The Official Photoblog of the Seattle Thunderbirds

Game 7: Thunderbirds Smoke Chiefs

Hello there everyone!  Now that the T-Birds are back from their successful road trip, I have new photos for you to enjoy!  Even though there were two back-to-back games, I’ll only be talking about the Friday night game against Spokane for now.  We’ll get to Everett a little later.  So let’s set those time machines back a few days and relieve that shootout win over the Chiefs, shall we?

We had a special visitor to the press box before the game started; a Stanley Cup championship ring!  Mark Kelley, the director of amateur scouting for the Chicago Blackhawks, went to the game to look over some players with his recent championship ring in tow.  He was nice enough to let me get a shot of it for the blog.  Thanks Mark!

A 2010 championship ring from Chicago Blackhawks’ Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Kelly.

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/1.8, 1/250th, Manual

Director of Media Relations Ian Henry told me that we had a big pre-game ceremony planned and that I should be on the ice for it.  So I went down there (didn’t fall again, I should go pro in ice walking with expensive equipment around my neck…) and waited for the pre-game to start.  It finally did once the players were introduced.  I got a nice photo of Dave Sutter side-light by the spotlight while waiting for the rest of the pre-game ceremony to start…

Canon 7D, 150mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/500th, Manual

Since the team was back east for Veterans Day, the men and women of our armed forces were honored before the start of the game.    The local Veterans’ association presented the colors and the puck was rappelled down from the rafters by some current national guardsmen (and women).  Here’s a gentleman carrying the American flag. He also did well to keep on his feet while bringing the flag out.  As a reward for staying upright, here’s a photo of him.

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/250th, Manual

I may have glanced over this part, but let’s go back: the puck rappelled down from the rafters.  More specifically, one of the guardsmen held the puck while rappelling down.  There were three rappellers and unfortunately I didn’t have a lens that could go wide enough to see all of them, but I did get some nice close-ups of one of them…

Canon 7D, 130mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/500th, Manual

And here’s the guardswoman who brought the puck down…

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/640th, Manual

Alright, now that we have the puck, we can play some hockey!    The game started off fast when center Luke Lockhart got one past the Spokane goalie in under a minute.  I wasn’t in position to get a photo of the goal, but I had a nice view of the Seattle bench after the goal, and the bench was excited to have an early lead.

Canon 7D, 98mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

I eventually moved up to the second level of the ShoWare Center from rinkside—I wanted to have a view of the goal the T-Birds were attacking—and started shooting again.   Naturally, the first good photo from that position would have been more dynamic if I had just stayed put.  Oh well, it’s still a nice shot, though…

Goalie Calvin Pickard blocks a shot from Spokane rightwinger Matt Marantz in the first period.

Canon 7D, 108mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Here, center Charles Wells (right) and Spokane defender Brendon Kichton battle for the puck in the first period.

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

It was a brutal, bitter game; about what you’d expect for a rivalry game.  There was a lot of face-to-face confrontations throughout the game, like this one between rightwinger Jacob Doty and Spokane leftwinger Colin Valcourt…

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And also some shoves, like this altercation between center Colin Jacobs and Spokane defenseman Jared Cowen.

Canon 7D, 100mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Here’s a photo of rightwinger Marcel Noebels controlling the puck.

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

And actually that last photo ends the second period of play for us.  Either time flies when you’re having fun (you guys are having fun reading this, right)  or I just didn’t get many good shots during the first two periods…

Anyways onto the third.  Three minutes into the third period, Spokane snuck a goal past Calvin to tie the game.  Of course I got a photo of it, and unfortunately a nice-looking photo, too.  Why are my best always of the other team doing well?

Spokane center Tyler Johnson (left) slips a shot past Seattle defenseman Travis Bobbee (center-right) and goalie Calvin Pickard (center) in the third period.

Canon 7D, 75mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

This next photo is actually one of a string of fifteen or so photos of defenseman Dave Sutter trying to get the puck away from Spokane center Brady Brassert.  I might end up giving you that strain eventually, but here’s one of the better ones (although they’re all pretty good)…

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

Here’s a faceoff between Jacobs and Spokane center Kenton Miller.  It’s not a particularly important photo (I mean it is just a faceoff, those happen all the time), but I like how Miller’s face is framed by Jacobs’ arm.  Again, why are my coolest photos of Spokane?

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

Here’s a photo of defenseman Travis Bobbee and Spokane center Steven Kuhn scrambling for the puck while Pickard looks on.

Canon 7D, 110mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And here linseman David Tise has to step in between Noebels and Spokane rightwinger Blake Gal.  The refs were adamant to stop any fights from happening Friday night.

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

In case you haven’t noticed, many players have grown mustaches for the month of November.  As well as it being no-shave-November (check out your local college campus if you don’t believe me) it’s also Mo-vember in the NHL where many players have grown their mustaches to raise awareness for men’s health problems like Prostate cancer.  Many WHLers decided to join in on the mustache-growing fun.  Here’s two of them…

Defenseman Erik Bonsor and Spokane defenseman Brenden Kichton battle for the puck during the third period.

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

Now this next photo I’d normally not put in the blog: nothing important is happening and it’s not that great of a photo anyway.  I just thought like how Bobbee is surrounded by the flying ice particles.  And I guess you can see Pickard making another save in the background, but this photo is really about Travis…

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

With the score tied, the two teams went to overtime, five minutes of four-on-four action.  Nothing slipped past either goalie, though, and we went to a shootout.  Since I missed out on my chance at being in between the benches for the third period, I was relegated to finding a rinkside seat (what’s that? I’m lucky to have such great seats anyway? You have a point there…).  I ended up setting up just to the right of the goal Pickard was defending.  That, in theory, would give me a head-on view of the goal the T-Birds were shooting at.  It did, but I did not take into account that a certain referee would be blocking my view…

It’s a successful shootout attempt!  You can’t see the goalie or much of rightwinger Burke Gallimore but you can see the puck just off of the referee’s right hand…

Canon 7D, 185mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

I did, however, have a unique view of the Seattle goal.  Here Pickard blocks the attempt by Spokane center Tyler Johnson.

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And of course the team rushed out to Pickard to celebrate with him.  Jacob Doty seems particularly excited.

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And that’s it for this blog post.  I hope to get the thread from Saturday’s game up soon, but they do take awhile.   There is a day coming up Thursday where I don’t have to do much but help out in the kitchen.  Hopefully I can get it done by then, huh?

As always, leave your comments/criticisms/critiques/quandaries in the comments section below.

Til next time, go T-Birds!

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2 responses

  1. Erik

    Another awesome set, as usual Kyle!

    BTW – have you seen that quite a few of the players/staff are using your pics for their FB profiles? Pretty nice compliment to your skills, I thought.

    November 22, 2010 at 1:17 pm

  2. Awesome shots! I enjoy the pictures almost as much as the writing! Thank you for sharing, even the not great shots. Your captions are great.

    November 22, 2010 at 5:52 pm

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