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Community supports Humboldt Memorial Tournament

The Fifth Annual St. Albert Humboldt Broncos Memorial Tournament took place this past weekend
Team Lukan Celebrating winning the St. Albert Humboldt Broncos Memorial Tournament. SUPPLIED/Photo

The community support was in full swing this past weekend as hundreds filed in to Mark Messier Arena to watch the fifth annual St. Albert Humboldt Broncos Memorial Tournament.

The tournament which is organized by Josh Dechaine and Jaedon Leslie, honours Logan Hunter, Jaxon Joseph, Stephen Wack, and Conner Lukan, the former Humboldt Broncos players from St. Albert who tragically passed away in the April 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus crash. The tournament is comprised of four teams who play in a round robin tournament with each team being named after one of boys who passed away. The teams are comprised of players who knew the player the team was named after stated Josh Dechaine.

"You get 100 players together, divided into four teams. Each teams players consist of people who knew who the player the team was named after. Once everyone has a team we fill out the rest of the slots with players who want to play."

The players participating also included 10 players who have played or are playing in the NHL including Matt Savoie of the Edmonton Oilers and Tyson Jost of the Carolina Hurricanes. Which also added to the excitement of games stated Dechaine, who also played on team Wack. 

"All of the games on Sunday were very close. All of them were one goal games. Team Lukan scored late in the championship game to take a lead and we even had the tournaments first shootout in one of the semi-final games earlier that day."

The games being close was a nice touch for the hundreds in attendance watching the tournament which saw Team Lukan beat Team Joseph 5-4 to win the tournament Sunday. Which also ended a four year championship run by Team Wack.   

While the tournament in it's earlier years would also serve as a fundraiser to honour the boys, the past few years have been more about playing in the former Bronco's players memories emphasized Dechaine. 

"We are all there playing the game that we love and that the boys loved. We just want to make memories to not only honour the boys who played but to remember them as well. And that just shows the importance of this tournament."

The importance of this past weekend was not lost on the community, who filled the rink more and more throughout the weekend. 

"The arena felt full. The attendance grows each year and continued to grow from game to game during the weekend and it really showed as we played the games on Sunday", Dechaine explained. 

The attendance for the tournament was also free and everyone who showed up to watch the tournament was even entered into two raffles, one to win four tickets to an Edmonton Oil Kings game of the winners choice and one was for two tickets to an Edmonton Oilers vs Chicago Blackhawks game on October 12, 2024. 

With the fifth annual tournament in the books Dechaine hasn't quite looked ahead to next year.

"With this tournament just ending I haven't really thought about next year yet. I won't really start planning until April next year but it is always fun when we start planning". 

Even though no planning has been started, the event will be returning for a sixth instalment next year. 





Garret  Kryzanowski

About the Author: Garret Kryzanowski

Garret Kryzanowski is an intern who joined the St. Albert Gazette in July 2024. Garret’s main focus is sports coverage.
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