Ty Loney, the son of former Pens forward and two-time Stanley Cup champion Troy Loney, picked a great time to show off his offensive skills in a Pittsburgh Penguins sweater.
In front of more than 5,000 fans who showed up to the open scrimmage on the final day of development camp, Loney scored a hat trick in Team White’s 6-0 win over Team Black, Saturday.
“A long, long time ago (I had a hat trick),” Loney joked. “I don’t remember my last one. I’ve had a lot of two-goal games … Actually I had one in these (2015) playoffs with Denver, but besides that, nothing.”
Loney, who signed an American Hockey League deal with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for the 2015-16 season, kicked off the scoring onslaught by Team White with a smooth backhand shot over Team Black goalie Tristan Jarry at the 7:29 mark of the first 30 minutes of action.
The former University of Denver product forced a turnover in the neutral zone and countered with the puck into the offensive zone. Barreling down on Jarry, Loney faked a wrist shot before lifting a backhander over the sprawling Jarry and into the upper left-hand corner of the net.
Following a goal by Team White forward Anton Zlobin off of a blocked shot from the point at the 12:30 mark, Loney added his second goal of the game – this time on a re-direct of Derrick Pouliot’s wrist shot from the point.
Conor Sheary, who served as Loney’s left winger for much of the scrimmage, started the scoring play by carrying the puck across the blue line with speed. Reaching the top of the right circle, Sheary pulled up and dished the puck to Pouliot, who quickly fired the shot on net, which Loney re-directed to make it 3-0 Team White, midway through the first session.
“(Conor) Sheary was awesome in getting that set up,” Loney said. “Pouliot put a great shot on net, and I was just lucky enough to be in front of the net and get a stick on it.”
Not done with the scoring barrage, Team White added a quick goal by 2015 fourth-round draft pick Dominik Simon, who tipped Sam Lafferty’s shot from the right circle into the upper right corner over Jarry, making it 4-0 Team White heading into the intermission.
Simon scored his second of the game midway through the second session, this time from behind the net. Receiving a pass down low from undrafted free agent defenseman Matt Murphy, Simon put a quick shot on Team Black goalie Sean Maguire from below the goal line. The puck caromed off of Maguire’s stick and his skate before sliding just beyond the goal line to give Team White a 5-0 lead.
But not to be outdone by Simon, Loney scored the hat-trick goal at the 27:43 mark – his second unassisted goal of the game. Forcing another turnover –this time along the left boards – Loney closed in on Maguire in a 2-on-1 advantage. Pulling a similar move like he did on his first goal, Loney tucked the hat-trick goal just inside the left post to give Team White a 6-0 lead.
“It’s pretty awesome and pretty special (to score a hat-trick in Pittsburgh),” Loney said. “I had lots of friends and family out here, so it was fun. It was a good camp and a fun time, and like I said, the guys next to me made it a lot easier.”
After the final horn sounded, the two teams stayed on the ice to face off in a shootout. After Sheary and Frederick Tiffels traded goals, the shootout went to sudden death.
Stepping up as the first shooter for Team White, Loney scored an incredible goal on Maguire with one hand, leaving CONSOL Energy Center buzzing about the former Pens two-time Stanley Cup champions’ son.
“I don’t know (where I got these hands),” Loney joked. “Probably from my great grandfather, because I know it wasn’t from my dad (laughs).”
Pens assistant general manager Tom Fitzgerald, who watched from the stands with the rest of the front office, said that he was pleased with Loney’s performance during the scrimmage and is looking forward to watching the 6-foot-4, 208-pound center continue to grown his game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
What a special day he (Loney) had,” Fitzgerald said. “Probably something he’s dreamed about his whole life, putting a Penguins uniform on.
“I’m sure he’ll never forget this, and we’re glad we brought him into the organization. So we’re looking forward to working with him and trying to develop him into a National Hockey League player.”
Some notes for the rest of the scrimmage:
•Fitzgerald on who stood out the most during the scrimmage: “There were a lot of performances out there. I think I touched on this when we met with all you guys, we don’t want to evaluate the kids but it is tough not to. Dominik Simon, you could see he has good skills and hockey sense. Conor Sheary’s quickness. I thought Anthony Angello looked good, big, tall skater. He’s a marathoner. So you get excited about all our young prospects that are going away, basically stash them, put them on the shelf for about 3-4 years and see what you have. I thought Jake Guentzel looked very good as well. So you can just see one of the criteria we have is you’ve got to have hockey sense to play. There’s a lot of guys out there with good hockey sense.”
•2015 second-round pick Daniel Sprong showcased his heralded shot early and often during the development camp scrimmage. Playing on a line with Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust, Sprong manned the right side and put multiple shots on net despite being held off the stats sheet. Fitzgerald added that Sprong will head back to Charlottetown of the QMJHL to work on becoming a better all-around hockey player.
•Anton Zlobin and 2015 seventh-round pick Nikita Pavlychev, both natives of Russia, exchanged unpleasantries in front of the bench multiple times. Pavlychev, who towers eight inches taller than the speedy Zlobin, caught the Pens winger with some extra cross checks up high following a play along the boards.
•Conor Sheary had a quietly productive day at both ends of the ice. Showing defensive awareness in his own zone, Sheary was able to spring his line for odd-man rushes the other way multiple times and helped set up Loney’s second goal of the game. He was on the ice for at least three goals and added a shootout goal on a laser of a shot over the glove hand of Maguire.
•Derrick Pouliot made the defensive play of the game early in the first session, breaking up a breakaway by Anthony Angello. Looking to close off the angle on Angello, Pouliot got around the 2014 fifth-round pick and knocked the puck off his stick before Angello could get a shot off on Matt Murray.