Although Humboldt is two provinces away, Stebeck said that the far-flung nature of hockey means that everyone in the community is affected. "There is no playbook on what to do in cases like this".
"The other fourteen people were sent to hospitals with a variety of injuries; three of these people have injuries that are critical in nature".
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have not released how many people died or were injured in the crash. Twenty-nine people were on the bus. He spoke of the culture of Canadian junior league hockey - especially of the frequent long bus trips from game to game - that was familiar to so many people in Humboldt and beyond. "The NHL mourns the passing of those who perished and offers strength and comfort to those injured while traveling to play and be part of a game they all love". The bus, which was going north, was ferrying the team to a game in Nipawin at the time of the accident.
The driver of the tractor trailer was not injured in the crash, RCMP Saskatchewan assistant commissioner Curtis Zablocki told a media conference.
The driver of the tractor-trailer, who was not identified, was initially detained but has since been released, according to the authorities. It says an investigation is taking place.
RCMP said the collision occurred late Friday afternoon.
The team had been on its way to Game 5 of a semi-final playoff series against the Nipawin Hawks.
The crash sent shockwaves through the hockey worlds both of Canada - where the sport is considered akin to a religion - and the United States, which has 24 professional teams in the National Hockey League.
"I think everybody can relate to this experience", said Muench, the mayor.
"And it's always a thought in parents' and fans' minds about what could happen, and unfortunately it has happened in Humboldt".
A website for the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League said Schatz had been named player of the month in February.
"This unthinkable tragedy touches not only the people of Humboldt, but also the province of Saskatchewan and the entire hockey community", said the announcer at the Air Canada Centre. "We're a really small community, and all of us here in Humboldt are definitely somehow connected to the team".
"I know what that team means to that town". "And they came back", he said.
Expressions of sympathy poured in from around the globe.
"We talked to him, but he said he couldn't feel his lower extremities so I don't know what's going on", Straschnitzki told the AP.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, "An entire country is in shock and mourning".
President Trump tweeted Saturday that he spoke with Trudeau to "pay my highest respect and condolences to the families of the bad Humboldt Team tragedy". "May God be with them all!"
The team's president, who was not on the bus at the time, said it was the hardest day of his life after hearing of the tragedy.
"I can not imagine what these parents are going through", he wrote.
Among the players killed in the crash was Stephen Wack of St. Albert.
The flat prairie around the crash site is covered with snow, traces of which can be seen on the plowed roads.
He says the family is seeking solace in one another. "We try to support them the same way we try to support the other families".