on Twitter.
I thank the first responders - the RCMP, the Provincial Response Team, and medical personnel - who worked tirelessly through the night, and continue to respond to this incredibly hard situation with courage and professionalism. It's open to North American-born players from the ages of 16 to 20.