Jr. Ducks community mourns the passing of coach Mitch Lane
When hockey players face adversity, they have several choices.
Longtime Anaheim Jr. Ducks coach Mitch Lane chose to battle.
Lane, who was given three to six months to live after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2014, outlived his prognosis by three years and in the process continued to do what he loved – invest in young hockey players.
Lane, 44, passed away on Sept. 11.
“Mitch was a really good coach who understood it’s more about helping young men grow on and off the ice,” said Todd Marchant, whom Lane coached with for several seasons. “He was in it for the right reasons.”
Lane played collegiately for Michigan Tech and Lake Superior State and proudly coached his son, Zach, and nephew, Nathan, with the Jr. Ducks.
His widow, Amy, said hockey was crucial in helping sustain Mitch through the ups and downs of treatment.
“Mitch continued to volunteer as an assistant coach and did so through his entire battle,” she said. “He truly loved the sport and the boys. It was definitely his way of giving back to the sport and his community.
“He loved having a positive influence on the boys and seeing them grow into great young men.”
One fruit of Mitch’s perseverance was being able to see Zach and Nathan win the CAHA Bantam AA state championship and earn a trip to the USA Hockey Youth Nationals in 2016.
“He was so incredibly proud of all the boys,” Amy said.
Said Marchant: “When Mitch was told he had six months to live and it ended up being three and a half years, he felt fortunate to have that time. He was always there for those kids, and the hockey community will always be there for his family.”
Lane’s family has established the Mitch Lane Memorial Hockey Scholarship fund through the CharitySmith Nonprofit Foundation. The fund will assist youth hockey players with financial needs.
Visit charitysmith.org/memorial-funds/mitch-lane/ for more information.
— Chris Bayee
(Nov. 6, 2017)