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‘Rest easy’: Family, friends remember Edmonton-area Broncos players in emotional tribute
Published Tuesday, April 17, 2018 11:17AM MDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 17, 2018 9:59PM MDT
Four hockey players on the Humboldt Broncos team, who died in a tragic highway crash on April 6, were remembered in an emotional celebration of life at Rogers Place in Edmonton Tuesday afternoon.
Jaxon Joseph, 20, Logan Hunter, 18, Stephen Wack, 21, and Parker Tobin, 18, were players with the Humboldt Broncos, and were on a bus headed to a playoff game in Nipawin, Sask. when the bus was struck by a semi tractor-trailer.
Sixteen people – including ten Broncos players and six team personnel – were killed in the collision.
Joseph, Hunter, Wack and Tobin were all from the Edmonton-area: Joseph, Hunter, and Wack were from St. Albert, and Tobin was from Stony Plain.
Family and friends of the four Edmonton-area players spoke during the event Tuesday afternoon.
“Over the past 11 days we have been searching in all that we have, to understand why,” Broncos president Kevin Garinger said.
Joseph was described as a “utility man” on his team, able to fill any role on the ice.
He was the middle child in his family, but as his family said, he’d always claim to be the favourite.
“Of course I’d have to say: ‘No, you’re not,’ as he has a brother and sister too,” Joseph’s mother, Andrea, said Tuesday. “But today, Jax, you’re number 1. And I love you.”
His teammate Hunter was nicknamed Sniper, or Snipes, for his scoring ability on the ice.
To his family he was lovingly known as Logi-bear for his hugs.
“This was such a fitting name as this little guy was forever getting and giving the best hugs,” Hunter’s father, Lawrence, said.
Tobin was remembered as a kind and giving friend, and a loving son and brother.
He was goaltender for the Humboldt Broncos, but excelled at a number of sports, he had a national floorball championship title under his belt – all in all, he was “team first.”
“I always got the impression from him that he was incredibly proud of being on our team, mostly because he’d never stop talking about it,” Tobin’s former coach Ryan Rechner said.
Wack was a defenseman, and a budding videographer – was remembered fondly by his brother.
“Stephen, ‘with a PH’ was the best brother anyone could ask for,” Justin Wack, Stephen’s brother, said. “In a way, this whole situation feels like a slapshot to the face.”
Tuesday’s memorial also featured musical performances by country artist Paul Brandt, who performed Small Towns and Big Dreams, and Smitty Kingston, who performed a song titled Humboldt Strong.
In lieu of flowers or hockey sticks, the families have asked to have donations directed to STARS Air Ambulance.
With files from Dan Grummett