Humboldt Broncos crash survivor signs pro deal with ECHL team

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Matt Gomercic is turning pro three years after the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Saskatchewan that killed 16 members of the team. (CP/Kayle Neis)
Matt Gomercic is turning pro three years after the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Saskatchewan that killed 16 members of the team. (CP/Kayle Neis)

One of the survivors of the 2018 Humboldt bus crash is turning pro.

On Thursday, the Atlanta Gladiators of the ECHL announced they have signed forward Matt Gomercic to a standard player contract.

Gomercic was one of 13 survivors of the bus crash that killed 16 members of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team in Saskatchewan three years ago. Gomercic suffered a concussion, dislocated shoulder and bleeding on his brain following the crash. With some recovery time in the summer of 2018, he was able to resume playing the very next season for the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa, Ont.

Now 24 years old, Gomercic is turning professional after 54 games of U Sports hockey, and in the middle of his college season, where he has scored five points in nine games.

Ryan Straschnitzki, another survivor of the crash who was paralyzed from the chest down, is also slowly working his way towards his goal of making the Canadian national sledge hockey team. He returned to the ice months after the crash and was preparing to represent Alberta in the sledge hockey national championships last year before the event was cancelled due to COVID-19.

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