The Buffalo hockey community was already a little down, understandably, after its boys’ hockey season had come to an end at the STMA Arena in Albertville on Tuesday, Feb. 18.
But it hit rock bottom Wednesday, Feb. 19, as news of a fatal accident spread – one that took the community’s biggest hockey fan.
Gary Wagner, 80, was a fixture at the Buffalo Hockey Arena. So much so his name was engraved in part of the facility.
He died instantly after a vehicle allegedly crossed the center line and collided with his on County Road 35 between Buffalo and St. Michael. A 26-year-old woman from Wisconsin, Sarah Robole of River Falls, is recovering from injuries at a Twin Cities hospital.
Gary was a cancer survivor and even made it through heart problems. His love of the Bison kept him going.
He was in the packed house in Albertville as the two former Mississippi 8 rivals – one-time small hockey programs – aimed to stay alive in the Section 8AA Tournament.
The result seems a bit fickle now.
Visitation for the Wagner family will be held Thursday, February 27, 2020 from 4:00 – 8:00 PM at St. Francis Xavier Church in Buffalo, MN.
Mass of Christian Burial for Gary will be held Friday, February 28, 2020 at 11:00 AM with visitation beginning at 10:00 AM at St. Francis Xavier Church in Buffalo, MN. Interment will follow at St. Francis Xavier Cemetery with military honors.
Here’s KSMP/FOX 9’s coverage of the tragic accident: