The Official Photoblog of the Seattle Thunderbirds

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Latest

First Half Recap

Happy 2013 T-Birds fans!

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this thing (And in other breaking news, ice is cold), so perhaps a quick recap is in order. Since I have so many games unposted, I’ll post some of the best photos I’ve taken since early November. Sound good? Good, I’m glad you agree…

Early Jan Post001

Defenseman Shea Theodore brings the puck up the ice during a game Nov. 16 against Medicine Hat. Theodore has 27 points on the year, eight goals and 19 assists.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 125mm, f/2.8, 1/2000

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Left winger Alexander Delnov crosses the Thunderbirds logo at center ice during a game Nov. 16 against Medicine Hat.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 115mm, f/2.8, 1/2000

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Delnov and center Connor Honey celebrate a goal in the second period of a Nov. 16 game against Medicine Hat. For much of the first half, the Delnov, Honey, and Roberts Leipsbergs line led the way for the Thunderbirds. The members of the DHL line are currently the top three points-scorers on the squad, with Honey leading the way at 33, Lipsbergs one behind at 32, and Delnov in third with 30.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 85mm, f/2.8, 1/1600

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Left winger Riley Sheen stretches out to block a puck during a game Nov. 17 versus Spokane.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 150mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

And, coincidentally enough, let’s look at a similar photo of Sheen attempting to knock down a puck during the same game.

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Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

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Defenseman Jesse Forsberg dives to interrupt a shot from Everett defenseman Landon Oslanski while Seattle goalie Brandon Glover prepares to make the save during a game Nov. 27.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 100mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

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Center Justin Hickman celebrates a goal late in the third period of the Nov. 27 game against Everett. Hickman’s goal clinched the 5-3 victory for the Thunderbirds.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

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Delnov checks for defenders as he brings the puck up-ice during a game Dec. 1 against Kelowna.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 170mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

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Center and T-Birds captain Luke Lockhart fires a shot towards the goal during the Dec. 1 game against Kelowna. Lockhart had one assist on the night as the T-Birds downed the Rockets 4-2.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 93mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

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Glover makes a save during the Dec. 1 game against Kelowna. Glover has played in 36 games for the Thunderbirds, holding an 89.8% save percentage while facing1,237 shots on the year so far.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 125mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

 

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Lockhart drops to one knee in an effort to block a puck during the Dec. 8 game against Portland. Lockhart has put up 25 points on the year, 14 goals and 11 assists in addition to his duties as team captain.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 155mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

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Left winger Mitch Elliot grapples with Victoria center Brandon MaGee during a dust-up late in the game Dec. 6 versus Victoria.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

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Defenseman Evan Wardley shoves Everett left winger Mitch Skapski as Skapski advances down-ice during a game Dec. 28.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 75mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

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Glover sends a puck flying after blocking an Everett shot during Dec. 28’s contest against the Silvertips.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 93mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

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Forsberg takes a knee in an effort to block a passing lane during Dec. 28’s matchup with Everett.  Forsberg has tallied 20 points on the year so far, scoring four goals while assisting 16 others.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

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Theodore attempts to push Everett center Carson Stadnyk off the puck during the Dec. 28 game against Everett.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

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Glover makes a save during a game Jan. 5 against Spokane.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 93mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

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Right winger Branden Troock and Spokane left winger Carter Proft trade punches during a fight late in the game Jan. 5. Both earned five-minute fighting majors for their involvement in the fight.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

So now I’m caught up with the blog, thankfully! And I have even more exciting news: after every game,  we’ll be posting a photo gallery on the Thunderbirds’ Facebook page! Now you won’t have to wait the days or—let’s face it, the months sometimes—to see photos from some games, it’ll just be an hour or so! What that means for this blog is as of now undetermined, but I’m sure I’ll figure something out for it.

That’s it for this edition of Bird Watching, fans. Thanks for reading and as always,

Til next time, go T-Birds!

Thunderbirds Pink the Rink, Earn a Point against Kamloops

Hello again Thunderbirds fans! And welcome back to Bird Watching! If you came to the most recent home game, a Sunday, October 18th tilt against the Kamloops Blazers, then you probably noticed something different about the ShoWare Center ice….

There’s something different about this photo, but I can’t quite put my finger on it…

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 28mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Maybe if we move down to ice level, we can spot what’s going on here…

Defenseman Taylor Green blocks Kamloops rightwinger Jordan DePape in front of the Seattle goal in the first period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Ok, I’ve got a suspicion, but I think I need one more photo just to be sure…

Multiple Thunderbirds players participated in the team’s Pink the Rink night by taping their sticks with pink tape, lacing up with pink skate laces, and spray painting sticks pinks.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 170mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

 

Ahh! That’s it! The face-off spots are now purple!

Well, they looked purpleish, I guess, but it’s only because the ice was colored pink. Yes, the wonderful ice technicians at the ShoWare Center figured out how to mix pink dye in with the zamboni’s water to create a few layers of pink ice over the typical white ice. This was done as part of team’s Pink the Rink Night to help Valley Medical and GLOW to bring awareness and funds to provide mammograms and breast health education for uninsured women at high risk of developing breast cancer. In fact, there was pink all over the ShoWare Center Sunday, from in the stands, in the players’ bench, and in the ice itself. There was even a pink car on the ice (not during game action though. That just wouldn’t be safe, for the players or for the car). Don’t believe me? Just look…

A car, all decked out in pink highlights, drives on the ice during the first intermission.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

The pink car was actually a prize for three lucky contestants to potentially win. All they had to do was make 15 goals in one minute from the center line. Piece of cake, right? Unfortunately no one won a car, but all three participants certainly made more goals than I would have…

A lucky Thunderbirds fan attempts to make 15 goals in one minute from the center line during the first intermission.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Everyone in attendance at the ShoWare Center Sunday received large pink glow sticks to light the rink even when the lights were off. They certainly lit the rink, which I’ll show you a bit later, and they seemed to be a hit with many in the stands…

Fans hold up their pink glowsticks during the first intermission in support of breast cancer awareness Sunday night.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 90mm, f/2.8, 1/50

Some players used the pink tape sparingly on their sticks. Others, such as left winger Roberts Lipsbergs here? Not so much…

Left winger Roberts Lipsbergs sports an entirely-pink stick in the second period against Kamloops.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 185mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

The Thunderbirds opened the game’s scoring early in the second period when right winger Connor Honey fired the puck past Kamloops goalie Taran Kozun. Did I get a photo of the goal? No, but here’s a photo of the post-goal celebration…

Left winger Riley Sheen, center, celebrates with the Thunderbirds players on the ice after the first goal of the game. Sheen, who assisted the goal, ended the game with one assist and a +/- ranking of +1.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 150mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Center Brendan Rouse fights through the Kamloops defense for a puck in front of the Blazers’ net. Although the puck was frozen on the play, Rouse scored his third goal of the season later on in the second period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Defenseman Shea Theodore fires a puck towards the Kamloops goal in the second period. Theodore scored his fourth goal of the year and also assisted Rouse’s goal for a rating of +1 on the night.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 105mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

The second period was full of action, with all six goals of regulation scored during the period. With the end of the period, the two teams retreated back to their locker rooms and the lights dimmed in the arena, emphasizing the pink glow sticks and other pink lights around the arena.

Pink light from fans’ pink glow sticks and some of the suites lights up the rink shortly before the start of the third period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/125

Center Justin Hickman skates up the ice with the puck early in the third period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 115mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Defenseman Jesse Forsberg hits the ice to block a shooting lane while trying to kill off a Kamloops power play in the third.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 108mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

And, to end this Pink the Rink photoblog, let’s end with another shot of Lipsbergs and his entirely-pink stick again, shall we?

Lipsbergs fights to stay on the puck despite the best efforts of Kamloops defenseman Sam Grist in the third period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 98mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

The T-Birds and Blazers played the third period to a scoreless draw, forcing the Thunderbirds into their second overtime game of the season. 25 seconds into the extra period, however, Kamloops snuck one past T-Birds goalie Brandon Glover and won the game, their 15th of the season. The Thunderbirds, however, received a point in the standings for their effort and moved two points above Everett in the standings.

That’s it for this edition of Bird Watching, Thunderbirds fans. Thanks for reading and, as always, Go T-Birds!

T-Birds Open 2012-13 Home Slate

Greetings again, T-Birds fans! I’ve finally found a bit of time so why don’t I revisit the Thunderbirds’ home opener against Portland last Saturday? Does that sound like a good idea to you guys? Well I certainly hope so.

As with the two other home openers I’ve seen, the T-Birds hosted a Party on the Plaza before the game started. There was a bouncy castle for the younger fans, a beer garden for the older ones, and face painting for everyone, along with other booths. Since you can’t really go wrong with a photo of kids having fun on bouncy castles, I headed there first and waited for a photo opportunity to arise. It didn’t take long for me to get this gem…

A young fan gets assistance in departing a bouncy castle at the Party at the Plaza outside the ShoWacre Center.

Canon 7D, 800 ISO, 28mm, f/2.8, 1/5000

 

As mentioned before, there was a face painter outside available to paint the logo of a certain hockey team on the body of anyone who wished to employ her services.

Canon 7D, 400 ISO, 37mm, f/4.5, 1/250

I stuck around outside to finish up a couple of photos I had to take, and then headed inside to prepare for the player introductions before the game started. Here are a couple of photos from those…

Defenseman Jesse Forsberg rushes onto his new home ice while being introduced to the Seattle crowd. Forsberg came over from Prince George in August.

Canon 7D, 2500 ISO, 90mm, f/2.8, 1/400

Surprisingly and a bit to my dismay, I didn’t catch any laser or flare in my lens, which would have made those photos stand out from the other introductions. Nevertheless, I found a nice way to make a good, somewhat unique photo during introductions by shooting without the aid of the spotlight. Here’s what I’m talking about…

Left wing Alexander Delnov, from Moscow, Russia, is introduced for the first time to Thunderbirds fans.

Canon 7D, 2500 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/400

While the pregame festivities were great to watch and everything, the main draw of the night was (obviously) the game against the rival Portland Winterhawks, so let’s check out some action shots from the first period!

Defenseman Shea Theodore fights through a check by Portland center Nic Petan.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 110mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

As you would expect from a Seattle/Portland matchup, the game quickly turned chippy with physical play all around the rink and plenty of pushing and shoving after the whistle. Here T-Birds’ left wing Riley Sheen (left) and right wing Seth Swenson (right) are involved in a small dust-up with Portland’s Adam De Champlain.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 115mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Center Connor Sanvido controls the puck in front of the Portland bench during the first period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 165mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

About seven minutes into the game, the Thunderbird found themselves on their second powerplay of the night. Barely 10 seconds into the advantage, Seth Swenson powered a loose puck past Portland goalie Cam Lanigan to give the T-Birds a 1-0 advantage in the first. I didn’t get a good frame of the goal, unfortunately, but I did get a decent photo of the resulting celebration.

Sheen is all smiles after Swenson scores his first goal of the year on a power play in the first period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 120mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Delnov chases down a loose puck while in the neutral zone during the first period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 175mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

That’s it for photos from the first period. Let’s move onto the second!

As we’ve previously established, the game turned very physical quickly. It came as no surprise when, nary two minutes into the second period, left wing Mitch Elliot and Portland right wing Joe Mahon dropped gloves and earned themselves a five-minute fighting major, but not before Elliot forced Mahon down to the ice.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 170mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Center Tyler Alos slides a centering pass through the reach of Portland’s Kirill Vorobev and towards the Portland goal.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Theodore controls the puck in the Portland zone during the second period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

The Winterhawks scored two goals in the second period, taking a two score lead into the third period. For the third period, I moved to my typical spot between the benches to get photos unblocked by the glass, where it looks like my efforts paid off…

Defenseman Jared Hauf brings the puck up the ice early in the third period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 110mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Theodore slides a pass up the ice and into the neutral zone.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 155mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Center Justin Hickman brings the puck past an offscreen Portland defender.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 80mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Right wing Branden Troock battles with Portland center Preston Kopec for a puck in the Portland zone.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 105mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Forsberg knocks away a puck heading for the Seattle goal in the third period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 125mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Delnov attempts a back-door shot on the Portland goal, but Portland’s goalie Cam Lanigan makes the save.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 155mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

And, since it’s a Seattle/Portland game, why don’t we end the blog on a shot of another fight? Deal? Deal.

Defenseman Taylor Green and Portland right wing Joe Mahon prepare to land punches on each other late in the game.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 90mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

And that’s it for this edition of Bird Watching! The Thunderbirds return to the ShoWare Center Saturday night, October 6 for a game against those [sarcasm]beloved[ens] hated rivals directly to the north, the Everett Silvertips. I’ll be there, will you?

So it Begins! Training Camp 2012-13

Hello once again Thunderbirds fans, and welcome to the 2012-13 season! I’m team photographer Kyle Scholzen and I’m back for another year behind the camera for everyone’s favorite hockey team! Once again, I’ll be taking photos at most of the Thunderbirds’ games, team events, and perhaps a few other activities, bringing you guys a bit closer to the action on and off the ice. Let’s start out the new year off with a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into Training Camp Check In!

August 22 was training camp reporting day for old, new, and future Thunderbirds players. On the list of things to do for players were take updated headshots, film introduction videos, and participate in fitness testing, among other things. I was there to document some of the goings-on, so let’s see some of the photos from the day!

Camp attendee Austin Adamson holds up a sign with his name before filming his player introduction video. Players held up signs with their names on them prior to taping to help with player identification during post-production.

Left winger Mitch Elliot (left) chats with general manager Russ Farwell after taking his photos and filming his intro video. Elliot is returning for his fourth year manning the left wing for the T-Birds.

Center Brayden Low is all smiles while recording his introduction video. On Check In Day, the players filmed the videos played each game while the starters are being introduced. In order to get the five or 10 seconds of screen time, the players are told to stand still for 30 seconds. It may sound easy, but staring at a camera for 30 seconds always seems longer than it really is.

Tristan Simm puts on pads before having his headshot taken.

At the time this photo was taken, most campers had arrived at the ShoWare Center and checked in. Seventy players attended the team’s five-day training camp in an effort to make the preseason roster.

Mathew Barzal, the team’s first-round draft pick this past May, dons pads and a Thunderbirds jersey in preparation for his headshot before the start of training camp.

Once all the photos were taken and videos filmed, it was time to move into the weight room for some fitness testing…

New Thunderbirds defenseman Jesse Forsberg takes part in the vertical jump during fitness testing at the beginning of training camp. Forsberg spent the last three years with Prince George and was acquired early in August.

Camp attendees loosen up their legs on stationary bikes after doing the leg press exercise during fitness testing.

Short post today I know, but there’ll be plenty more once the season begins! Although the regular season doesn’t start until September 21 at Portland, the T-Birds’ home slate actually begins with a preseason tilt against Everett this coming Friday, Sept. 14! I’ll be there, will you guys?

Like what you see? Have any comments or suggestions for the blog this year? Say so in the comments section below!

The Team Poster: How it was Shot

Hello again, T-Birds Fans! I’m back to take you behind the scenes of the team poster photo shoot. Anyone who attended the game against Everett March 17 received a poster with a photo of the T-Birds in front of the ShoWare Center on it. I was at that photo shoot (although I did not take that particular picture) and let me take you through how the photo was taken!

The photo was taken by portrait photographer Bruce Hudson of Hudson’s Designer Portraits. Bruce is known nation-wide for his beautiful portrait photography and, as a personal aside, took my senior photos, as well as those of my sister and my parent’s wedding photos. When I found out he was taking the T-Birds’ team photo, I made it a point to be there and see how he goes about making a beautiful image.

What specific equipment does Bruce use? Well, for this particular shot, it would be everything in this photo…

It looks like Bruce is planning a simple two-light display (the two black box-like things on the ground), and wants to use the scissor lift to get a birds-eye view of the team…

Of course the lights need to be plugged in, and Josh Hudson captures that on video for the studio’s blog.

Bruce climbs onto the scissor lift before a test shot.

After the crew got set up and figured out basic light settings, the players came out for their photo. Since there were a few stragglers, those who came out a bit early were able to chat while waiting for everyone.

Defenseman Jared Hauf talks with Bruce while waiting for all the players to report in front of the Showare Center.

Bruce raises the lights in order to properly illuminate the players’ faces.

With everyone out and in front of the Showare Center, it was time to take the photo…

While Bruce is busy snapping away behind the camera, the Thunderbirds’ Director of Public and Media Relations Ian Henry gets the players into prime position for the photo.

Bruce shows off the photo to center Luke Lockhart (center) and defenseman Brad Deagle (right).

After taking a look at the photo, Bruce decided to wait for the sun to set before attempting another take. During the intermission, the guys kept themselves busy doing … umm … something.

Something interesting must be going on above as a number of Thunderbird players look up towards the sky while waiting for the team photo to be taken.

After the sky failed to hold the players’ interest anymore, Lockhart and fellow center Tyler Alos found a dog to play with. Unfortunately for them (and the dog), the dog was locked in a car, but at least he looks excited to see the two T-Birds!

Shortly after that, the sun finally went below the horizon and it was time for Bruce to continue shooting. Here he is directing everyone from high above in the scissor lift…

Now you know the story behind the team poster you received! Big thanks to Bruce and his staff for coming out to take the photo, and an even bigger thanks to the team for waiting around to get that great photo. Coming up on Bird Watching, I hope to get at least one more post up to close out the season.

Until next time, then, go T-Birds!

T-Birds Fall to Portland in Teddy Bear Toss Game

Well now, isn’t this a pleasant surprise? Another edition of Bird Watching! I do have to apologize for the long breaks in between this post and my last one; my quarter is very busy with three classes and a lot of work at Seattle University. But I have the time now, and I’ve got the photos from an always-special game: the annual Teddy Bear Toss game!

Every year, many (if not all) WHL teams hold a Teddy Bear Toss game where fans bring teddy bears to donate to charity—the Thunderbirds give the bears to the WARM 106.9 Teddy Bear Patrol which gives them to local firefighters and other emergency responders to give to children in times of crisis. The best part about the Teddy Bear Toss, though, is seeing all the bears thrown onto the ice after the first T-Birds goal. But before we see the bears thrown to the ice, the players must be introduced…

The Thunderbirds’ starting lineup is introduced to a capacity crowd at the ShoWare Center Jan. 28.

Canon 7D, 2500 ISO, 40mm, f/2.8, 1/640

A couple of stuffed animals have great seats for the beginning of the game. They didn’t even get to watch a full period, however, as Connor Honey opened the scoring for the Thunderbirds with seven minutes left in the period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 80mm, f/2.8, 1/800

Before that, though, the Thunderbirds had a couple of other decent shots on goal…

Defenseman Dave Sutter takes a shot on the Portland goal early in the first period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 73mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Center Connor Sanvido watches as Portland goalie Mac Carruth saves his shot in the first period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 90mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

As said before, Connor Honey put the Thunderbirds on the scoreboard with his first goal as a Thunderbird. Just as the celebration started on the ice, the teddy bears went flying…

Fans toss their stuffed animals onto the ice after Connor Honey’s first

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 53mm, f/2.8, 1/800

Here’s a cool shot I got while the stuffed animals were being thrown on the ice. I like this photo a lot because while you can still see the fans, including a couple bears that hadn’t been thrown over the boards yet, you can also see the ice starting to get littered with animals in the reflection off the glass. It all made for a nice shot.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 30mm, f/2.8, 1/800

 

Being a Seattle/Portland rivalry game, the match was littered with hard hits and checks into the board. Here are a couple photos of those hits including part of a Luke Lockhart string…

Center Justin Hickman is about to slam Portland defenseman William Wrenn into the boards in the Portland zone during the second half.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 28mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Center Luke Lockhart jostles for position with Portland defenseman Troy Rutkowski.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 28mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

The jostling turned into a good ole-fashioned check later on…

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 28mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Unfortunately I wasn’t in position to get Honey’s first WHL goal, but I did have a nice viewpoint on what could have been his second…

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 40mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 32mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Portland’s William Wrenn blocks a shot late in the second, resulting in a loose puck in front of the Portland net.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 35mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

And we’ll move to the third period, where I took my normal spot of between the benches. Although I missed left winger Chance Lund’s goal, I did get a good shot of him celebrating with Hickman…

Chance Lund and Justin Hickman celebrate Lund’s goal in the third period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 155mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

For that weekend of games, center Justin Hickman wore a wireless microphone for Q13 Sports. I wanted a photo that showed the mic and ended up with this beauty. Unfortunately, I cannot tell where it is on him. Can you spot the microphone?

Justin Hickman returns to the bench after a shift during the third period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 135mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Here’s newly-acquired right winger Dillon Wagner escaping from being pinned into the boards by Portland defenseman Derrick Pouliot. Wagner, a former Winterhawk, was claimed off waivers back in early January.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 195mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

During warm-ups before the game, I noticed something different about the Thunderbirds players: they weren’t wearing the typical dark blue helmet, they were sporting white lids for this game. I’m not sure when exactly the white helmet entered the Thunderbirds’ unifomr options, but it certainly does look pretty slick. Here’s a shot of the helmet on the bench, as modeled by right wing Seth Swenson.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Right winger Branden Troock tries to get at a rebound in front of Portland’s Marruth in the third period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 170mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

And for our last photo, let’s check out one final hit by Justin Hickman…

Hickman stands up Portland defenseman Joseph Morrow late in the game.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 135mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Unfortunately that’s it for photos for this post. Hopefully it won’t take me so long to post again, and I hope to see you all down at the ShoWare Center real soon!

‘Til next time, Go T-Birds!

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T-Birds Outlast Everett in Shootout

Hello again, T-Birds fans, and welcome back to Bird Watching.  Again I have to apologize for the delay between this post and the last one, I was busy during the Christmas break and didn’t find the time to put together some photos for you.  No matter now, though, as hockey’s back, I have a day off and photos to show off!

For this edition of Bird Watching, we’ll examine the T-Birds’ shootout win over Everett last week.  Rather, we’ll check out the shootout victory over the Silvertips that took place in Kent on Dec. 27, seeing as the teams played to the same result at Everett the next day.  On the 27th, the Thunderbirds kicked off the second half of the season with two points that could prove crucial in the playoff race later on in front of a sold out ShoWare Center crowd.  Onto the photos!

I don’t get many photos of goalie Daniel Cotton since it’s normally Calvin Pickard between the pipes for the Thunderbirds, so when I learned Cotton recently got a new mask, I jumped at the chance to snap a few photos of it.  Hopefully I’ll get to see it in action one of these games, but until then, here’s a shot of the back of it.

Goalie Daniel Cotton shows off his new mask—and assures anyone behind him of his identity— during warm-ups before the game Dec. 27.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 155mm, f/2.8, 1/1600

As mentioned before, the T-Birds and ‘Tips played in front of a sold out crowd of 6,150 that night, the best crowd of the year.  I wanted to get a nice shot showing the entire bowl, but unfortunately I don’t have a wide enough lens to get that shot.  WPS photographer Brian Liesse did, however, and he was nice enough to let me use the HDR image he took of the entire bowl in this post.  Thanks Brian!

Photo by Brian Liesse, Washington Prep Sports

Nikon D5000, 500 ISO, 11mm, f/2.8, 1/60

Right winger Burke Gallimore tries to sail a rebounded puck past Everett goalie Kent Simpson halfway through the first period.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 155mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

The Thunderbirds had a goal waived off in the first period.  I didn’t catch the reason why it was waived off, so unfortunately I can’t give you all an explanation, but I can give you a photo of the play that didn’t happen…

Gallimore (top) and center Sean Aschim crash the net and send the puck past Everett’s Simpson.  Unfortunately for the T-Birds the goal was disallowed and the score remained 0-0.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 140mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

The game would remain at 0-0 for the rest of the period.  Now onto the second!

The newest Thunderbird, right winger Connor Honey, brings the puck up along the boards during the second period.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 35mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

For part of the second period, I tried out a new position right in front of section 107.  As well as giving me a different angle than I’m used to for the second, the move gave me less-damaged glass to shoot through (the glass to either side of goals will always be clearer than the glass right behind it as pucks don’t hit the side glass nearly as often) and allow me to use my 70-200mm lens, which provides a better quality of photo.  Moving, for this game at least, gave me a good amount of shots, much more than I normally get in the second…

Right wing Branden Troock is knocked over in front of the Everett goal by Everett defender Evan Morden. (Note: this could be the play that earned Morden an interference minor, but I’m not sure)

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Left winger Marcel Noebels watches as Simpson deflects a shot wide of the goal late in the second period.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

With just seconds left in the period, Marcel Noebels found himself on something of a breakaway—there was only one defender between him and the goal, but that defender was on the other side of the ice.  He fired a shot at Simpson, who couldn’t freeze the puck before Burke Gallimore arrived to threaten the goal…

Everett goalie Kent Simpson tries to freeze the puck before it can rebound to an awaiting Burke Gallimore…

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Simpson did manage to freeze the puck and stop play, but not before Burke was able to try and knock the puck away from the Everett goalie.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

 

That’s it from the second period.  During the period, Gallimore one-timed a pass from defender Evan Wardley into the back of the net for a Seattle goal.  It was Gallimore’s 15th goal of the year, and Wardley earned his first WHL assist for the pass.  Noebels was given an assist as well.  Now onto the third period, where I took my normal spot between the benches…

Noebels maneuvers around the outstretched-reach of Everett defenseman Dominik Bittner for a shot on frame.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 115mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Defenseman Brad Deagle brings the puck into the neutral zone during the third period.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 115mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Left winger Chance Lund clears the puck out of the Everett zone in the third period.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 98mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Honey carries the puck over the center line.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 78mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

By now you’re probably thinking, “Wow, Kyle got a lot of photos of people carrying the puck that night.”  You’d be correct: I did get a number of clean shots of the T-Birds possessing the puck tonight.  Why?  I don’t know, but I always like getting stock photos of those I don’t normally catch in images, so I’m not complaining too loudly.  Here’s one more, this time of defenseman Shea Theodore.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 35mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

And in case you were worried about the lack of goalie Calvin Pickard in this post so far, don’t worry.  Here he is doing his best impression of a brick wall.

Goalie Calvin Pickard makes a stick save on an Everett shot during the third period.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 135mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

The shot I didn’t get, however, is a photo of the goal Everett scored to even the score at one in the third period.  Since no one likes to go home with a tie, how about we go to overtime?

Center Luke Lockhart dives for a puck in the opening stages of the overtime period.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 98mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Pickard stops a shot from Everett left winger Joshua Linquist.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 150mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Neither team scored in overtime, so the game was sent to a shootout.  The Thunderbirds’ coaching staff, (from left to right) assistant coach Darren Rumble, head coach Steve Konowalchuk, and assistant coach Steve McTaggart, got together and decided who would take the shootout attempts for the T-Birds.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/800

They decided to send center Colin Jacobs out first, and he vindicated that choice by sending the puck past Everett goalie Kent Simpson.  Josh Birkholz and Joshua Winquist for Everett didn’t see the same success, however, and it was up to Cody Fowlie to get one past Pickard in order to extend the shootout.  That didn’t happen.

Pickard sends Fowlie’s shootout attempt sailing wide of the net, clinching the victory and two points for Seattle.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 145mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

With the game won, Pickard threw his arms up in celebration as the rest of the team rushed out to greet him.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 195mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

And again, Colin Jacobs and center Tyler Alos found and congratulated each other on the win.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

That’s it for this post! T-Birds win!  Sorry again for the delay in getting something new up on the blog,  hopefully it won’t be two weeks before the next post again.  If you want to complain about the lack of posts or comment on any of the photos, feel free to do so in the comments section below.
‘Til next time, though, go T-Birds!

T-Birds Take out Royals in Shootout

Well this feels familiar!  Hello again, T-Birds fans, team photographer Kyle Scholzen back here with you after an unfortunately long absence.  Classes have ended for the quarter, though, and that means I actually have time to update this blog again!  I don’t know any better way to celebrate that fact than with photos from a T-Birds victory, this one coming in shootout form over the Royals…

Saturday’s game against Victoria was a roller-coaster ride of emotion.  The first two periods were great as the T-Birds took a 3-0 lead and we saw newcomer Connor Honey’s first WHL point and both Tyler Alos’ and  Colin Jacobs’ first goals of the season.  The third, though, brought about an ill-advised fighting major and game misconduct from Justin Hickman that gave Victoria a three-minute power play during which the Royals erased their three-goal deficit and evened the game up.  A back-and-forth overtime ended with the game still tied, bringing about a shootout that saw just one successful penalty shot, converted by none other than Colin Jacobs.  It was a fun game to cover, so let’s dive into the photos!

Defenseman Braeden Laroque tries to knock Victoria center Steven Hodges off the puck.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 80mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Goalie Calvin Pickard deflects a  shot to defendseman Cason Machacek.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 100mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Center Sean Aschim controls the puck in the T-Birds’ defensive zone.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 80mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Aschim opened the scoring in the game with a well-placed blast from about 15 feet out.  That goal was his eighth of the season and drew a well-deserved celebration from Aschim…

Aschim celebrates his opening goal late in the first period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 130mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

And to close out the period, let’s check out a shot on goal by right wing Tyler Alos, who would later get his first goal of the year in the second.

Right wing Tyler Alos tries to force a shot through Victoria goalie Keith Hamilton in the closing moments of the first period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 32mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Aschim’s goal would be the difference between the two teams in the first period, and we now move onto the second, which brought on much the same style of play we saw in the first. Also, the T-Birds capitalized on the many opportunities they had to score, as they converted on two of the four power-play opportunities they had in the period.  For the first goal, Tyler Alos scored his first of the year, and Colin Jacobs also netted his season-opener eight minutes later.  Unfortunately my photos of those two plays didn’t turn out very clear, but I did get a decent shot of Luke Lockhart firing a centering pass towards goal during a power play…

Center Luke Lockhart centers the puck during the second period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 130mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Left wing Chance Lund tries to redirect a centering pass past Victoria goalie Keith Hamilton.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 70mm, f/3.5, 1/1000

Right wing Burke Gallimore tries to collect a loose puck in front of the Victoria goal in the second period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 75mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

And that’s it for the second period, unfortunately.  Now onto the third!

Defenseman Brad Deagle chases after a loose puck with Victoria center Kevin Sunder close in tow.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 85mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

When I’m in the box between the benches, sometimes I feel like part of the game due to how close I am to the action.  I feel the rush of air whenever someone skates past right in front of me, I hear every word chirped at opposing players between the benches (which is the reason why I can’t take video from down there: this is a family blog of course), and I’ve even been sprayed with snow a time or two down there.   Sometimes I feel like such a part of the game it feels like players actually pass me the puck, which is what looks like is going on in this next photo…

Defenseman Cason Machacek passes the puck back into the neutral zone during the third period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 93mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Not even two minutes into the third, right wing Justin Hickman found himself with a five-minute major fighting penalty and a game misconduct for fighting Victoria left wing Zane Jones after Jones tripped a T-Bird.  While it was nice to see Hickman sticking up for his teammate, it was unfortunate that he earned a five-minute major as the Royals used the resulting three minute power play (after Jones’ tripping minor ended) to even the game back up.  Here is the second goal from Victoria on the night, a far shot that Chance Lund tried his best to block…

Lund tries, but can’t block a blast from Victoria defenseman Kade Pilton during a Victoria power play in the third period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 85mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Right wing Connor Honey joined the T-Birds on Thursday, Dec. 8, and this last weekend of games was his first action as a T-Bird (although he attended Seattle’s preseason training camp).  Those two nights, I was tasked with getting photos of him and Jacobs (more from him later, obviously), and luckily they were seemingly right in front of my lens the entire night.  Here is Honey poke-checking the puck away from Victoria defenseman Jesse Pauls.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 125mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

After Hickman’s penalty and the resulting power play, the T-Birds tried to score the game-winner, but were rebuked by Hamilton and the Victoria defense.  They’d have to settle for overtime, where they got three shots on target, including this one by Chance Lund.

Left wing Chance Lund fires a shot on goal.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 80mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

None of those three found the net, however, bringing about a shootout to determine what team got that second point.  Before the shootout, however, the teams rested on the bench while the zamboni smoothed the center of the ice and the two goal creases…

While waiting for the zamboni, Alos (left), Jacobs (middle), and Gallimore (right) sat together on the forwards’ side of the bench, chatting with Luke Lockhart (not pictured).

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 80mm, f/2.8, 1/500

Once the ice was clear, it was time for the shootout!  Right wing Branden Troock took for the first shot, but missed.  After a Victoria miss, Gallimore took the second T-Birds penalty shot and also failed to convert.  Luckily, though, Calvin Pickard blocked Victoria’s second shot as well, taken by Kevin Sundher.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 108mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Up third for the T-Birds was none other than Colin Jacobs, making just his second start of the year after recovering from injury.  Having scored his first goal of the year earlier in the game, he was feeling fairly confident; at least confident enough to fire the puck past Victoria’s Keith Hamilton for a successful conversion.

Jacobs’ successful shootout goal was all that was needed, as Pickard also blocked Victoria’s last shot, taken by left wing Jamie Crooks.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 100mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

T-Birds win!  That means a pig-pile around Pickard!

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 135mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 170mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

This win clearly excited the T-Birds, as you can tell from Alos’ and Jacobs’ reactions post-game.  Jacobs was named the game’s third star, and Alos earned first star honors for a goal and assist in the game. Here they are celebrating the win and two points with each other.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 90mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

What a game!  What a two points!  That certainly was a fun way to come back to Bird Watching, now wasn’t it?  I should be able to post with more regularity, at least for the next three or so weeks, so keep checking back for new updates.  And as always, have a comment or question for me?  Let me know in the comments section below!

‘Til next time, Go T-Birds!

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Quick note

Hello everyone,

 

Sorry for the decreased activity on this blog recently, school and other ventures have really started to pick up for me lately and I just haven’t found time to put together a new post.  Alas, they will also keep me away from the game this Friday, December 2, and away from the blog for another week at least.  Maybe if we ask Brian nicely, he take my spot on the ice for me…

After next Tuesday, though, I’m not nearly as busy for the rest of the month, which means there’ll be time for me to play catch-up!

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

 

Kyle

Road Trippin’ with the Thunderbirds

Hello again, T-Birds fans!  Kyle back with you, and I do apologize from being away from Bird Watching for a while.  School and work are keeping me quite busy and I haven’t had much time to work on this.  Today, however, was a light day, and I thought it would be good to put together a post in the middle of this Eastern swing the T-Birds are on.  Since they’re away from the ShoWare Center, let’s check out another away game.  Instead of going all the way to Calgary, let’s just head up I-5 to Everett…

I went to the Everett away game on October 21st (and yes, it feels like a while ago) to build up a stock of photos.  While also being treated to a great game—a hard-hitting rivalry game that the T-birds won—I was also treated to a good amount of strings, or a number of good photos in a row.  This  is due to the burst feature of my camera’s motor drive (it can take up to eight frames per second) and the fact that I abuse that feature all the time.  But since I’m not writing an ad for my 7D, I’ll get back on track to the hockey game.  I got a number of good bursts up in Everett, none better than this one of right winger Branden Troock checking Everett defenseman Evan Morden into the glass right in front of me.  And as you can tell by the end of this burst, I mean right in front of me…

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 28mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 28mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 28mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 28mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 28mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

That last frame is an excellent example of how close the players get to me while I’m shooting from ice level.  It also makes me thankful for the wonder that is plexiglass—it does a remarkable job of keeping players in the rink and not crashing into me (except for that time last year when Jacob Doty checked a Kelowna Rockets player through the glass.  Whenever Doty’s on the ice, I do find myself backing away from the glass…).  Anyway, back to the game.  Right winger Marcel Noebels had a great day up in Everett, having  a hand in all three Thunderbirds’ goals and scoring two of them himself.  Early in the first period I had a two-shot strand of him taking a shot on goal.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Center Connor Sanvido got in on the action, taking a shot on Everett goalie Kent Simpson…

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 37mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 40mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

One more shot from the first period is this particular one.  I can’t quite put my finger on why I like it, but I do.  It’s of Noebels competing with Everett defenseman Nick Walters for a puck.  You can’t see the puck, but you can see the concentration in both players’ faces as they race for the puck…

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 28mm, f/2.8, 1/1600

During the second period, I shot from the upper level at Comcast Arena.  Comcast Arena’s second level has some pretty steep sightlines to the ice, much steeper than the top ring at ShoWare, allowing for a different angle than I’m used to.  I took advantage of the different look and got more than a couple nice-looking shots from above.

Defenseman Dave Sutter beats out Everett left winger Jordyn Boyd for the puck to begin the second period of action.

As said before, Noebels had two goals in game at Everett.  He easily could have had three, as this shot…

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 135mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Hit the post.  Just an inch to the right and it would have been a goal.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 125mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

And here’s another shot of a Connor Sanvido shot.  Despite the fact that I had a pretty decent night photo-wise, I sure didn’t get photos of many players.  By the end of the post, I’ll just have photos of five different players by my count…

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 130mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

I’ve always wanted to get a good shot of a Thunderbird catching the puck at mid-ice and dropping it on the ice.  It’s been something I’ve wanted to capture for a while now, but so far haven’t been quick enough to actually get it yet.  I’m telling you this now not because I got that shot up in Everett, but because I got an even rarer shot—a Thunderbird catching his stick.  You heard me right, catching his stick.

Center Brendan Rouse loses his stick while bringing the puck down the ice in the second period.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 200mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Center Brendan Rouse catches his stick while bringing the puck down the ice in the second period.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 200mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

For our last photo, let’s jump ahead to the third period.  Four minutes into the period, right winger Burke Gallimore buried a shot past Kent Simpson to give the T-Birds a 3-2 lead.  In the celebration hug afterwards, the flock of Thunderbirds rotated so I couldn’t see Gallimore, but I had a clear view of the first star of the night: Marcel Noebels.

Noebels celebrates the game-winning goal with his teammates in the third period.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 175mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

And that’s it for this edition of Bird Watching!  The Thunderbirds will finish their Eastern swing up tonight at 6 pacific time as they take on the Kootenay Ice.  You can check out the stats for that game at seattlethunderbirds.com or listen live at 710sports.com.  As for the blog, I may be back with a post before the next home game, Friday, November 18 (I do hope to get something up early next week, but we’ll see how school goes).  Thanks for bearing with my busy schedule and as always, let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Til next time, Go T-Birds!

Kyle

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