Ryan Mayer

Humboldt, Saskatchewan (CBS Local)- The Humboldt Broncos hockey team may have ended up on the losing end of the scoreboard on Wednesday night, but it’s hard to call the night anything but a win. The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League team returned to the ice just five months after the bus crash that killed sixteen members of the team and injured 13 more.

The lone survivors from last year’s team to return to the ice, Brayden Camrud and Derek Patter, started the night off taking part in a ceremonial puck drop at center ice.

The pair were joined by several of their teammates from last year’s team who also survived the crash. The Broncos then got off to a great start, putting the first goal on the board on a 5-on-3 power play.

However, their opponents the Nipawin Hawks, took the lead 2-1 by the end of the period and were able to hold on for the win.

The Broncos also unveiled 29 banners that were raised to the rafters, honoring the 29 people that were on the bus on that fateful day. The numbers of the players that were honored with banners will be retired New head coach Nathan Oystrick told TSN after the game that he thought the team handled the emotions of the night really well.

“It was emotional, as I’m sure it was for everyone else, but (they) battled through it,” he said. “I thought the guys did a really good job.”

The team is scheduled to take a bus on Friday to head to Nipawin for the rematch.