Ryan Straschnitzki poses for a photograph in Philadelphia in March 2019. (Photo: The Canadian Press/AP/Matt Rourke)

Humboldt Broncos’ Straschnitzki in Surrey to play sledge hockey with Wickenheiser

Friendly game on Feb. 1 part of the Wickfest female hockey event in North Surrey

Humboldt Broncos bus-crash survivor Ryan Straschnitzki and Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser will be in Surrey to play a celebrity sledge hockey game on Feb. 1.

The noon game that Saturday will also include NHL alumni, B.C. Lions football players, celebrities and “influencers,” at the new North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex.

The friendly game will be played as a showcase event during Wickfest, or The Canadian Tire Wickenheiser World Female Hockey Festival, to run from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2. This is the second year the tournament will be held in Surrey, following its debut here in 2019.

To register for free tickets to see the sledge hockey game, visit celebpara.eventbrite.ca.

Straschnitzki, who hails from Airdrie, Alta., was among 13 junior hockey players injured in 2018 when a truck driver blew through a stop sign and into the path of the Saskatchewan junior team’s bus. Sixteen others on the bus would die.

Now 20, Straschnitzki last year underwent spinal surgery in Thailand, where doctors implanted an epidural stimulator in his spine and one week later injected stem cells above and below the injury, in an effort to reverse some of the damage.

“It’s been progressively getting better and harder at the same time, which is good,” Straschnitzki told the Canadian Press in December. “They put me through a good sweat, doing a couple of laps around the buildings. It’s good work.”

• READ MORE: ‘Loss for words’: Injured Bronco shocked, excited over effect of spinal surgery.

(story continues below video)

Straschnitzki said he felt all sorts of emotions when he took his first steps since climbing aboard the Broncos hockey bus on April 6, 2018. “It gave me kind of a shock and brought back obviously a lot of memories … (including) all the sports activities I was involved in.”

Wickfest is founded by Wickenheiser, four-time Olympic gold medallist and 2019 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee. In 2018, she took on the role of assistant director of player development for the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs.

During last year’s tournament in Surrey, Wickenheiser hit the ice with young female players for some fun and instruction.

• READ MORE, from January 2019: New Wickfest hockey event in Surrey welcomes 800 girls for more than just games.

North Surrey’s new three-sheet arena was designed and built with inclusivity and accessibility in mind. Features include level access to the ice from dry surfaces, and players boxes and penalty boxes made of clear lexan, instead of regular puck board, allowing para ice hockey players a clear view of the ice from their sledges. Also, removable benches in the players boxes allow para players to remain in their sledges when off the ice.

• READ MORE: New North Surrey arena focuses on accessibility, inclusivity.

Elsewhere, the city’s Para Ice Hockey for Beginners program runs seasonally at Surrey Sport & Leisure Complex, for those aged six and up. Participants learn how to maneuver a sled, shoot the puck and play fun games with an instructor. Registration details are posted to an Adapted Sports page at surrey.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP recover $80,000 worth of stolen property

Police found the property after executing two search warrants in Newton

White Rock approves scaled-up Festival of Lights for 2020

Event to run for nearly 60 days, and expand from the white rock to Oxford Street

White Rock to encourage Uber, Lyft to operate in city

South Surrey and White Rock are without ride-hailing services, for now

Annual Battle of the Badges hockey game to combat bullying in Delta schools

This year’s Battle of the Badges takes place at Sungod Arena on Pink Shirt Day (Wednesday, Feb. 26)

Trains through White Rock, Surrey could be affected by rail blockades

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

VIDEO: Giants win 10th straight on home ice in Langley

Family Day was about spending time with the fans and dazzling them with a 3-2 victory over Seattle

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

Most Read