"It's a terrible accident, my God", said Darren Opp, the president of the Nipawin Hawks hockey team.
Most players in the National Hockey League started out just like the members of the Humboldt Broncos - the 16-to-20-year-old players from a small Saskatchewan town who were involved in the crash of the team's bus with a semi-truck on a highway near Tisdale, Sask.
The bus had 29 passengers, including the driver, when it crashed at about 5 p.m. on Highway 35, police said. Fourteen of them were killed, including the driver, and the other 14 had been taken to hospital, three of them in critical condition.
The Broncos team, from the province of Saskatchewan, belongs to a league for players between the ages of 16 and 20.
United States ice hockey team - Boston Bruins - penned a tweet of their own, saying: "Our hearts are heavy this morning". "It is sort of every parent's worst nightmare".
Adam Lowry, a centre with the Winnipeg Jets, played junior hockey with the Swift Current Broncos and remembers how the bus crash has stayed with the community.
The others killed include the junior hockey team's captain Logan Schatz, defenceman Stephen Wack and forwards Jaxon Joseph and Logan Hunter.
Opp, the president of the Hawks, said the coaching staff and players from their team were waiting to help.
Many of those donations purportedly came from the hockey community.
Three survivors of a deadly Canadian bus crash have been photographed holding hands in their hospital beds.
"We woke up to the reality of what happened last night", Humboldt Mayor Rob Muench told Reuters.
John Smith said Herold played for the Canadians until just a few weeks ago and, when their season wrapped up, he was sent to the Broncos for their playoff round.
"Hockey was what brought us all together and we had two communities that were rivals in the rink".
There were fatalities and we are heartbroken.
"He is one of the most adventurous, ambitious, and loving people that I have ever been blessed to know", she said in a Facebook post. "I am freaking out".
Broncos president Kevin Garinger said, "We are heartbroken and completely devastated by the tragedy that occurred yesterday". "We've all been on those buses, on those roads and you just feel for these families because it's just a disgusting situation".
Kevin Henry, a coach who runs a hockey school in Prince Albert, said it was "one of the darkest days in the history of Saskatchewan".
"He liked sports, but at times I think he tolerated sports so he could be a teammate", said Thomas. "It hits the hockey world hard, but I said, 'We're playing for the love of the game.' I'm sure those families, kids, they were playing for the same reason".
"Everyone in Saskatchewan, I just want to say we're here with you guys, you're in our thoughts, you're in our prayers, and we'll do anything we can to support you through a tough time".