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Coach, stats keeper, defenceman who died in Saskatchewan bus crash remembered

April 14, 2018 - 5:46 PM

Mourners said goodbye Saturday to the Humboldt Broncos head coach, the team's stats keeper and a defenceman, whose organ donation has inspired people across the country. All three were among the 16 people killed after the junior hockey team's bus and a truck collided last week. Here are some moments from their funerals:


Brody Hinz had a knack for math and an exceptional memory — two skills that came in handy for his volunteer job as the Humboldt Broncos stats collector.

He was such a sports fan that in Grade 8, he made a special request to his principal — so special, he wrote it down in a letter.

"The letter said please consider shutting down the school tomorrow," family friend Cory Popoff recalled.

"Tomorrow is the NHL trade deadline ... no one will be able to concentrate in class."

A two-sport Special Olympian — bowling and floor hockey — Hinz had Asperger's syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism.

Hinz played three years of high school football and his jersey was among the items on display at the front of St. Augustine Catholic Church.

There was also a drawing he did of a Toronto Blue Jays pitcher and a board with his favourite teams, including the Jays, the Winnipeg Jets, the San Francisco 49ers, the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Popoff said students who knew him were always impressed with his sense of humour and hard work.

"Our students all say that Brody loved to talk. They say he could talk forever about absolutely anything and everything. He was always happy. He listened so well to every conversation."


Darcy Haugan, the head coach of the Humboldt Broncos, was a devout Christian who would pray before work in his office and before bed with his sons Carson, 12, and Jackson, 9.

His friend, Pastor Sean Brandow, was the chaplain for the Broncos. He told the service at Elgar Peterson Arena where the Broncos play their games that Haugan was far from perfect, but he was a good man.

"Darcy always sought to do what was right. He didn't always do it, but he sought to do it. He wanted to do it," Brandow said with a chuckle.

Amanda White said she was the "tag along little sister" when her older sister, Christina, started dating Haugan. She eventually moved with them to Haugan's hometown of Peace River, Alta., and the two of them just clicked.

"I wasn't sure there was a man on this earth that was good enough for my big sister. I was so proud to walk into the arena and having coach Darcy Haugan being my brother-in-law," she said.

Seven players wearing Humboldt Broncos jerseys, including one in a wheelchair, were sitting in the crowd as were former players from the North Peace Navigators where Haugan had been head coach.

Haugan's brother-in-law, Adam George, said since his death there have been so many stories shared about his life.

"There's no point in me standing before you and telling more stories about Darcy. This building is already full with them," George said.


Humboldt Bronco defenceman Logan Boulet's godfather, Neil Langevin, told thousands of people that everyone should get a standing ovation at least once — based on a quote he read in the book, Wonder.

"I thought since we're in a hockey rink and Logan is a great hockey player that it would be suitable for us to cheer loudly to remember my godson and our friend and our son," Langevin said at Saturday's service in a Lethbridge, Alta.

He led the crowd as one side cheered "Logan" then the other said "Boulet."

They repeated the chant three times and then gave Boulet a standing ovation.

After the crash, Boulet, 21, was kept on life support until his organs could be donated.

Brian Friesen, who read two scriptures at the service, said there are six people who are still alive because of his donation.

"He's a hero," said the family friend.

Doug Paisley, one of Logan's minor hockey coaches, said he was always a major contributor to the team.

"You talk about a team guy and team first — that was him," he said. "I'm not sure I've ever coached a better person."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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