It was quite a day as the spirit of giving was in abundance! First stop was at the Tuscany Restaurant in Evergreen where owner Rick Egloff welcomed us into his beautiful restaurant so we could surprise a grateful and emotional Tony Huss. Tony is a pillar in the hockey community and friend to many. He’s graced the ice of Evergreen Lake for many years, volunteering time to introduce the roots of the game of hockey to thousands.
Tony is winning his battle with kidney cancer and is well on this way to full recovery.
Tony Huss is the leader of the Tuesday night hockey gang known as The Loons. It’s a traditional gathering of hockey boys and beer, packed with a variety of talent and characters, generally stocked by Tony in the way a pond is stocked with fish. You dump them out and let them swim. Some find their glory, others end up on the wrong line.
It started at the lake in Evergreen a long way back in the 90s. Tony and a few other lake legends played pond hockey for a while, then took The Loons to league hockey. The team bore the name of a Minnesota bird known for its lonesome call. Tony’s a Minnesota guy from a huge family with a jillion siblings. A great athlete, he grew up playing not only hockey, but football. He could throw the long ball as a QB in high school.
His move to Colorado and his life with his beautiful wife Dore led to two outstanding sons Luke and Cal and an excellent reputation as a general contractor. Much of the finest work in Evergreen has Tony’s mark on it.
The Loons eventually found playing their own game was less disputatious than league hockey and bought ice at Foothills Ice Arena somewhere around 14 years ago. Guys have come and gone. Only a few of the original six are around; but if you get into Huss’ skate on Tuesdays, you’ve arrived in the game’s sweet spot. Hockey is first, humor a close second, beer and even barbecues post-game third and arguments short-lived. That’s Tony style.
Docs discovered cancer when they tried to rid Tony of a kidney stone. He had to wait for an operation to deal with it, a time that had to be hard. The guys worried and felt a bit rudderless without Tony to captain things.
Tony is a rather tough guy and this cancer chose a man with a lot of love from his family and friends. The doctors pulled out a hockey puck sized tumor. Tony and Dore are watching the numbers in his tests and believe it hasn’t metastasized beyond what the docs yanked out. We’re with them.
You’ll never find a more true hockey friend with better humor and humility. He has said don’t make a fuss about the cancer. But Tony works for himself and there’s been a lot of down time. When word came of Dawg Nation stepping in to help, we thought it was great. “He’s not going to like it,” said one of the guys.
We kind of figured that. But Tony, we all owe you a heck of a lot more.