His father was far away on that chilly April afternoon, so 3-year-old Cullen Gove reached out to him in a video message, texted by the boy’s mother from a Central Massachusetts playground.
“I love you, Daddy,’’ Cullen said. “I miss you. I want you to feel better so you can come home.’’
But by then, his father, David Gove, a former Thayer Academy hockey prodigy who grew up skating on Cape Cod ponds, won a Stanley Cup ring, and until last year was a promising professional head coach, was beyond reach.