|(above) Ty Loney|
by Jerry Clark
The numbers on the score sheet may be down a bit from last year for Denver Pioneers forward Ty Loney, but the slow start to the season has not discouraged the sophomore. Growing up the son of a multiple Stanley Cup-winning father (Troy), the younger Loney has seen through his father some of the best things the world has to offer. However, he takes nothing for granted.
When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf coast, he and his family went to help.
“Helping people in need is one of my favorite things to do,” Loney said. “My parents always let me know that what a good thing that can be … helping a neighbor shovel snow; or when we were in Mississippi helping rebuild. Sometimes it helps just to bring a positive vibe.”
Loney also participated in another mission trip to Costa Rica, where things he saw fortified his belief in helping others and appreciating what he has.
“It‘s amazing to come from a nice house, where you have enough meals every day, then to see kids sleeping in cardboard boxes with no food or water. There are a lot of people out there who need help. That is what motivates me. I hope I can keep doing it.”
During his trip to Costa Rica, Loney had the chance to hand some of the kids a bottle of drinking water and play soccer with them.
“That totally changed their day, and hopefully that created a domino effect to help others.”
It‘s little wonder Loney is able to handle a slight dip in production on the ice.
“I am not producing as much as I would like, but I am also being asked to do some different things,” Loney said.
The road to college came via growing up in the Pine-Richland school district, and his hockey background came in part with the North Pittsburgh Wildcats. A few years in Double A and a few in Triple A helped Loney transition to the competition at the college level.
“I played in the USHL against some pretty unbelievable talent,” Loney said. “It helped me develop for college. Denver is a good fit for me — it was a good decision to come here. The competition is better the higher you go, so it is a lot of fun.”
It‘s hard to have a better mentor than his father when it comes to hockey.
“My dad is awesome; he never pushed me too hard and always knew when to stop,” Loney said. “He has been through it all and is very, very helpful. He is the best dad ever.”
All the work and mentoring in the world was great, but Loney was at one point a self-admitted “horrible skater.”
“Growing up, I would just pass the puck past people, but when I got to a point I realized that would no longer work,” he said. “My sophomore year of high school, I grew four inches, and I needed that. I worked on the ice and off on my skating, something I needed to do to play at this level.”
And play well at the college level he has. Last season, Loney played in 36 games for Denver, netting 10 goals and 11 assists and was a +8 in the plus/minus rating.
“This season, what I want to do is help the team better,” he said. “If I do what the team needs, it opens up chances for (us to score). If I stay positive about it, the goals will come. I just have to play well and not worry.”
As a student athlete, Loney is always trying to improve in every aspect he can. He never wants to have a weakness in his game, because he knows there is always someone happy to take the ice and play in his place.
Loney still has not chosen a major. He said the school is challenging, so he is busy. But no matter what field he chooses, he said something that helps people is an area he wants to explore.
“I will decide soon,” Loney said. “I will just work on that and on hockey to be the best player I can.”