West Fargo hockey team gives flowers to boy on opposing team in memory of his mom

Published: Nov. 30, 2018 at 4:29 PM CST
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Thursday evening, members from the West Fargo Sheyenne Mustang hockey team made a special stop in Grand Forks before their big game against the Red River Roughriders.

The West Fargo hockey team showed up at Tanner Bernhardson's home in Grand Forks, to deliver him flowers in memory of his mother he just lost to cancer.

"Just out of the blue and it was so great to see," Bernhardson said recalling the moments they showed up at his door. "They didn't have to do that. They went out of their way."

Sheyenne junior defenseman and assistant captain of the hockey team, Blaze Ackerland, says he's grown up playing hockey with Tanner throughout the years.

"I just kind of told him," he said, "I said Tanner, we're deeply sorry for your loss, and we just want you to know that we're thinking about you and praying for you."

Tanner Bernhardson is the junior defenseman for the Grand Forks Red River Roughriders hockey team and was getting ready to play against the boys that had just shown up to his front door.

Tanner's dad Duane Bernhardson posted the picture of the bus outside his home to Facebook and it has since gone viral. Duane says in the post, "Hockey Pride - what you have when your son answers the door and it is the hockey team he is playing tonight with flowers in memory of his mom. Thanks Sheyenne Mustang Hockey!"

Tanner Bernhardson said the loss is still fresh on his mind.

"She was a really great, strong woman and she prepared us for life. She prepared me for life," Tanner said. "And I know she'll be with me as long as I'm here and I know she'll be guiding me."

Bernhardson said his teammates have been supporting him.

Logan Huus is one of them and he said what the Mustangs did, shows that there's more to life than what happens on a sheet of ice.

"Way more than just a game. We're a big community and a big family," Huus said.

Connor Eichenberg, who plays on the Mustangs, said hockey is such a small community that players should extend a hand to help another who is down.

"I think anytime you can do something good for another hockey player, it's a win. It's a good thing," Eichenberg said.

Tanner's mother, 52-year-old Pam, died Monday, November 26th at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks.

Her memorial service will be held Saturday, December 1st at 11 a.m. at Sharon Lutheran Church in Grand Forks.