A version of the following story appeared in the 2018-19 first edition of AVALANCHE, the official game magazine of the Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club. For more feature stories, purchase a copy of the magazine during Avs home games at Pepsi Center. All proceeds from game-magazine sales support youth hockey associations in Colorado.
The Avalanche honored members of the Humboldt Broncos prior to the Nov. 24 game at Pepsi Center against the Dallas Stars.
Ice hockey is played on six of the seven continents on the planet, but the sport isn't as big as it sometimes seems.
That much was evident this past spring when the hockey community rallied around a small rural city in Saskatchewan, Canada.
Humboldt has nearly 6,000 residents, and they love their Humboldt Broncos. Playing at the Junior A level in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, the Broncos have won 10 league titles and have been crowned Canadian Jr. A champions twice since their inception in 1970.
"It's a community-owned team. It's a team that the community backs, they rally behind, they get excited about. It brings families together, it brings friends together," says Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar, who grew up in Humboldt.
On April 6, the Broncos were traveling for a road playoff game and were looking to keep their championship hopes alive trailing 3-1 in their semifinal series against the Nipawin Hawks. The team never got the chance to mount a comeback in the best-of-seven series.