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Rocket honours lost pal

The Humboldt Broncos will take to the ice tonight in their first regular season home game since the tragic accident  on April 6 in which 16 team members lost their lives. 

Kelowna Rockets forward and Humboldt native Erik Gardiner says it will be an emotional night for him.

"I'm really looking forward to watching it and, hopefully, they can do well. It will be great for the town to see them play again and great for everybody."

Gardiner returns with the Rockets for the 2018-19 season, but he says he did consider playing for the Broncos this season after the bus crash occurred. 

"I did give it some thought, but ultimately decided to come back to Kelowna and play, and I'm happy with my decision."

The Humboldt native says he will honour his friend Jacob Leicht this season, who lost his life in the crash.

Leicht wore number 11 for the Broncos, and Gardiner says he will wear that number this season in memory of his life-long friend. 

"I talked to his parents once they heard I was thinking about wearing his number this season. His dad said to me that it would be a great way to honour Jacob. It feels good wearing his number on my back," Gardiner added. 

The home opener against the Nipawin Hawks will be broadcast live from Humboldt at 6:30 p.m. central time on TSN.



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