Estevan’s hockey community is mourning the loss of Mike Sarada, assistant coach of the Estevan TS&M Bruins.
The team confirmed Sarada was the victim of a deadly crash on Highway 39 on Monday. RCMP said Sarad got out of his vehicle on the side of the road when a passing semi hit and killed him.
The 44-year-old assistant coach had been involved with the Bantam AA team for five years, working with head coach Tom Copeland.
“You know he was a soft spoken but very intelligent and intense man. He had a great way of teaching kids how to play the game and teaching them to be human beings,” Copeland said.
Copeland remembered Sarada on Thursday a calm voice on the bench, helping to keep the team under control. He was a talented hockey player himself, winning three championships as a defenceman with the Midale Mustangs.
"One on one you couldn't beat him. But if you got into a corner with him, he'd lay you out," Kelly Orsted, Coached Sarada for three years in Midale.
Messages of support have been pouring in to the Bruins to remember Sarada. The team held a special meeting at its practice on Wednesday evening.
"The messages we gave to the kids last night was that if you have a hard decision to make in life, if you can ask yourself what mike would do, you're going to make the right decision," Copeland said.
His legacy remains strong. Some of his former players are now on the Prince Albert Raiders in thw WHL.
"He was just an easy guy to talk to, he was always there to talk," said Cole Fonstad, played for Sarada.
"He was a positive influence in my life, I mean he was a guy that when you came to the rink he always had a smile on his face and he made it enjoyable to come to the rink ebvery day," said Brayden Pachal, played for Sarada.
Plans are being made to solidfy his legacy. Copeland said the team is working on a memorial game to be played in Sarada’s honour.
Based on a report by CTV Regina's Colton Wiens