Denver's Loney hoping for return trip to Pittsburgh
College Football Videos
Heading into his sophomore year at the University of Denver, Ty Loney opted to stay in Colorado over the summer to work on his game.
If all goes as planned for the Pioneers, the Pine-Richland High School graduate will get to make up for some lost time at home in April.
That's because the NCAA Men's Frozen Four will take place at Pittsburgh's Consol Energy Center. And, Denver, with 75 percent of its roster returning from last year's NCAA Tournament qualifier, hopes for bigger and better things this season.
“I couldn't really imagine anything like that; that'd be crazy,” Loney said. “Just making it to the tournament is a huge success. To play in the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh would be pretty unreal.”
The Pioneers, ranked No. 8 in the USA Today/U.S. Hockey Magazine poll near the end of October, are hoping to pick up where they left off last year. Denver finished 25-14-4 and advanced to the WCHA championship game, where it dropped a 4-0 decision to North Dakota. The Pioneers advanced to the NCAA Midwest Regional semifinals, but fell to eventual NCAA runner-up Ferris State, 2-1.
“It gives us a lot of confidence to be ranked that high and a lot of incentive to back it up and prove to everyone else what we can do,” Loney said. “We lost some pretty good players. I think we have a really strong team, especially with our sophomore class.
“Defensively, I think we'll be very good. Most of the people are returning. Up front, we have some skilled guys coming in, and I think we'll surprise some teams this year.”
Loney, a son of former Pittsburgh Penguins winger Troy Loney, hopes to continue his progression. He had 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) and had a plus-8 rating in 36 games for Denver.
“Starting off as a freshman, it was tough to fit in and find out what your role is. It's pretty tough to battle your way into the lineup. I think that makes you better,” Ty Loney said.
“When (Jason) Zucker went away to play in the World Junior Championship, it gave me the opportunity to step up and play on a line with Drew (Shore) and (Luke) Salazar. We did pretty well together. I proved myself to my coaches.”
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound right winger certainly made an impression. He began this season skating on the Pioneers' top line.
“We have a really good group of forwards this year, and that's just the way the coaches put them together,” Loney said. “We'll see how everything works out. But I think we have a pretty good lineup up front no matter who is where.”
Loney focused on improving his game over the summer, which is why he stuck around in Denver to work out with many of his teammates.
“Staying in Denver really helped. I did a lot of strength training with a lot of the players at Denver. Everyone was pretty focused and had the right mindset. I wanted to become a better overall hockey player,” Loney said.
“I want to be a guy that can help out defensively, too. I'll do anything I can to benefit the team. I really worked on all aspects of my game, especially speed. You can never have too much speed and that's one area I need to improve.”
Loney wants to use his big frame to his advantage, too.
“I am more of a power forward. I see the ice pretty well and have some soft hands around the net,” he said. “When I was in the USHL, coaches saw me as more of a scorer. But I think I can be that guy in front of the net who can cause havoc and put the puck in the net whenever possible.
“This year, I want to make sure I leave everything out there on the ice every game and every shift, I want to be a 20- to 25-goal scorer and do whatever I can to help the team go as long as we can in the playoffs.”
Loney, who won a Penguins Cup Class AAA championship with Pine-Richland, played two seasons with the Youngstown Phantoms before attending Denver.
“I never really figured out how I picked Denver. It was one of the last schools I talked to,” he said. “When I came out here on my visit, the campus was unbelievable, and the weather is fantastic. Also, the tradition of a winning hockey team and having people go pro really topped it off.”
Loney, however, wouldn't mind coming back to Pittsburgh, especially in April.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Serra’s Miller thriving at Seton Hill after rough 1st season
- IUP falls short in Division II men’s basketball title game
- Cal U women win Division II national title with 86-69 win
- Seeing divers succeed drives Clarion coach
- Soccer career continues for Springdale grad Weimerskirch
- Thomas Jefferson grad wraps up impressive Penn State Fayette career
- IUP men win, reach Elite Eight semifinals
- Transfers have helped IUP men advance to D-II Elite Eight
- Cal (Pa.) guard Glenn sets postseason tone
- California dreamin’ ... of national title
- District college notebook: Seton Hill baseball team slugs its way to 6-0 week