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Ron MacLean and Hayley Wickenheiser join Paul Brandt in special tribute to Humboldt Broncos

Melody Lau

On Monday night, Canadian country artist Paul Brandt performed a First Play Live session at CBC Music. To kick off his performance, Brandt wanted to take a moment to talk about the recent tragedy in Humboldt, Sask., where a collison between a junior hockey team's bus and a tractor-trailer killed 15 people and injured many others. "I had a tough time figuring out how to handle this show, to be honest, with you," the Calgary native told the live studio audience. "I think it's important for us to take a minute and just recognize what we've seen and recognize what these families and this town of Humboldt are going through."

To honour the people of Humboldt, Brandt convinced women's hockey player and Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser to "jump on a plane" and join him in the studio. For Wickenheiser, the news of the crash "hit home" because she has played with the players on that team. "Those boys, in particular, are the ones who prepare us to win gold at the Olympics," she added.

"Over the last few days, I've been talking to a lot of my teammates and everyone has been saying that could've been us on that bus," she continued. "And I think that's the way all of Canada feels, is that could've been us."

Two more guests joined Brandt via video message: Hockey Night in Canada hosts Ron MacLean and Don Cherry, who were in Humboldt at the time, visiting the injured victims in the hospital. To introduce Brandt's first song of the evening, "Small Towns and Big Dreams," which was dedicated to the people and town of Humboldt, MacLean said, "Tonight's for them."

Watch the full tribute below. Paul Brandt's complete First Play Live session will be posted soon.

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