Hockey Community Reacts to Humboldt Broncos Tragedy

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WILKES-BARRE, Pa. --  A horrific crash involving a junior league hockey team that killed 15 people in Canada has hit the hockey community hard.

As the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins prepare for their hockey playoffs, they're thinking of those who lost their lives in that deadly wreck.

As the regular hockey season winds down, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are preparing for their 16th consecutive appearance in the AHL Calder Cup playoffs.

But as postseason play looms, the 15 members of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team who died tragically in Friday's wreck in Canada are on the minds of the team.

"At first you hear it, it's shocking. It's a tragedy. A lot of us have rode many, many nights and spent many, many days on the road, just a tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers go out with the families and friends of the players, and it's just shocking," said Penguins head coach Clark Donatelli.

On the way to a playoff game, the Broncos team bus collided with a truck in Saskatchewan. In addition to those who passed away in the wreck, 14 more members of the team were injured. The catastrophe has shaken the entire hockey community to its core.

"It's just tragic," said Penguins player Sam Lafferty. "The hockey community is so tight-knit. I think everybody feels a sense of loss. Just thoughts and prayers with all the people affected and all the people in Humboldt. It's a serious loss to the hockey community."

"We've all been on buses growing up in junior and minor league hockey. Just that anything like that can happen at any time, it's just scary," said Penguins player Jeff Taylor.

Following Friday's crash, a resident of Humboldt started a GoFundMe page. That page has already raised more than $7 million. All of that money will go to the families of the victims.

"Anything that all of us can do to help all the people affected, it's good to see there's been that outpouring of support, and I'm sure it will continue," Lafferty said.

The Pittsburgh Penguins organization donated $20,000 to that GoFundMe page.

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