Silvertips' Lotz has been shootout stopper
It wasn't so long ago that when the Everett Silvertips went to a shootout, the only question was whether the Tips would lose in three rounds, or whether the opponent would need just two to finish Everett off. Austin Lotz is almost single-handedly flipping that equation around. The Tips' goaltender turned in yet another difference-making performance in Tuesday's shootout victory against Tri-City in Kennewick, and Lotz's dominating efforts in shootouts are earning Everett points that could prove vital in the big picture. “He's been fantastic, he can't be much better,” Everett coach Kevin Constantine said about Lotz's recent shootout performances. “If you add up the stats from the last three he's been remarkably good.” Lotz turned aside all six attempts he faced in Tuesday's game, setting up Carson Stadnyk to win the shootout and give Everett a 4-3 victory. That kind of shootout performance is becoming routine for Lotz. In his past three shootouts, Lotz denied 25 of the 26 attempts he's faced. That includes his 14-for-15 performance on Nov. 15 against Kamloops in the longest shootout in Western Hockey League history. Lotz's save percentage in his past three shootouts is 96.1, an astounding number when one considers that every one of those shots was a breakaway. That percentage is 5.5 percent better than his season save percentage during open play (90.6). It's gotten to the point that when Everett wins a shootout, the players file off the bench and head straight to Lotz for the postgame celebrations, rather than flocking around the scorer of the clinching goal. “I don't know,” Lotz responded when asked how he's been so successful in shootouts this season. “Some people have asked me that. It's a little bit of luck. I'd like to think it's from lots of practice, but at the same time it's a little bit of luck.” So what's been the reason for the dramatic turnaround in results? An examination of the numbers reveals that Lotz deserves almost all the credit. Everett has converted seven of its 32 shootout attempts this season for a success rate of 21.9 percent. That's right in line with the down years “I think your timing gets a little better (over the years),” Lotz added. “When you're a young guy you might be a little too aggressive or bit too early. As you get older you realize, especially in a shootout, you have to stay calm and get your timing right with the skater coming down. If there's one thing I've been working on, it's the timing when they're coming down and shooting.” For the full article Click Here Austin Lotz has trained with GDI for over 5 years participating in GDI Summer Camps, 1v1 lessons and the Total GDI academy.