Bronx Neighbors: Toni Ann Miano

Toni Ann Miano

Toni Ann Miano is not much of a bragger.

She just lets her parents and hockey stick do the talking.

But if her ego were the size of her impressive hockey career, she would tell you she’s a dynamite player gunning for gold.

At 17, Miano of Morris Park holds the distinction as the second New York hockey player for U.S.A. Hockey Under-18 Women’s National Team, better known as Team USA.

“My dream has always been to play for the Olympics,” said Miano, granddaughter of Morris Park’s late, well known Rocky Miano Sr.

After lengthy tryouts this past summer, Miano was handpicked for the 22-player roster.

On her first exhibtion against Team Canada in Lake Placid, Miano experienced “the chills” realizing she arrived.

“When I had the chance to wear a Team USA uniform I realized I can do it,” said Miano, thrilled to see her number six emblazoned on the red, white and blue shirt. “It was probably the best feeling I had.”

Her hockey career has taken her to 32 states, and several Canadian provinces. She’s slated to go abroad next April to compete in the World’s Cup.

“Growing up, I pretty much played everything,” said Miano. “But after I got recruited by my high school, I said ‘this is my sport. This is what I want to do.’”

With hockey venues nil in the Bronx, Miano’s parents, Joann and Rocky Miano Jr. were forced to shuttle her to New Jersey to learn how to play hockey under a former Soviet Union hockey player, teaching Miano how to speed skate in reverse, a trait that suits her well playing defense.

“She used to play with the boys from AAA Hockey,” said Rocky.

“He always felt that she had it,” said Joann.

One of the biggest events occurred in 2005, when a nine-year-old Miano led the city to its first 40-year victory during the Empire State Games in Hudson Valley, scoring the only point with just two minutes left to the game.

“I was told I was the youngest kid to score in New York City ever,” she remembered. “That was my turning point.”

Miano soon joined the New Jersey Colonials youth hockey group, traveling around the country for invitationals, balancing school with hockey, often completing homework while driving home after competitions.

Miano now divides her time between Maria Regina High School in Hartsdale and the North American Hockey Academy, the rigorous hockey program in Stowe, Vermont.

The exclusive academy picks only 40 bright young stars throughout the country to take part in the Junior Women Hockey League.

On Sept. 28, Miano headed to NAHA for her final year, later returning to Maria Regina for the rest of her semester.

“We travel every weekend,” said Miano. “We travel to Detroit, Canada, Ottawa, all over to play in our league or tournament.”

Miano is now college-bound, with a full ride to Boston University to join the hockey program.

David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at DCruz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383

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