Humboldt Broncos return to ice 5 months after bus crash

HUMBOLDT, Saskatchewan (AP) — Brayden Camrud and Derek Patter were back on the ice for the Humboldt Broncos on Wednesday night in the team's first game since 10 teammates and six other people were killed in a bus crash.

Camrud and Patter are the only survivors back with the junior hockey team. In a game televised commercial-free in Canada and the United States, the Broncos lost 2-1 to the Nipawin Hawks, the team they were travelling to face the night of the April crash with a tractor-trailer.

"We know that, while the darkness is much less, it will never truly leave us as it holds the love that we have left for those who are no longer with us and those who have been impacted by this tragedy," former Broncos president Kevin Garinger said. "But we will forever cherish their memories and honor their legacy and, as hard as it has been, we have and will continue to move forward with them and because of them."

SEE ALSO: Canadian police charge truck driver in hockey team bus crash

Michael Clark opened the scoring for the Broncos early in the second period during a 5-and-3 power play, with Camrud earning an assist. Nipawin's Cole Beamin and Jeremy Bisson scored in a 3:29 span late in the period. The teams will meet again Friday night in Nipawin.

"In the wake of this tragedy, Humboldt has shown incredible resilience and strength," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during a Liberal caucus meeting in Saskatoon. "Canadians were quick to share their love, support, generosity and kindness in a moment when it was so desperately needed. So to the people of Humboldt, know that we are with you. Know that we will continue to support you as you heal."

Friends, family remember the Humboldt Broncos: 

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Family, friends remember the Humboldt Broncos
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Family, friends remember the Humboldt Broncos
People look at photos of the victims during a vigil at the Elgar Petersen Arena, home of the Humboldt Broncos, to honour the victims of a fatal bus accident, April 8, 2018 in Humboldt, Canada. Mourners in the tiny Canadian town of Humboldt, still struggling to make sense of a devastating tragedy, prepared Sunday for a prayer vigil to honor the victims of the truck-bus crash that killed 15 of their own and shook North American ice hockey. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / JONATHAN HAYWARD (Photo credit should read JONATHAN HAYWARD/AFP/Getty Images)
Mourners embrace each other during a moment of prayer at a vigil at the Elgar Petersen Arena, home of the Humboldt Broncos, to honour the victims of a fatal bus accident, April 8, 2018 in Humboldt, Canada. Mourners in the tiny Canadian town of Humboldt, still struggling to make sense of a devastating tragedy, prepared Sunday for a prayer vigil to honor the victims of the truck-bus crash that killed 15 of their own and shook North American ice hockey. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / JONATHAN HAYWARD (Photo credit should read JONATHAN HAYWARD/AFP/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 07: The Arizona Coyotes and the Anaheim Ducks observe a moment of silence in honor of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team prior to a game at Gila River Arena on April 7, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)
A man wears a Humboldt Broncos shirt during a vigil at the Elgar Petersen Arena, home of the Humboldt Broncos, to honour the victims of a fatal bus accident, April 8, 2018 in Humboldt, Canada. Mourners in the tiny Canadian town of Humboldt, still struggling to make sense of a devastating tragedy, prepared Sunday for a prayer vigil to honor the victims of the truck-bus crash that killed 15 of their own and shook North American ice hockey. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / JONATHAN HAYWARD (Photo credit should read JONATHAN HAYWARD/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman wipes tears from her eyes during a vigil at the Elgar Petersen Arena, home of the Humboldt Broncos, to honour the victims of a fatal bus accident, April 8, 2018 in Humboldt, Canada. Mourners in the tiny Canadian town of Humboldt, still struggling to make sense of a devastating tragedy, prepared Sunday for a prayer vigil to honor the victims of the truck-bus crash that killed 15 of their own and shook North American ice hockey. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / JONATHAN HAYWARD (Photo credit should read JONATHAN HAYWARD/AFP/Getty Images)
Mourners embrace each other during a moment of prayer at a vigil at the Elgar Petersen Arena, home of the Humboldt Broncos, to honour the victims of a fatal bus accident, April 8, 2018 in Humboldt, Canada. Mourners in the tiny Canadian town of Humboldt, still struggling to make sense of a devastating tragedy, prepared Sunday for a prayer vigil to honor the victims of the truck-bus crash that killed 15 of their own and shook North American ice hockey. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / JONATHAN HAYWARD (Photo credit should read JONATHAN HAYWARD/AFP/Getty Images)
A musician plays as mourners gather during a vigil at the Elgar Petersen Arena, home of the Humboldt Broncos, to honour the victims of a fatal bus accident, April 8, 2018 in Humboldt, Canada. Mourners in the tiny Canadian town of Humboldt, still struggling to make sense of a devastating tragedy, prepared Sunday for a prayer vigil to honor the victims of the truck-bus crash that killed 15 of their own and shook North American ice hockey. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / JONATHAN HAYWARD (Photo credit should read JONATHAN HAYWARD/AFP/Getty Images)
People leave a vigil at the Elgar Petersen Arena, home of the Humboldt Broncos, to honour the victims of a fatal bus accident, April 8, 2018 in Humboldt, Canada. Mourners in the tiny Canadian town of Humboldt, still struggling to make sense of a devastating tragedy, prepared Sunday for a prayer vigil to honor the victims of the truck-bus crash that killed 15 of their own and shook North American ice hockey. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / JONATHAN HAYWARD (Photo credit should read JONATHAN HAYWARD/AFP/Getty Images)
People lay flowers during a vigil at the Elgar Petersen Arena, home of the Humboldt Broncos, to honour the victims of a fatal bus accident, April 8, 2018 in Humboldt, Canada. Mourners in the tiny Canadian town of Humboldt, still struggling to make sense of a devastating tragedy, prepared Sunday for a prayer vigil to honor the victims of the truck-bus crash that killed 15 of their own and shook North American ice hockey. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / JONATHAN HAYWARD (Photo credit should read JONATHAN HAYWARD/AFP/Getty Images)
Mourners comfort each other during a vigil at the Elgar Petersen Arena, home of the Humboldt Broncos, to honour the victims of a fatal bus accident, April 8, 2018 in Humboldt, Canada. Mourners in the tiny Canadian town of Humboldt, still struggling to make sense of a devastating tragedy, prepared Sunday for a prayer vigil to honor the victims of the truck-bus crash that killed 15 of their own and shook North American ice hockey. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / JONATHAN HAYWARD (Photo credit should read JONATHAN HAYWARD/AFP/Getty Images)
A young man wipes away tears during a vigil at the Elgar Petersen Arena, home of the Humboldt Broncos, to honour the victims of a fatal bus accident, April 8, 2018 in Humboldt, Canada. Mourners in the tiny Canadian town of Humboldt, still struggling to make sense of a devastating tragedy, prepared Sunday for a prayer vigil to honor the victims of the truck-bus crash that killed 15 of their own and shook North American ice hockey. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / JONATHAN HAYWARD (Photo credit should read JONATHAN HAYWARD/AFP/Getty Images)
Mourners attend a vigil at the Elgar Petersen Arena, home of the Humboldt Broncos, to honour the victims of a fatal bus accident, April 8, 2018 in Humboldt, Canada. Mourners in the tiny Canadian town of Humboldt, still struggling to make sense of a devastating tragedy, prepared Sunday for a prayer vigil to honor the victims of the truck-bus crash that killed 15 of their own and shook North American ice hockey. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / JONATHAN HAYWARD (Photo credit should read JONATHAN HAYWARD/AFP/Getty Images)
Flowers lie at centre ice as people gather for a vigil at the Elgar Petersen Arena, home of the Humboldt Broncos, to honour the victims of a fatal bus accident, April 8, 2018 in Humboldt, Canada. Mourners in the tiny Canadian town of Humboldt, still struggling to make sense of a devastating tragedy, prepared Sunday for a prayer vigil to honor the victims of the truck-bus crash that killed 15 of their own and shook North American ice hockey. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / JONATHAN HAYWARD (Photo credit should read JONATHAN HAYWARD/AFP/Getty Images)
Pastor Sean Brandow speaks during a vigil at the Elgar Petersen Arena, home of the Humboldt Broncos, to honour the victims of a fatal bus accident, April 8, 2018 in Humboldt, Canada. Mourners in the tiny Canadian town of Humboldt, still struggling to make sense of a devastating tragedy, prepared Sunday for a prayer vigil to honor the victims of the truck-bus crash that killed 15 of their own and shook North American ice hockey. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / JONATHAN HAYWARD (Photo credit should read JONATHAN HAYWARD/AFP/Getty Images)
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Camrud overcame a severe concussion, loss of feeling in one of his arms and neck issues to make it back on the ice. He and Patter shared a brief hug after they skated on the ice. They took part in a ceremonial puck drop with other crash survivors, with goalie Jacob Wassermann using a wheelchair to get on the ice.

"I think it's a step in the healing process for sure," said survivor Kaleb Dahlgren, who is now playing college hockey in Ontario. "Playing tonight definitely helps heal the wounds but it won't for sure heal everything. There's still lots that need to be done."

The entrance to the Elgar Petersen Arena was lined with pictures of the people who died in the crash. Sixteen hockey sticks adorned with green and yellow ribbons were lined up outside, near a green bench with the words "Always in our hearts. 29 on the fateful ride, 16 souls died." Late coach Darcy Haugan's saying of "It's a great day to be a Bronco, gentlemen." is inscribed outside the dressing room.

See how the lost players were honored: 

12 PHOTOS
Families leave hockey sticks on doorsteps for Humboldt Broncos
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Families leave hockey sticks on doorsteps for Humboldt Broncos
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 10: Torontonians in the Beach area pay tribute to Humboldt victims with #PutYourStickOut displays. The Saskatchewan tragedy has prompted many to place a hockey stick on their front porch in honour of the players that were killed or injured in the bus crash. (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 10: Torontonians in the Beach area pay tribute to Humboldt victims with #PutYourStickOut displays. The Saskatchewan tragedy has prompted many to place a hockey stick on their front porch in honour of the players that were killed or injured in the bus crash. (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 10: Torontonians in the Beach area pay tribute to Humboldt victims with #PutYourStickOut displays. The Saskatchewan tragedy has prompted many to place a hockey stick on their front porch in honour of the players that were killed or injured in the bus crash. (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 10: Torontonians in the Beach area pay tribute to Humboldt victims with #PutYourStickOut displays. The Saskatchewan tragedy has prompted many to place a hockey stick on their front porch in honour of the players that were killed or injured in the bus crash. (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 10: Torontonians in the Beach area pay tribute to Humboldt victims with #PutYourStickOut displays. The Saskatchewan tragedy has prompted many to place a hockey stick on their front porch in honour of the players that were killed or injured in the bus crash. (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 10: Torontonians in the Beach area pay tribute to Humboldt victims with #PutYourStickOut displays. The Saskatchewan tragedy has prompted many to place a hockey stick on their front porch in honour of the players that were killed or injured in the bus crash. (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 10: Torontonians in the Beach area pay tribute to Humboldt victims with #PutYourStickOut displays. The Saskatchewan tragedy has prompted many to place a hockey stick on their front porch in honour of the players that were killed or injured in the bus crash. (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 10: Torontonians in the Beach area pay tribute to Humboldt victims with #PutYourStickOut displays. The Saskatchewan tragedy has prompted many to place a hockey stick on their front porch in honour of the players that were killed or injured in the bus crash. (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 10: Torontonians in the Beach area pay tribute to Humboldt victims with #PutYourStickOut displays. The Saskatchewan tragedy has prompted many to place a hockey stick on their front porch in honour of the players that were killed or injured in the bus crash. (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 10: Torontonians in the Beach area pay tribute to Humboldt victims with #PutYourStickOut displays. The Saskatchewan tragedy has prompted many to place a hockey stick on their front porch in honour of the players that were killed or injured in the bus crash. (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 10: A round up of photos in the GTA of households putting hockey sticks out in support of Humboldt. (Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 10: A round up of photos in the GTA of households putting hockey sticks out in support of Humboldt. (Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
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"We're going to find out what our new normal is after today," team president Jamie Brockman said. "Hockey is back in Humboldt. We are strong and we are going to survive and we are going to move forward."

Ryan Straschnitzki, the former Humboldt player paralyzed from the chest down in the crash, decided not to watch the season opener in person and wasn't even sure he wanted to watch on TV.

"It's not my team anymore," Straschnitzki said. "I wish them the best of luck but it's not my team and it's going to be hard to watch knowing that I should be out there."

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