"He wanted me to be so successful and wanted me to be good at hockey, he wanted me to make pros..."
EVERETT — If Austin Lotz seemed a little subdued during postgame celebrations following the Everett Silvertips' 6-3 victory over the Red Deer Rebels on Wednesday night at Xfinity Arena, it wasn't because the Tips goaltender was any less emotionally invested. The difference? That victory wasn't for his teammates, the fans or even himself. That one was for Cole. Lotz played Wednesday's game with a heavy heart in the wake of losing his best friend, Cole Hamblin, to cancer that morning. “He was one of those guys who always lit up the room,” Lotz said Thursday when remembering Hamblin. “He always had a smile on his face and definitely had a goofy side to him. Even though he drove me crazy sometimes, he always found a way to make me smile and lighten everything up.” “There was no saying no to Cole when we were younger. Ever since I got into junior (hockey) and had some success, he'd always tell people, ‘Yeah, I'm the one who got Austin to be a goalie.' “Me and him were the passionate ones,” Lotz added. “Obviously my whole town loves hockey, but if it was freezing cold on a Tuesday night and it was dark outside, we'd be the ones still out there shooting the puck around in the park or the backyard.” Hamblin, who completed his junior hockey eligibility last season, was planning on playing for the University of Guelph in Ontario this season. However, the diagnosis halted those plans. Hamblin learned the news while Lotz was still attending training camp with the NHL's Vancouver Canucks. For more on this article CLICK HERE. For the past 4 years Cole Hamblin has been a huge part in the helping goalies train in the off-season. He has been a shooter at our GDI Off-Season Academy, and in large part a favorite by many goalies as he brought a heavy shot on the ice and a great sense of humor and enjoyment to each goalies training. In addition to helping at GDI Hamblin also trained with our partners The Rink Training Centre and Elite Performance for over 5 years. From all of the staff, we will remember Hamblin for many of his great characteristics and will miss him greatly around GDI.