PRO­FILES, TIMELINE AND A PLACE OF GRACE

THE CRASH TOOK MORE THAN 15 LIVES. IT ROBBED COM­MU­NI­TIES OF MEN­TORS, VOL­UN­TEERS AND STARS OF THE FU­TURE

Ottawa Citizen - - FRONT PAGE - Erin Petrow, Saska­toon StarPhoenix Dar­ren Zary, Saska­toon StarPhoenix Rob Van­stone, Regina Leader-Post Arthur White-Crum­mey, Regina Leader-Post Alex MacPher­son, Saska­toon StarPhoenix, with files from CP Dave Deib­ert, Saska­toon StarPhoenix Ryan Rumbolt, Z

Tyler Bieber Broad­caster, 29

This was Tyler Bieber’s first sea­son do­ing play-by-play for the Humboldt Bron­cos and he of­ten trav­elled with the team.

“He would get up at 5:30 ev­ery morn­ing and go to work, but his day didn’t stop there,” his mother Mar­i­lyn Hay said.

“He would vol­un­teer with the high school kids — teach­ing them bas­ket­ball, foot­ball, he taught the girls flag foot­ball — he had a real pas­sion for that.”

Bieber, who had just turned 29, was also vice pres­i­dent of the Humboldt touch foot­ball league, in­volved in Big Brothers Big Sis­ters as a men­tor and was set to start coach­ing at a foot­ball academy in Saska­toon.

“Tyler was rarely at home be­tween run­ning from work to vol­un­teer jobs,” his mother re­mem­bers. “My son was one amaz­ing man.”

He was ini­tially wor­ried the work with the Bron­cos would in­ter­fere with the time he spent coach­ing, but agreed af­ter they fig­ured out a way to work around his busy sched­ule.

Bieber spent some time liv­ing in Regina, but re­turned to his home­town in April 2015 af­ter re­ceiv­ing a job of­fer at the lo­cal ra­dio sta­tion, Bolt FM. “He def­i­nitely had a nat­u­ral tal­ent,” said Steven Wil­son, a co-worker at Bolt FM. “He was just pas­sion­ate about sports.”

Darcy Hau­gan Head coach

The Humboldt Bron­cos were a fam­ily busi­ness for Darcy Hau­gan. He was into his third year as head coach and gen­eral man­ager, and his wife Christina was the team’s of­fice man­ager.

Steven Wil­son, a play-by-play an­nouncer in Wey­burn, Sask., called Hau­gan “the classi­est guy” in the league. The last time he saw Hau­gan, the coach was play­ing video games in his of­fice with one of his two young sons.

“He was very ded­i­cated to his fam­ily and at the same time he was a hockey guy.”

Hau­gan, a na­tive of Peace River, Alta., played his mi­nor hockey in north­ern Al­berta and ju­nior hockey in the Al­berta Ju­nior Hockey League for the Fort Saskatchewan Traders and then Bon­nyville Pon­ti­acs, and, fi­nally in the SJHL with the Este­van Bru­ins.

Hau­gan played pro­fes­sion­ally in Swe­den be­fore re­turn­ing home to be­gin coach­ing.

He had spent 12 sea­sons lead­ing the North Peace Nav­i­ga­tors of the North­west Ju­nior Hockey League when the Bron­cos job came up.

“I have to ad­mit I was very con­tent, very com­fort­able where I was,” Hau­gan said. “But … when they called back to of­fer me the job there was a bit of a lump in my stom­ach.”

In 2015, Hau­gan earned Hockey Al­berta’s pres­ti­gious Mer­i­to­ri­ous Award for con­tri­bu­tion to the game of hockey.

Adam Herold De­fence­man, 16

At 16, Adam Herold was the youngest mem­ber of the Humboldt Bron­cos, and also the new­est. Up un­til a few weeks ago, Herold was cap­tain of the Regina Pat Cana­di­ans, but when the Regina team’s sea­son wrapped up, Herold was sent to join the Bron­cos for their play­off round.

“Adam was the most self­less guy on the team,” said for­ward Matt Culling. “That’s why he was our cap­tain. He al­ways put the team first no mat­ter what.”

Herold, a Mont­martre-born de­fence­man, would have turned 17 on Thurs­day.

He helped the Pat Cana­di­ans win the 201617 league ti­tle, be­fore as­sum­ing the cap­taincy for 2017-18 — a sea­son in which Regina won the pres­ti­gious Mac’s midget tour­na­ment in Cal­gary.

“He was a won­der­ful young man. Never afraid to help his team­mates. Al­ways there for them. Good, typ­i­cal Saskatchewan farm boy. Al­ways load the bus, un­load the bus, never afraid to roll up his sleeves and get work done,” team man­ager John Smith said.

Be­fore join­ing the Pat Cana­di­ans, Herold spent two sea­sons with the ban­tam AA Prairie Storm, a team that draws its play­ers from Bal­go­nie, Pi­lot Butte, White City, Emer­ald Park and sur­round­ing area.

Mark Cross As­sis­tant coach

Bron­cos as­sis­tant coach Mark Cross, a na­tive of Stras­bourg, Sask., was “pas­sion­ate about the game” — and in­spired that same pas­sion in the kids he men­tored.

He played for the midget AA Lums­den-Bethune Li­ons. Years later, he coached the same team in the 2016-17 sea­son, be­fore mov­ing on to Humboldt.

Li­ons head coach Scott Frizzell re­mem­bers him as a “great leader.”

“I had ap­proached him be­cause he’s a home­town boy, and I asked him if he would give me a hand.”

Cross jumped at the op­por­tu­nity to give back. The kids loved him, es­pe­cially since he was still play­ing se­ri­ous hockey at the se­nior level.

Cross had played for the Este­van Bru­ins. He then pur­sued a ki­ne­si­ol­ogy de­gree at York Univer­sity, where he played for five years for the U Sports team there. But he soon came back to Saskatchewan, and Frizzell knew he needed him back on the team.

“He was very loved wher­ever he went.” Frizzell said he al­ways tries to in­stil life lessons into his play­ers and build them into “fine young men.” With Cross, whom he calls a friend, he feels like his ef­forts were more than suc­cess­ful.

“I can’t say enough about him.”

Brody Hinz Vol­un­teer statis­ti­cian, 18

Humboldt Bron­cos pres­i­dent Kevin Garinger re­mem­bers the team’s vol­un­teer statis­ti­cian, Brody Hinz, as an “amaz­ing young man” who adored the hockey club.

“He had an amaz­ing mind for stats and he was a huge as­set to the coach­ing staff,” Garinger said, not­ing that Hinz trav­elled with the Ju­nior A hockey team on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

“That just speaks vol­umes to who this young man is,” the club pres­i­dent said. “Any­thing the coach­ing staff needed, he was will­ing to help … If that was in his ca­pac­ity to do, he would do it. He gave his heart and soul to the or­ga­ni­za­tion.”

The 18-year-old had only re­cently started tal­ly­ing the Bron­cos’ num­bers for Humboldt ra­dio sta­tion CHBO. One com­pany state­ment de­scribed Hinz as an in­tern still in high school.

“Brody had re­cently joined our Golden West fam­ily, men­tored by Tyler and the Bolt FM team,” Lyn­don Friesen, pres­i­dent of Golden West Ra­dio, said in a state­ment posted on the sta­tion’s web­site.

The night of the crash marked a double tragedy for the fam­ily. A rel­a­tive said on Face­book that an­other fam­ily mem­ber lost a baby boy in Humboldt hospi­tal shortly af­ter he was born.

Glen Do­erk­sen Bus driver

Glen Do­erk­sen was be­hind the wheel of the Humboldt Bron­cos bus on Fri­day, a fam­ily man re­mem­bered as al­ways be­ing quick to smile and tell a story dur­ing drives across the province.

“In talk­ing to him, he spoke at length of his time in rinks with his own fam­ily and now how much he en­joyed be­ing able to take and watch other teams from mi­nor, to se­nior to SJHL, to their hockey games,” the Kin­istino Tigers wrote of Do­ersken, who drove their team to and from play­off games.

Trips for the Tigers to Foam Lake and Al­lan were on hor­ri­ble high­ways due to win­ter storms, the Tigers wrote, and they “got on that bus and trusted him with our lives and both times he got us home safely.”

“Trag­i­cally (on Fri­day) he and many oth­ers didn’t make it home and our hearts are bro­ken for your fam­i­lies and friends in­clud­ing Char­lie and the staff at Char­lie’s Char­ters.

“We will never for­get the smile on your face as we left Al­lan af­ter win­ning the cham­pi­onship and got you to give ‘two honks for the Cup,’ ” the Tigers wrote.

“Tonight Glen, we give two honks for you. Rest easy Sir.”

Lo­gan Boulet De­fence­man, 21

Lo­gan Boulet signed an or­gan donor card upon turn­ing 21, just weeks ago. He had made it known to his fam­ily that this was his wish.

Now, the Humboldt Bron­cos de­fence­man from Leth­bridge could help six peo­ple live on through his or­gan do­na­tions.

“There have been matches made for all vi­tal or­gans, in­clud­ing a pa­tient set to re­ceive his heart and lungs,” Neil Langevin, a friend of the Boulet fam­ily, posted on so­cial me­dia. “All counted, six peo­ple will re­ceive the gift of life from Lo­gan.”

“These ac­tions alone give voice to the self­less and benev­o­lent na­ture Lo­gan pos­sessed in life for oth­ers. He is a great hero and one of the nicest peo­ple you would have been lucky enough to meet.”

A for­mer team­mate re­mem­bers the strap­ping de­fence­man as a shy teen with a big heart. “He was very car­ing, that’s the best way to de­scribe him,” said Tyson Brouwer, who grew up with Boulet in Leth­bridge and went on to play with him.

Boulet was in his third sea­son with the Bron­cos af­ter join­ing the team in 2016.

Dante Ra­poso, a for­mer Bronco, re­mem­bers Boulet as a mo­ti­va­tional “vet” on the team who was al­ways will­ing to lend a help­ing hand. “He never treated me like a rookie.”

I HAVE NO WORDS TO DE­SCRIBE WHAT I’M FEEL­ING. BEST FRIENDS, TEAM­MATES, AL­LIES, BROTHERS. WE’VE BEEN THROUGH SO MUCH TO­GETHER. WE HAD A SPE­CIAL BOND FROM THE DAY YOU WERE BORN. — ISAAC LABELLE, BROTHER OF VIC­TIM XAVIER LABELLE

THERE HAVE BEEN MATCHES MADE FOR ALL VI­TAL OR­GANS, IN­CLUD­ING A PA­TIENT SET TO RE­CEIVE HIS HEART AND LUNGS. ALL COUNTED, SIX PEO­PLE WILL RE­CEIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE FROM LO­GAN. — NEIL LANGEVIN, FRIEND OF CRASH VIC­TIM LO­GAN BOULET

Jaxon Joseph Cen­tre, 20

The son of for­mer NHL player Chris Joseph, Jaxon Joseph was among the lead­ing scor­ers in the Saskatchewan Ju­nior Hockey League play­offs, play­ing on a line with Lo­gan Schatz, who also lost his life in the crash.

A na­tive of Ed­mon­ton, Joseph was a mem­ber of the Sur­rey Ea­gles of the Bri­tish Columbia Hockey League dur­ing the 2015-2016 sea­son. He joined the Melfort Mus­tangs the fol­low­ing year be­fore be­com­ing a Bronco.

Thomas Davis, a for­mer team­mate and neigh­bour, played midget hockey with him. “He was a big, funny guy who was al­ways light­hearted in the dress­ing room. Guys used to throw shots at him be­cause the year be­fore he played house league, but he never let it get to him,” said Davis.

Joseph was the Bron­cos’ lead­ing play­off scorer with seven goals and five as­sists in nine games.

Joseph’s father, Chris, played for the Pitts­burgh Pen­guins, Van­cou­ver Canucks and the Philadel­phia Fly­ers. He is now a fire­fighter in Ed­mon­ton.

“It’s ev­ery par­ent’s night­mare — my brother’s and his wife’s whole world re­volved around their kids,” said Mike Joseph, Joseph’s un­cle. “It has been a tough day for the Joseph fam­ily.”

Lo­gan Schatz Team cap­tain, 20

The na­tive of Al­lan, Sask., played cen­tre and was named the league’s player of the month in Feb­ru­ary af­ter earn­ing points in eight of nine games.

Schatz was one of the league’s “best-kept se­crets in scout­ing cir­cles” and a top-three pre-sea­son favourite to win the league scor­ing ti­tle last sea­son.

That plan was de­railed by a “freak el­bow in­jury” last year, but the left-shoot­ing cen­tre re­cov­ered and scored 18 goals in the first 48 games of the 2017-18 sea­son, the league said in a pro­file. He played for the Bron­cos for just over four years, and had served as team cap­tain for the past two and a half.

Schatz had an op­por­tu­nity to play in the Western Hockey League but chose to re­main in the Saskatchewan league be­cause of the pos­si­bil­ity of play­ing for a U.S. col­lege team.

“In a per­fect world you’d love to have a schol­ar­ship off your plate at this time of year, but get­ting frus­trated about it would only hurt the team,” Schatz is quoted as say­ing in the pro­file.

“I’ve talked about it with my coaches a lot, I’m not go­ing to let it get in the way of our team’s suc­cess. We’re hav­ing a great year and so am I and I’m con­fi­dent the rest will take care of it­self.”

Xavier Labelle De­fence­man, 18

Labelle, who was born in Saska­toon, was in his sec­ond year play­ing for the Humboldt Bron­cos. He was a hard-work­ing hockey player who also ex­celled as a pi­ano player and a stu­dent.

“I have no words to de­scribe what I’m feel­ing. Best friends, team­mates, al­lies, brothers,” wrote his brother Isaac in an Instagram post Satur­day.

“We’ve been through so much to­gether. We had a spe­cial bond from the day you were born. I’m go­ing to miss you, bro. I’ll al­ways re­mem­ber you and who you were will in­flu­ence me for the rest of my life.”

The six-foot-two de­fence­man played 83 games for the Con­tacts in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League over two sea­sons be­fore mov­ing on to the Bron­cos.

Labelle scored one goal and added an as­sist in nine play­off games this sea­son.

In 41 reg­u­lar sea­son games, he had three goals and nine points and racked up 14 penalty min­utes.

In 57 games last sea­son for the Bron­cos, Labelle scored one goal, added 10 as­sists and had 59 penalty min­utes.

“He’s very, very re­spect­ful and he worked very hard,” said Jim McIn­tyre, gov­er­nor of the Saska­toon Con­tacts.

Evan Thomas Right winger, 18

The Thomas home in Saska­toon has be­come a place for young peo­ple to shed tears for a Humboldt Bron­cos player with a “quiet con­fi­dence” and a bright aca­demic fu­ture.

“Eight of them showed up on our doorstep last night … and just sat there and cried with us,” said Scott Thomas, father of Evan Thomas. “No­body re­ally said any­thing. We just all cried to­gether.”

Those were kids who’d known Evan since kinder­garten.

Evan had pre­vi­ously played Midget AAA hockey in Moose Jaw, be­fore join­ing the Humboldt Bron­cos. His par­ents thought he might have a fu­ture in the WHL. He was drafted by the Koote­nay Ice and just missed mak­ing it onto their ros­ter, Scott said.

He also played base­ball at a na­tional level. “I think he just tol­er­ated the sport so he could be with his team­mates,” said Scott. “I think that’s the kind of guy he was. He just loved the com­mu­nity of play­ers.”

And they loved him back. Scott said Evan was fa­mous for calm, sin­cere de­meanour, but above all for his “awe­some sense of hu­mour.”

Evan ex­celled at high school and had been con­tem­plat­ing a ca­reer as an or­tho­pe­dic sur­geon. “He loved to watch Grey’s Anatomy,” said Scott, “just to watch the surgery.”

Ja­cob Le­icht Left winger, 19

Last month, when the Bron­cos made the play­offs, the Humboldt Jour­nal in­ter­viewed Le­icht and asked what would it mean to bring the cham­pi­onship home to Humboldt.

“You’d never for­get that, that’s for sure. We still talk about when the Bron­cos won the RBC in 2003, which is 15 years ago,” Le­icht was quoted say­ing. “That would be amaz­ing.”

Le­icht, who is from Humboldt, played nine games in the play­offs, scor­ing once.

“My heart is bro­ken. Your laugh­ter was so con­ta­gious and you had a smile that lit up any room. I wish we had more time ... it seems so un­fair,” said Cas­sidy Tol­ley in a Face­book post made Satur­day.

“You weren’t just fam­ily, you were gen­uinely one of my favourite peo­ple and some­one I could al­ways count on at all hours of the day and night.”

Tanya Le­icht shared the post, along with a per­sonal mes­sage.

“Words fail when I wish to ex­press the sad­ness that I carry in my heart. Heaven gained a beau­ti­ful soul to­day. I am deeply sad­dened by the news of your loss. I pray that God will grant you the strength. I will keep your fam­ily in my prayers dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time. You all will be missed, rest in peace.”

Stephen Wack De­fence­man, 21

As one of the songs play­ing in the back­ground puts it, “the feel­ing of be­ing alive, while we’re still young” is front and cen­tre in the videos Stephen Wack made for his YouTube chan­nel.

On Sun­day, his lit­tle brother Justin posted a link to one of them on Twit­ter, a video re­cap of what would be the 21-year-old’s fi­nal year, along with a plea to Hockey Night In Canada to run it in Stephen’s hon­our.

Although he was known among friends for the cre­ativ­ity he brought to his videos, Wack also “ab­so­lutely lived and breathed hockey,” as his cousin Ali­cia Wack told the press.

Raised in St. Al­bert, the Bron­cos de­fence­man had been with the team since 2016 af­ter a sea­son with the White­court Wolver­ines.

Matthew Ger­vais, who played with him on the Wolver­ines, said he first met Wack on the kind of bus trip the Bron­cos had been on last week.

He was still try­ing to come to grips with what hap­pened.

“Ev­ery­thing just flipped up­side down, just like that,” said Ger­vais of the ac­ci­dent.

“Ev­ery­body loved him. He was cap­ping off his ju­nior ca­reer within a week or two, po­ten­tially. He had his whole life ahead of him.”

Con­ner Lukan For­ward, 21

The 21-year-old for­ward from Slave Lake who joined the team this sea­son af­ter spend­ing three with the Spruce Grove Saints in the Al­berta Ju­nior Hockey League was one of seven play­ers on the team with Al­berta roots.

“On the ice he was one of the most fe­ro­cious com­peti­tors you’ll find and he was a tremen­dous team­mate … his courage was through the roof,” for­mer Saints coach Jason McKee said.

“He re­ally worked at play­ing in the hard ar­eas of the ice. Ev­ery team needs guys like that.”

McKee coached Lukan in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 sea­sons where the Slave Lake young­ster played cen­tre and left wing.

Lukan was as­sis­tant cap­tain in his fi­nal year with the Saints.

He was traded to the Bron­cos at the end of last year for Chris Van Os-Shaw and a de­vel­op­ment fee.

The Saints an­nounced Lukan’s death on Twit­ter, along with four other alumni: Stephen Wack, Jaxon Joseph and Lo­gan Hunter.

“Ev­ery­body who lost some­one in this, it’s tough,” McKee said.

“There are no words right now. We just need to stay to­gether.”

Lo­gan Hunter Right winger, 18

Lo­gan Hunter, an 18-year-old from St. Al­bert, Alta., is be­ing re­mem­bered for his on­ice pro­fes­sion­al­ism and sunny na­ture.

“He al­ways had a smile on his face,” said Kevin Porter, pres­i­dent of the St. Al­bert Raiders Hockey Club, who de­scribed Hunter as a “smart kid and a great hockey player” with a great sense of hu­mour.

The right-winger be­gan his Ju­nior A ca­reer with the Humboldt Bron­cos in March 2017. He pre­vi­ously played for the St. Al­bert Raiders in Midget AAA and St. Al­bert Blues Midget AA.

Four Bron­cos play­ers are Raiders’ alumni, ac­cord­ing to the club’s Face­book page.

Porter, whose son grew up play­ing hockey with Hunter, said the crash is “shock­ing and dev­as­tat­ing for all the fam­i­lies in­volved.”

The Pre­ci­sion Goalie In­sti­tute wrote on Face­book: “To­day we mourn­fully send our thoughts to ev­ery­one in the Humboldt Bron­cos fam­ily. Last sum­mer, a won­der­ful young man named Lo­gan Hunter lent us his grace, skill and pro­fes­sion­al­ism to humbly shoot on our young goalies at camp. Our thoughts are with his team­mates, friends and fam­ily. Lo­gan was the kind of young man we all would be proud to call a son, brother, cousin, team­mate and friend. #pray­forhum­boldt.”

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