Everett’s wild weekend proved costly for the Silvertips as No. 1 goaltender Austin Lotz is now out with an ankle injury. Lotz suffered a twisted ankle late in regulation of Everett’s 7-6 overtime victory at Kamloops on Saturday. He remained in the game after suffering the injury, but now he’s sporting a walking boot.
Losing Lotz is a significant blow for the Tips. The 18-year-old from St. Adolphe, Manitoba, established himself as a shutdown No. 1 netminder. He started each of Everett’s past 11 games, and prior to the weekend he was leading the league in both goals against average and save percentage.
Everett coach Kevin Constantine said it was originally feared Lotz would be out six weeks. However, Lotz is now expected to miss three or four weeks.
The consolation for the Tips is they have an experienced contingency plan. Daniel Cotton may not have played in a while, but the 19-year-old is about as good a second option as there is in the WHL. He’s a veteran who had successful stints as Everett’s No. 1 option last season, most notably playing every minute in goal during the Tips’ road trip through the East Division, winning four of the six games. He’ll be a busy young man as Everett is headed into its busiest stretch of the season, with 13 games in 23 days.
The Tips called up 16-year-old Nik Amundrud to serve as Cotton’s back-up while Lotz is out.