Brent Broaders of Tilting, Fogo Island has been named the first-ever winner of the Logan Schatz Award as the top junior male ball hockey player in Canada.
Earlier this summer, Broaders led Canada to a gold medal in the under-18 division of the 2018 world junior ball hockey championships played at the Glacier in Mount Pearl.
The award handed out this week is named after Humboldt Broncos captain Logan Schatz, the 20-year-old who was one of 16 people killed in an early April accident involving the Humboldt team bus and a transport truck on a Saskatchewan highway.
Besides starring with the Broncos in the Saskatchewan Junior A Hockey League, Schatz was an elite ball hockey player, having been part of Canada’s national under-20 team that won a silver medal in the 2016 world junior ball hockey championship in Sheffield, England. A native of Allan, Sask., Schatz had also been picked up by Manitoba for the 2015 Canadian U19 tournament (Saskatchewan didn’t have an entry that year) and helped his neighbouring Prairie province to a national title.
That the 18-year-old Broaders would be the first to receive the award dedicated in Schatz’s honour was announced during the national senior and masters ball hockey championships being held in Winnipeg this week. Schatz had played for Saskatchewan in last year’s senior men’s event and had been in line to do so again this year.
“Huge honour to receive this award in memory of Logan Schatz, who played for his country with such pride and passion, and set a great example for all the younger players in the JTC (Junior Team Canada) program,” wrote Broaders on his Twitter account (@BBroaders).
The award was handed out by Schatz’s parents as part of an emotional ceremony before a game between Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
The Schatzs were also presented with their son’s Team Canada jersey, which was a story in itself, since it had been in England and in possession of Josh Nertney, a member of the host British team at the 2016 world juniors in Sheffield; he and Schatz had swapped jerseys. But after the bus tragedy, Nertney arranged to have the uniform returned to Canada.
After being presented with the jersey, Bonnie and Kelly Schatz embraced their other son, Brandon, the goaltender for Saskatchewan’s team this week in Winnipeg.
The 18-year-old Broaders topped his team and the tournament in scoring as he led Canada to a gold medal in the under-18 division of the 2018 world junior ball hockey championships played at the Glacier in Mount Pearl earlier this month.
Besides ball hockey excellence, the 18-year-old has something else in common with Schatz in that he also played junior A hockey last winter as a member of the Maritime league’s Yarmouth Mariners.