Griffins Goalie helps Admirals Player Get Home for Baby’s Birth
The mother of your baby is in labor in Milwaukee. You are a hockey player for the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals, however you are in Grand Rapids with your team. There's a snow storm and it's New Year's weekend. Just how will you get home for the birth of your child?
That was the dilemma facing Pierre-Cedric Labrie. He and Jana Pieuze-Roy were expecting their child to be born sometime soon. He was on the Admirals team bus on its way to Grand Rapids when he got a text message saying that perhaps labor had begun, but the mother-to-be would be fine.
Later that evening, at about 2 am, Labrie gets the call that Pieuze-Roy's water had broke. The baby was on its way.
Labrie tried frantically to find a way to get back to Milwaukee. There were no flights until morning. Due to it being the New Year's weekend and a snow storm was brewing, there were no taxis or limos available. He had no other transportation. Just how was he going to get home for the birth of his child?
Out of ideas, Labrie woke up Admirals teammate Mark Zengerle. Zengerle had played for two seasons in Grand Rapids. Perhaps he had an idea or two.
And he did! Zengerle remembered a guy who is playing for the Griffins named Tom McCollum. He remembered him as being a nice guy. They texted McCollum on his phone. The Griffins were headed back from a night game in Cleveland. They inquired as to whether McCollum had any suggestions. It was at that point McCollum offered up his Ford F-150. It would be awhile before the team bus arrived back in Grand Rapids, but McCollum lived near the hotel the Admirals were staying at. Labrie could get the keys from his girlfriend.
Labrie picked up the truck and drove through the snow storm to Wisconsin, arriving at the hospital at 6:15 am. The baby boy, named Lionel, was born at 6:54 am He weighed in at 5 pounds, 15 ounces.
The two hockey players, McCollum and Labrie, met for the first time last Wednesday when the Griffins beat the Admirals, 4-2 in Milwaukee. Labrie returned McCollum’s keys to him after he had filled the tank and washed the truck. Labrie offered to pay McCollum but he refused to accept anything. McCollum then hopped in his truck and followed the Griffins team bus back to Grand Rapids.
Mother, father, and baby Lionel are all doing well.
To read more about this story, here is a news releasee from the Grand Rapids Griffins website.