An admirals tough guy, a tiny baby, a snowstorm and an opponent’s act of kindness

By Dave Kallmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinal

Pierre-Cedric Labrie and Jana Pieuze-Roy expected a baby in the new year.

Instead they got a story about a snowstorm bad enough to scare a Canadian, and an act of kindness that would turn a hockey bruiser into a 6-foot-3, 228-pound teddy bear.

And they got Lionel.

Although the littlest Labrie got an early start on the party, he waited just long enough.

“We played here on Friday, left for Grand Rapids on Saturday and she texted me. In the bus. Half way,” said Labrie, who plays left wing for the Milwaukee Admirals.

She’s like, ‘Yeah, I’m having some cramps.’ I’m like, ‘Tell me right now. I’ll stop the bus and get a ride from here.’ She said, ‘No, I’m going to be fine.’ ”

So Labrie and the Admirals completed their 4 1/2-hour bus ride around the southern tip of Lake Michigan, hoping to carry the high from a home-ice victory over Chicago into an evening game against the Grand Rapids Griffins.

 “I went to bed around midnight, and at 2 a.m. the phone rings,” Labrie said after practice Thursday at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.

“Water broke.”

The first flight out of Grand Rapids to anywhere close would have got Labrie to Chicago at 6:30 in the morning, and he’d still have had a 90-minute drive to Milwaukee.

“Her mom, for two kids, (labor was) less than six hours,” Labrie said. “I knew I had really a small gap.”

Other options were getting him nowhere, and time was wasting.

His last thought was to wake up Admirals teammate Mark Zengerle, who spent two seasons as a Griffin. It couldn’t hurt to ask him for ideas, right?

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