Yet another year in a row GDI Prairies takes center stage with Team West in the goaltending department. Last year Andy Desautels and Chris Driedger defended the net, and the year before the GDI tandem of Tyler Oswald and Zach Rakochy were in between the pipes.
This year Everett Silvertips goaltender Austin Lotz was one of 22 players announced to the 2012 Team West roster for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge by Hockey Manitoba and Saskatchewan Hockey Association. Originally slated for Winnipeg but moved due to the return of the Winnipeg Jets, the 2012 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will be held December 29 - January 4 in Windsor, Ontario.
GDI trained Lotz, 16, is currently in his rookie WHL season with the Silvertips. The St. Adolphe, Manitoba native earned his first career victory Saturday against Prince George, making 21 saves in a 3-2 win over the Cougars. In his three starts for Everett this year, Lotz has compiled a 2.70 goals-against average and a .933 saves percentage. Team West is annually comprised of 11 players from Manitoba and 11 players from Saskatchewan. 12 of the 22 players named to the team this year are currently playing in the Western Hockey League. Team West will compete in Pool B with Team Pacific, Team Czech Republic, Team Russia, and Team USA. Pool A will feature Team Atlantic, Team Quebec, Team Germany, Team Sweden and last year’s champion, Team Ontario.