NIPAWIN, Sask. – The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League season came to an end on Tuesday with the Nipawin Hawks being crowned league champions 18 days after the deadly bus crash involving the league’s Humboldt Broncos.
Nipawin downed the Estevan Bruins 2-1 in Game 7 to win the Canalta Cup while wearing green helmets to honour the Broncos. Both teams wore Humboldt Broncos ribbons on their jerseys throughout the series.
The Broncos were on their way to Nipawin, Sask., for a playoff game against the Hawks on April 6 when their bus collided with a truck on the highway. Sixteen people died in the crash with 13 others were injured.
The league suspended its playoffs following the crash but returned to the ice on April 14 to begin the finals. The Hawks and Bruins came together and held a moment of silence at centre ice before Game 1.
The SJHL consulted with the Broncos and the league’s board of directors before making the decision to continue the post-season.
Nipawin now heads to the Anavet Cup against the Manitoba league champion, with the winner of that advancing to the Royal Bank Cup in Chilliwack, B.C., in May.
The Bruins made a pit stop on their way into Nipawin to visit the crash site on April 13 ahead of Game 1 to pay their respects to members of the Broncos killed in the crash.