Cole Beamin in PG Cougar uniform | Photo Courtesy of the Prince George Cougars

A Prince George Cougars prospect was a contributing factor in the Humboldt Broncos return to the ice.

Defenceman Cole Beamin scored the first goal for the visiting Nipawin Hawks in the second period of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s (SJHL) season opener Wednesday night, the team the Broncos were scheduled to play the day of the tragic bus crash.

The Hawks went on to win the game by a score of 2-1.

Despite playing for the opposing team, Beamin says it was an emotional evening for everyone in the rink.

“It was just one of those games that you could greatly appreciate being a part of. It was definitely hard to play in the first period; guys were taking it easy on the chirping and all that stuff. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. I think it was a good game, an emotional game at that, but it was just awesome to be a part of.”

Ahead of the nationally-televised event, the soon-to-be 17-year-old admits the bus ride to Humboldt was a tough experience for his club, who have 13 returning players on the roster.

“Going by the crash site, we all looked at it and were just thankful we were all still here and that we can keep on playing the game we love. That being said, you couldn’t take away what the game was about; it was just really special.”

Tonight, the Humboldt Broncos will be travelling to Nipawin, where the team was en route to a playoff game on April 6th.

The accident that day killed 16 of the 29 passengers on board, including 10 players.