Former Humboldt Broncos teammates Ryan Straschnitzki and Jacob Wassermann reunited again on ice for the first time since the horrific crash that claimed 16 people and left 13 others with serious injuries.

Straschnitzki, paralyzed from the chest down, and Wasserman, from the navel down, participated in an exhibition sledge hockey game at the University of Denver on Friday Oct. 23.

A “spinal cord injury is one of the most devastating injuries that may affect an individual.” Despite the tragedies they have faced, the young men continue to push forward, with the help of their hockey community. Sledge hockey has become an outlet to keep their on-ice hockey dream alive.

A study published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, depicted a greater association between life satisfaction and physical activity and group participation when individuals affected by spinal cord injuries experienced community involvement. Support goes a long way, and can help change one’s life from devastation to hope.

The Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation has allowed these players to continue with their love of sport. Originally formed to honour a fallen friend in their hockey community, the foundation has grown into an important resource for many families in need. Over $1,300,000 has been donated since the creation and the number of simply kind gestures continue.

The events that followed the crash have shown the ever-growing family dynamic in the hockey community. Neighbour helping neighbour. Hand helping hand.

Featured image:  Jacob Wassermann, left, with Ryan Straschnitzki (Source: Joe Mahoney/CP)


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