It was revealed today that No. 1 Austin Lotz has an ankle sprain, and he's considered week to week. He will definitely miss this weekend's two home games against Tri-City and Kamloops.
With Lotz unavailable for at least a while, that means Daniel Cotton will be carrying a heavy load for the time being. The good news for Everett is that Cotton is capable of handling it. Cotton's numbers (9-11-0-0, 3.24 goals against average, .901 save percentage) are actually quite similar to Lotz's. Cotton also proved he can handle a heavy workload when he played every minute during Everett's eastern swing, when he started six road games in nine days.
And the Tips have at least settled their back-up situation. Bryce Fink of the Seattle Totems had to dress as the emergency back-up in Tuesday's 6-0 home loss to Portland. But 15-year-old Nik Amundrud has arrived in town and will serve as the back-up as long as Lotz is out. Amundrud was a third-round pick in last year's bantam draft, and he had already signed an education contract with the Tips. Tuesday night it was not certain that Amundrud would be made available by his midget team. But he's here now, and Tips general manager Garry Davidson said Amundrud will be able to stick around for at least two weekends.
Everett gets some positive injury news this weekend. Overage winger Ryan Harrison has been cleared to return. Harrison missed the previous three games because of concussion symptoms. Also, winger Lucas Grayson should be available after missing several weeks because of a lower-body issue.
Two players won't be available this weekend, however. Leading scorer Josh Winquist remains sidelined because of the aggravated upper-body injury suffered Tuesday, and defenseman Austin Adam (head) isn't ready to return just yet.
Defenseman Ayrton Nikkel remains a long-term absentee because of finger surgery. And, of course, defenseman Ryan Murray (shoulder) won't be around for his final bobblehead giveaway Friday. We'll see if he remains on the roster after all his bobblehead nights are complete.
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