Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Don Cherry, and the kid who didn't see 14

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To know Brock Pulock would be to know he loved hockey.

The team captain of the peewee Grand Plains Hawks treasured his number four jersey, until he apparently had to trade in the number for another.

His two older brothers also played and were well-known in their small community for acing the game.

Brock lived and breathed the sport, by all reports. On his way to a championship hockey game in Minnedosa last weekend, his vehicle rolled and he died.

His brother was beside him, as was his grandmother. His family is devastated, and I know every resident of Grandview grieves with them.

Tonight, members of the Grandview Comets will reportedly wear Brock's number on their jerseys.

(It reminds me, actually, of the intensity Russell exhibited when Jon Montgomery won the gold medal -- except in this case the emotions are of profound sadness for a well-loved local family. I heard residents struggle to contain themselves Monday as they talked about the things Brock had to offer)

Anyways, I received this note from a family friend asking for guidance on how to contact hockey legend Don Cherry about having Brock featured or mentioned on the show.

"Brock was a huge Leafs fan and a genuine kid. You can't find too many like him," said the friend.

He continued later: "Since his family is one of the elite hockey families in Grandview, it would be appropriate to get him on Hockey Night in Canada's Coaches Corner. I just thought that maybe you would have an idea of how we could contact HNIC and get Don Cherry and Ron MacLean to profile Brock and his memory.

Don does a thing for soldiers and hockey players that have passed away and I thought maybe this would be something of importance to him," said the note.

Like many Manitobans -- from Ste. Anne to Souris, or pee-wee hockey player to former Premier -- Brock was a fan of the fancily costumed Hockey Night in Canada host. I've contacted the show's producers to pass the message on, and haven't heard anything yet.

Some dreams start small. For those who knew him, Brock sounded like a heck of a leader, especially to younger kids.

I have to think that Cherry (the man who coined the brilliant term 'caterpillar' for injured players rolling around the ice) might have the right words to salve a deep loss.


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About Gabrielle Giroday

Gabrielle has handled the police and crime beat for the Winnipeg Free Press since 2009, meaning she’s seen the best and worst humanity has to offer.

Covering the crime beat in a city known for its homicide rate and violent crime can be challenging, but Gabrielle tries to look at the more complex factors that drive violent events. She began the beat after originally joining the Free Press in June 2005.

Her previous experience contributing to the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business magazine, the National Post, Maisonneuve magazine and NOW Magazine. She was also a member of the editorial board of the Queen’s University Feminist Review, and completed a degree there in politics and English. Some of the Toronto native’s favourite adventures include hitchhiking in the Cuban countryside during a stint studying in Havana, and hanging off the back of a jeep climbing the Kanchenjunga mountain in Nepal.

Gabrielle also felt privileged to write about the first-time elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the summer of 2006, and received a grant from the Canadian Association of Journalists and Canadian International Development Agency to write about sexual violence there.

She recently went to Cameroon in fall 2010 as part of an expert election monitoring team, on behalf of the Commonwealth.

When she’s not chasing a story, Gabrielle can be found jogging every morning by the Legislature and down Portage Avenue.

She’s always enthusiastic about stories that involve investigating the road less travelled or the opinion less broadcast.

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