Pat Canadians, Raiders cope with loss of Adam Herold in Humboldt bus crash

Adam Herold was a draftee of the WHL's Prince Albert Raiders. -- Photo Courtesy of the Prince Albert Raiders/Submitted

Among those killed in Friday’s collision between a semi-truck and the Humboldt Broncos team bus was the team captain of the Regina Pat Canadians, Adam Herold.

After a successful season in which the Midget AAA team won the prestigious Mac’s Tournament in Calgary and advanced to the second round of the provincial league playoffs, Herold was called up by the Junior A Humboldt team to join the Broncos for their postseason run.

He dressed and played in eight Broncos playoff games spanning two playoff series from March 16 to April 4.

Had the Broncos’ bus made it to Nipawin for Game 5 in the series against the Hawks, Herold would have played in his ninth playoff game with the team; the previous two games, he was listed on the game-day rosters as a starting defenceman.

The Hawks and the Broncos are both member teams of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL).

Herold was among 15 members of the Broncos killed after the collision with the semi-truck, which occurred north of Tisdale, at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 on Friday at about 5 p.m. The bus was headed northbound, while the semi-truck was headed westbound, according to RCMP.

On Saturday evening, Adam’s father, Russ, posted the following message on Twitter about his late son: “At this time, we mourn the loss of our son and brother. We very much appreciate all the texts and tweets and have read them all, even though we have not replied. Please keep all the families in your prayers at this time. Hug your family.

“Adam loved life, was always so positive.”

When speaking with the Daily Herald on Sunday, Pat Canadians manager John Smith said Herold “was a great, character kid … He could have made something of himself, either in the WHL (Western Hockey League) or the SJHL.

Members of the Regina Pat Canadians Midget AAA hockey team participate in a vigil to honour their late teammate, Adam Herold, at the hockey rink in Montmarte, Sask., on April 8, 2018. — Photo Courtesy of the Regina Pat Canadians/Submitted

“I speak to his character: He was usually the first one there, one of the last ones to leave; always pitching in, helping the coaching staff and myself as manager to make sure the bus was loaded and nobody forgets anything.”

Smith also highlighted that Herold was awarded this year’s Chuck Herriot Scholarship award, which the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League hands out each year to a player for scholastic achievement, sportsmanship and dedication to his team.

“Every team puts forward a player, then you have to go through marks and you have to do community service stuff … Adam was a recipient of that award this year.

“That in itself is a huge compliment to his character and what he meant to everybody,” he said.

Smith was clear as to what made Herold worthy of being chosen to captain this year’s Regina team: “I wouldn’t class him as a very rah-rah, go-get-‘em guy. He was a good captain to lead by example, and always there if the kids needed to talk to somebody. He had that attribute about him.”

Herold was also a member of the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders. The team drafted him 35th overall in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft.

He played in three regular season games this year with the team, on Dec. 13, Dec. 15 and March 17.

On Sunday, the Raiders posted the following message about Herold on Twitter: “We have lost one of our own in this horrible tragedy. We grieve the death of Adam Herold, an incredible person and teammate. He will be missed by so many. Our hearts and prayers are with his family and friends.”

Adam Herold was born on April 12, 2001 in Montmartre, Sask.

The Montmartre minor hockey association planned to hold a vigil in his honour on Sunday evening, according to Smith. He said that the Pat Canadians and Adam’s family and friends would be attending the Montmartre vigil to honour him.

People gather at the rink in Montmarte, Sask., on April 8, 2018 to honour the late Adam Herold, who was from the town. Herold was one of the team members killed in the Humboldt Broncos’ team bus crash on April 6, 2018. — Photo Courtesy of the Regina Pat Canadians/Submitted