The Prince George Cougars held a banner signing and photo-op at the CN Centre Thursday night to honour two recent losses in the hockey world. Hundreds stood at centre ice wearing an assortment of jerseys to show their support.
One is for the Humboldt Broncos after the tragedy that took 16 lives and hospitalized over a dozen more. Vice President of Business for the Cougars, Andy Beesley, was blown away by the support of the community.
“It might seem like a fairly small gesture but it’s not because down the road when people three years from now in Humboldt look at this picture, they’re going to know that Prince George represents all of Canada and the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people that are deeply saddened by this and want to support them.”
Residents noted their involvement in minor hockey, ranging from having kids in the sport to playing through the ranks, as reasons they came to do what they could.
The Humboldt banner will be sent off, along with the picture from centre ice, at a later date according to Beesley.
— My Prince George Now (@mypgnow) April 13, 2018
The second loss came in the form of a former player for the PG Cougars, Brock Hirsche. He passed away after a battle with testicular cancer.
“Brock Hirsche was the captain of the Cougars for four years and he was one of the most special Cougars’ players that has ever played on this team,” says Beesley of the former Cougar.
Former billets were in attendance Thursday for to show their respects, including Elmer and Sharon Stafford.
“We billetted him his first year, he just came for a tryout at 15 and that’s how we knew him…We’re here for the billets parents and parents and just everybody.”
Hirsche’s banner will be sent out immediately to reach Lethbridge in time for his funeral which is on Friday.
Beesley also stated the Cougars do have ‘big plans’ to honour Hirsche, although no plans would be disclosed due to the freshness of the loss.
— PG Cougars (@PGCougars) April 13, 2018