Scoring the winning goal in overtime.
Making the big save at a critical time in a big game.
Sure, hockey players remember and celebrate special moments on the ice, but most will tell you some of the best times during the season happen on the team bus travelling to and from games.
It is where young men and women fostered the ties that brought them together.
They play jokes on each other.
They sing and dance, even if it isn’t pretty.
They become closer as they share dreams of where they want hockey to take them.
They huddle in a bus, travelling across winding highways, taking on the worst Mother Nature has to offer, more often than not, especially in Newfoundland and Labrador, where you could literally see all four seasons in one day.
Nobody ever imagines the worst when the bus rolls out of the parking lot bound for its destination, but when something horrible happens it has the power to pull at the heartstrings of the masses.
A tragic highway collision, involving a team bus and a tractor trailer, claimed the lives of 15 members of the Humboldt Broncos Junior A hockey team last Friday in Saskatchewan.
People from coast to coast are shaken. Lives have been torn apart.
The tragedy has been felt by the Western Kings major midget hockey organization, whose players and personnel spend the long winters travelling across the province in some wild and whacky weather.
Kings coach Mark Robinson said the tragedy in Saskatchewan has affected the players, coaches and families of the organization in a big way.
The Kings want to do their part in helping ease the burden on those trying to pick up the pieces. The Kings will suit up against a team of first responders Friday at 7 p.m. at the Corner Brook Civic Centre, with the proceeds going to help the Broncos family.
“Everyone wants to do something when something like this happens,” Robinson said, noting his family sat around the table and discussed ways to help when the idea of a hockey game in their honour was something that would work.
The families of the players and the first responders who had to deal with a horrible accident scene are who Robinson wants people to keep in mind, and his players are only too glad to do their part to make things a little easier during a difficult time.
“At the end of the day we’re all hockey players, so let’s play a hockey game,” he said.
Fans are asked to wear Broncos green. Donations will be accepted at the door.