The Official Photoblog of the Seattle Thunderbirds

Game 2: T-Birds Weather the Storm

For the second (home) game of the season, the Thunderbirds played host to the Lethbridge Hurricanes.  It was the only time this year that the ‘Birds and the ‘Canes would face off, and the players seemed intent on being as hitting each other as much as possible because of it.  It was easily the most physical hockey game I’ve seen (although that number is quite low).  Because of that, I’ve decided to focus on the hits for the first half of this post.

The hits started early as shortly into the first period, Lethbridge defenseman Brennan Yadlowski (left, 9) tried to start a shoving match with T-Birds center Travis Toomey (middle, 37).  Despite having his helmet knocked off, Toomey couldn’t retaliate as he was quickly wrapped up by an official.

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

There were, though, a couple fights during the first period.  The first one was between Thunderbirds rightwinger Jacob Doty and Hurricanes center Neil Tarnasky.  Unfortunately the referee was in between me and the two fighters throughout the whole thing and ruined every shot taken during it, but I did manage to get a frame when they were finally separated.

Canon 7D, 195mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

The second one, between T-Birds leftwinger Chance Lund and Hurricanes defenseman Derek Ryckman, came after T Lund put a hard check on ‘Canes right winger Alex Kuvaev.  Ryckman hit Lund in response, and the fight was on.  Thankfully the referees were off to the side throughout the fight so I got plenty of good shots during it.  Here’s my favorite one, where Lund seems to land a good shot on Ryckman’s chin.  Maybe I should start taking boxing photos to improve my fight shots…

Canon 7D, 175mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Hits didn’t come merely in fights, though.  The whole game featured a lot of hard checks by both sides.  Here, Seattle defenseman Dave Sutter forces a Lethbridge player into the glass while pursuing the puck…

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And here Seattle defenseman Dustin Baecker forces Yadlowski into the glass, preventing him from racing after the puck.

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

It wasn’t just Seattle players throwing their weight around, Lethbridge got a few good checks in as well.  Here Hurricanes defenseman Cason Machacek throws Thunderbird center Brendan Rouse to the ice.

Canon 7D, 195mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Despite all the hits, the two teams still managed to threaten the goal a few times.  In the first period the Thunderbirds managed to earn 13 shots on goal while Lethbridge had 9.  Here, Seattle rightwinger Burke Gallimore tries to sneak the puck past Lethbridge defenseman Daniel Johnston and goalie Brandon Anderson.

Canon 7D, 125mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And here Thunderbird center Connor Sanvido takes a shot on Anderson.

Canon 7D, 105mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Late in the first period, Lethbridge leftwinger Jacob worked his was in front of the net and tried to sneak the puck past Seattle goalie Calvin Pickard.  Pickard, though, was ready for it and blocked the shot.

Canon 7D, 175mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

All of these photos are from the first period, where I was standing along the top row of suites for 10 minutes and inside a suite for the other 10.  Overall, 9 photos I’ll use in this post are from the first period when I was along the top, 10 or so are from the third are from the third period when I was between the benches, and just one from the second period when I was shooting through the glass behind the Lethbridge goal.  This points to two things: 1) not much happened in the second period—which is true—and how hard it can be to shoot through the glass since there’s a not-quite clear barrier between the lens and the action.  Mainly, though, it just goes to show me where I have room for improvement.  Once I learn to select positions along the glass at either end of the rink, I’ll get better photos from those positions.  Until then, I hope you enjoy this photo of T-Bird center Luke Lockhart passing to a teammate…

Canon 7D, 78mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Onto the third period!  It seems like just a second ago we were just on period 2, doesn’t it?  Anyways, just over a minute into the period, Toomey found himself on a breakaway with no one between him and the goalie.  He calmly aimed and fired 15 feet or so away from the goal and scored!  Being between the two benches, I had a great view on the play and expected to have a pretty decent shot of it.  I’ll share it with you now…

Canon 7D, 115mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

Amazing! Spectacular! What a photo!

Yeah, this is a typical occurrence in photography: a random object that has no place being in the frame but is and ruins the photo.   I guess I can take comfort in the fact it wouldn’t have been a great photo anyway: the goalie’s leg is cut off, only Toomey’s back is visible, and the puck is hidden behind the stick.  But still, it’s pretty annoying to have to have a random stick block your shot… (What’s that?  I shouldn’t complain because I get to sit between the benches?  You’ve got me there, I’ll stop now.)

I did get something good from that goal, though.  In his celebration Toomey rolled out to the right, giving me a clear line of sight to shoot the reaction.  Here’s one of them…

Canon 7D, 108mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

After Toomey’s goal came a series of pretty good defensive plays (or at least a series of good shots of defensive plays).  Since I can’t think of a better way of introducing them to you, I’ll just post them and you can decide for yourself if they’re good or not.

Canon 7D, 110mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

Canon 7D, 98mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

Canon 7D, 175mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

Being right beside the team bench, I can hear some of what’s said in the bench (a lot of which I can’t repeat on this blog) and have a good view of coach Rob Sumner.   Here’s a photo of Coach Sumner instructing a player during a break in the action.

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Up just 1-0, The Thunderbirds really could have used another score or two to really put the game away.  Apparently rightwinger Marcel Noebels thought that as well, seeing as he buried a shot from distance past the goalie Anderson and into the net.  My photo of the goal isn’t good—you can’t tell what’s going on and it’s very cluttered with players—so instead I’ll show you Noebel’s high-kicking celebration.

Canon 7D, 108mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Now that the Thunderbirds were up 2-0 with six minutes to go, things were looking pretty good.  The Hurricanes, however, didn’t give up and kept pressing the attack, hoping to shoot themselves back into the game.  Finally, they pulled Anderson in favor of having a sixth attacker and the move seemed to pay off as they snuck two past Pickard in the last two and a half minutes.  Here’s a photo of the first goal from Lethbridge by leftwinger Jacob Berglund.

Canon 7D, 185mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

With the score tied 2-2, we were now heading into overtime.  It was a defensive extra period, as there were only three shots on goal in extra time, all three by the Thunderbirds.  None went into the net, however, and a shootout would decide who would escape with two points.

In the shootout, Gallimore shot first for the T-Birds…

Canon 7D, 120mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

I’m not exactly sure what happened with the shot.  From my picture, it looks like it may have deflected off Anderson’s glove and into the goal, but I’m not confident in that guess.  What I do now is that it eventually crossed the blue line between the pipes and gave the T-Birds an early lead in the shootout.

First up for Lethbridge was leftwinger Max Ross.  He did not convert his shot, though, as Pickard followed the puck all the way to his left leg pad and blocked it.

Canon 7D, 140mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Up next for the Thunderbirds was Marcel Noebels.  He also converted his shootout goal, and then Calvin Pickard blocked the attempt from Lethbridge leftwinger Mitch Maxwell.  The T-Birds won the shootout 2-0!

Of course, everyone rushed out to Pickard to celebrate the win with him.

Canon 7D, 108mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Blog note:  The T-Birds are now on a two-week road trip and I won’t be following the team much—if at all—on the road this season.  My question is, what do you want to see on the photoblog for the next two weeks?  Give me any suggestions in the comment section.  Of course, if you want to critique my work, that’s fine too!

Till next time, Go T-Birds!

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2 responses

  1. Erica

    You got some great action shots of the fights and the hits..there were lots of both in that game! I’d like to see more of the players reactions to plays (like the celebrations after goals – Tyler Alos is priceless with his giant smile), since I am so focused on where the puck is to pay attention to reactions. Nice work, though..it’s fun seeing the pics you take after a game I’ve also been to – always fun seeing the same experience through someone else’s eyes. You were in front of us for a bit in section 111 – we’re right in the front row.

    One thing on this post I thought I should point out…you’ve got “Chris Lund” and his name is actually Chance. 🙂

    October 4, 2010 at 11:20 am

  2. Erik

    Great shots! I especially like the one of Noebel’s high-kicking celebration.

    October 4, 2010 at 2:21 pm

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