Lowney eager to impress on Giants debut
New Belfast Giants defenceman Ryan Lowney says he can't wait to get stuck in after joining earlier this week.
The 25-year-old became the latest recruit for head coach Adam Keefe's roster after moving from Slovakian side HKM Zvolen to bolster the side's defensive corps.
Lowney is set to go straight into the line-up and make his Giants debut tonight in the first game of their double-header against the Nottingham Panthers at the Motorpoint Arena (face-off 7pm), and the Michigan native says he just wants to get on the ice and prove what he's capable of to the supporters.
"I played (for Zvolen) this past weekend and then flew in. It's been about getting a full week of practice in and then getting to work right away," said Lowney.
"It's nice that we have two games this weekend, I can use them to get some of the jitters out of the way.
"I know (the Elite League) is a competitive league, they have some really good guys in this league. I've done some pre-scouting and I know it's a really good league to play in, so I can't wait to get started."
It's been a quick transition for Lowney, who arrived in Belfast earlier this week once his arrival had been confirmed and immediately had to get used to new team-mates, new room-mates and a new system to play in.
However, he's quickly been made to feel very welcome. The former Ferris State stand-out is rooming with British duo Lewis Hook and Paul Swindlehurst, who have been helping him get acclimatised to the city, while his offensive capabilities have seen him slot in seamlessly on the Giants' blue-line.
"I'd like to contribute across the ice, come in and help out as much as possible and keep that winning mentality alive. I want to step in and make it seem like I've been here the whole time," added Lowney.
"I've been a powerplay guy throughout my career and I'd really like to help in that aspect.
"I'm feeling good out there, moving the puck with the guys. We've clicked well so far and they've been really welcoming. It's been a really easy transition so I can't complain."
One man on the Giants roster who knows him better than most is fellow defenceman Curtis Leonard, who was also a team-mate of Lowney's at the ECHL's Fort Wayne Komets.
Now, having linked up again in Belfast - with Lowney saying his former team-mate contributed to him joining the Giants - Leonard has nothing but good things to say about the new recruit.
"Ryan's a great player and he's a great kid off the ice. He's a great team-mate," he said.
"He leads by example, he'll leave it all out there on the ice in the way he competes. He's a fun guy to have around in a group setting, he's a really good kid."
The Giants have a full roster to select from for the double-header against the Panthers, with centre Jean Dupuy available again after missing the second game of last weekend's brace of clashes with Coventry Blaze through illness.
Two of the Giants' imports will be forced to sit out the games due to Elite League roster restrictions.