Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Pulock Battling for More than just Roster Spot

There's battling through adversity, and then there's what Brandon Wheat Kings' rookie Ryan Pulock had to deal with this past summer.

Pulock's younger brother Brock was killed in a car accident in late March, a tragedy that not only rocked the family and the entire community of Grandview.

"It's been tough," admitted Pulock after practice earlier this week, "It's something that no one wants to go through, but I think I've handled it as well as I could have and I just keep moving on and do whatever I can."

A seventh round pick of Brandon in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft, Pulock didn't really start playing defence on a full-time basis until after he was drafted by the Wheat Kings.

Last season, the 6-foot-0, 193 pound Pulock had nine goals and 18 points in 39 games with the Parkland Rangers of the Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League and, when their season ended, he helped his hometown Grandview Comets capture the North Central Hockey League title.

This fall, Pulock had two assists in two pre-season games with Brandon but missed last weekend's home-and-home series against Moose Jaw because of a minor shoulder injury.

"It's a huge accomplishment to be able to stick around and play for the Wheat Kings," says Pulock, "I think I've moved the puck really well in the defensive zone, and got the puck moving up the ice quickly and smoothly."

Pulock has a constant reminder of his brother, wearing a wristband adorned with Brock's name and number.

"I want to achieve far, because I know that's what he would have wanted me to do," says Pulock, "I'd like to get that done for him."

The 16-year old could start achieving those goals this weekend, when Brandon opens the Western Hockey League regular season.

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