The Official Photoblog of the Seattle Thunderbirds

Archive for January, 2011

Game 21: T-Birds Can’t Come Back, get Dropped by Kelowna

For the second game in a row, the Thunderbirds scored in the third period come within one goal of tying the game.  They couldn’t possibly pull off another amazing comeback again, could they?  Unfortunately not, seeing as Kelowna put two pucks in the back of Seattle’s empty net to ice (feel free to groan over that one) the game, which ended 6-3.

“But Kyle,” you must be thinking, “why are you starting with the third period.  There were two whole periods before the third; you should start at the beginning.”

Well fine then.  Let’s start at the beginning…

Ok, more like a few minutes into the first period…

Center Travis Toomey (left) checks Kelowna defenseman Damon Severson into the boards behind the Rockets’ goal.

Canon 7D, 148mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Shortly after that check, Toomey found himself in a position to test out Kelowna goalie Adam Brown.  He never got that opportunity to, however, as Severson knocked the puck away from Toomey just before the shot went off.

Toomey (left) has a shot blocked by Kelowna’s Damon Severson in the first period.

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

Colin Jacobs seemed to be passing in front of my lens all night last Friday against Kelowna (although I didn’t end up using too many of those photos).  He had a nice night, scoring two goals and getting another point by assisting with Lockhart’s score.  Let’s start out the many photos of Colin with this simple frame of him racing down the ice.

Center Colin Jacobs (right) heads down the ice with Kelowna right wing Mitchell Callahan in pursuit.

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

Speaking of Lockhart’s goal, let’s check out the shot that produced the rebound Lockhart fired into the back of the net, shall we?

Center Luke Lockhart takes a shot on the Kelowna goal.  Lockhart would fire the rebound that came off Rockets’ goalie Adam Brown into the net for the first goal of the game.

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

As you may remember from a couple of earlier posts, I’m still not used to players (goalies not included) being able to stop the puck with their hands.   That said, I’m always looking to make a cool photo of that as it’s a good opportunity to capture a clear shot of a player’s face since he’ll be looking up while grabbing the puck.  Another opportunity to get this photo came against Kelowna when Rocket defenseman Colton Jobke leapt into the air to catch a puck.  I just this photo was in better focus.  And not so noisy (no, not the noise you can hear… noise in a photograph is the grain or speckles that are created into a photograph due to high ISOs and other factors)…

Canon 7D, 160mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

The first period wasn’t spent all on offense by the T-Birds; they had to play a good deal of defense, too.  Here, Erik Bonsor knocks a puck away from an attacking Kelowna player.

Defenseman Erik Bonsor (left) knocks the puck away from Kelowna right wing Jessey Astles during the first period.

Canon 7D, 170mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Defenseman Brenden Dillon (right) clears a loose puck from in front of an open Seattle net  before Kelowna right wing Shane McColgan can knock it in for a goal.

Canon 7D, 165mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Since all of the suites were sold out that night, I shot the first period from the top row of the stands near the blue line in front of the visitors’ bench.  This ensured I could see the whole ice and not have to shoot from behind a net, but I did have to shoot over fans, something that isn’t very easy for me since I am by no means considered tall.  Every once in a while I’d have a shot blocked by fans coming down the stairs, something you just have to deal with.  A couple of them also left their seats a minute or so before the first period ended— presumably so they wouldn’t have to wait in line for concessions or the restroom—but happened to miss Jacobs’ first goal of the night, which came with just eighteen seconds left in the period.  Unfortunately I had my shot of the actual goal blocked, but people walking up the stairs did provide a nice foreground frame of Jacobs’ celebration…

Jacobs celebrates his first goal of the night, which came with just eighteen seconds left in the period.

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

For the second period, I started out behind the Kelowna goal hoping to get some good shots of the T-Birds coming towards me on offense.  There were three of them I liked, so I’ll share them with you now…

Bonsor fires the puck towards the net and past Kelowna defenseman Zak Stebner during a power play in the second period.

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

Center Justin Hickman (right) battles for possession of the puck with Kelowna defenseman Mitchell Chapman in the corner beside the Kelowna goal.

Canon 7D, 63mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Right wing Burke Gallimore (right) holds back Kelowna defenseman Damon Severson while bringing the puck down the ice towards the Kelowna net.

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

Later on in the period, the Rockets were awarded a power play and I decided to venture down to the handicapped seating below section 116 for a better angle on the action.  I was rewarded for that move as I got this photo of Calvin Pickard blocking the net from a Kelowna attacker.

Goalie Calvin Pickard (right) prepares to block Kelowna defenseman Zak Stebner’s shot on goal.

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

For the third period, I returned to the box between the benches after a few games away from it since I was giving a job shadow to a few high school students.  Even though I loved showing those guys (and gals) the basics of shooting sports, it was nice to return to the box for the third period.  Unfortunately I didn’t get many great photos from there, but there were a few that I don’t mind sharing with you… like this one of Colin, who has a very good view of the puck…

Jacobs watches as the puck drops to the ice after it was cleared from Kelowna end of the ice early in the third period.

Canon 7D, 120mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Bonsor stretches out in an effort to knock the puck away from Kelowna left wing Evan Bloodoff in the third period.

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

Pickard gets a drink of water during a break in the action.  On the night, Pickard faced 36 shots on target, stopping 32 of them.

Canon 7D, 125mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/640th, Manual

And as our last photo, let’s show Lockart claiming possession of the puck during a faceoff, shall we?

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

Sorry for the short post and relative lack of photos this time around.  It seems that I didn’t have a very good game last Friday.  Hopefully that’ll turn around tonight as the T-Birds take on the Portland Winterhawks.  If you’re coming to the game, don’t forget your teddy bears to throw onto the ice after the T-Bird’s first goal!  It’s Teddy Bear Toss night!

‘Til tonight, go T-Birds!

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Game 20: T-Birds Make Incredible Comeback, Lose to Kamloops on Controversial Call

Thanks to a stretch of four home games in just eight days, I’ve found myself falling behind on updating the photoblog.  This post will contain photos from the Kamloops game Jan. 18.  That game was certainly the most exciting home game of the year, one where the T-Birds scored three times in the third period only to lose on a controversial call, to say the least, in the shootout.  In addition to the excitement of the game, I finally was able to use my 28-70mm lens in a hockey game!  I’ll talk about that experience a tad later in the blog, but let’s begin with the photos, shall we?

Let’s start with Calvin Pickard.  The fellow faced an astounding 26 shots in just the first period.  What’s even more amazing is he only let one pass him and find the net.   That’s a .962 save percentage for the period.  It’s safe to say Pickard’s play in the first half kept the T-Birds in the game.  Just for that, let’s see two photos of two amazing saves by Calvin…

Goalie Calvin Pickard stops a shot from a Kamloops player during the first period.

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

Pickard makes another first-period save against Kamloops.  He made 25 saves in the first period alone, and 55 total that night.

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

Since they were defending for most of the period, the Thunderbirds didn’t get too many shots on Kamloops goalie Jeff Bosch; they just had five in the first period.  They did have a few more opportunities than shots, however, including this one by Connor Sanvido.

Center Connor Sanvido has a shot stopped by Kamloops goalie Jeff Bosch during the first half.

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

Just after that Sanvido attempt, I spotted Cool Bird borrowing a fan’s binoculars just to my right.  I think they would have worked better if Cool Bird was facing the ice instead of away from it, but that’s just my opinion.

Canon 7D, 95mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/640th, Manual

Surprisingly enough, that’s it for my first period photos.  Actually it’s not so surprising as I had numerous shots of Calvin, but didn’t want to post four similar photos next to each other…  Anyway, on to the second period!  I was excited for the second period to come, for I wanted to test out my 28-70mm lens for hockey.  It had been unusable for over a year after it received multiple knocks during the post-game rushing of the field after the UW knocked of USC in 2009 (I was in the middle of the mass of bodies, an experience I’ll never forget).  Anyway, I had finally gotten it fixed and tested it out during the second period, while I was behind the north net and facing the Thunderbirds when they were attacking the Kamloops goal.   I was able to get numerous plays in front of the net, such as…

Center Travis Toomey battles with Kamloops defenseman Josh Caron (middle) for a rebound in front of the Kamloops goal early in the second period.

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

and…

Toomey watches as a loose puck is swatted away from the Kamloops net early in the second period.

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

and even…

Right wing Tyler Alos has a puck knocked away from him in front of the Kamloops goal.

Canon 7D, 47mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

A shot this lens allowed me to get is battles for the puck in the corners.  Any other lens I had would have cut off players’ heads and feet, but when I could actually get wide enough to get the entire player in the photo.  Take this one, for example, where Sanvido (right) and Toomey (left) are battling Kamloops defenseman Brandon Underwood for the puck in the left corner.

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

I could even get a photo when the play was happening right in front of me.  That’s how I got this cool portrait (well, sort of a portrait) of Dave Sutter.

Defenseman Dave Sutter tries to gain possession of the puck along the boards behind the net in the second period.
Canon 7D, 28mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And that’s it for the second period.  Despite the increased shots on goal (14), the T-Birds couldn’t get one into the net while Kamloops added one goal to go ahead 2-0.  They’d add one more three minutes into the third period to increase their lead to 3-0.  Down by three goals, the T-Birds had to attack a lot in order to stay in the game.  Here’s a photo of them doing just that…

Defenseman Erik Fleming brings the puck past center ice during the third period.

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

In all, they had 15 shots on target in the third period—just one more than the second.  Here’s one of those shots, this one by Luke Lockhart.

Center Luke Lockhart (left) takes a shot on Kamloops goalie Jeff Bosch.

Canon 7D, 102mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

The T-Birds found themselves on a powerplay when Kamloops defenseman Austin Madaisky was called for hooking, and the T-Birds capitalized on the advantage when Marcel Noebels finally knocked the puck into the net.

Left wing Marcel Noebels slips the puck past Bosch and converts the power play for the T-Birds’ first goal of the night.

Canon 7D, 80mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Just twenty seconds later, Jacob Doty scored the T-Birds second goal of the night.  While I didn’t get a good photo of the goal, here’s a nice frame of the celebration afterwards…

Right wing Jacob Doty (left) and  left wing Mitch Elliot (right) celebrate Doty’s goal to draw the T-Birds within one of the Kamloops Blazers.

Canon 7D, 110mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/500th, Manual

Now down just one goal, the T-Birds kept pressing and forcing the Blazers to play defense.  They did, keeping the T-Birds off the board for another 10 minutes despite Seattle controlling the puck most of that time.

Noebels tries to protect the puck from Kamloops center Dalibor Bortnak (left) and defenseman Corey Fienhage (right).

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

Right wing Burke Gallimore has the puck knocked away by Kamloops center Dalibor Bortnak in the third period.

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

Over the past few games, I had noticed that Connor Sanvido was receiving more ice time, particularly in the third period and on power plays.  He had been playing pretty well recently and one of these days he’ll get his first goal of the season.  When taking into account the nice attempts he’d created in this game, I’m sure that elusive goal will come sooner than later…

Sanvido wraps around the Kamloops net in hopes of a better scoring opportunity.

Canon 7D, 105mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Eventually the Thunderbirds did tie it up, however.  Unfortunately Noebels, the goal scorer, blocked my view of the puck going into the net, but he paid me back by giving me a strong celebration shot afterward.  I love the reactions of the fans in this photo, they’re what make the image so strong.

Noebels raises his arms in triumph after the T-birds tied the game up at three with barely a minute left to play in regulation.

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

For the overtime period that followed, I wanted a view of both halves of the ice so I’d always have a clear chance at capturing any important play.  The only place I could go for that, since it was too late to go between the benches, was the suite I’d shot from in the first period, so I ran on upstairs and got into the suite just before the overtime faceoff.  My hustle was rewarded with this image of Noebels trying to win the game…

Noebels tries to get the puck past Bosch in overtime for the potential game-winning goal, but can’t find a hole in Bosch’s protection.

Canon 7D, 160mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Kamloops also had their chances in the overtime period, specifically this one by center Dalibor Bortnak.  Despite Seattle defenseman Brenden Dillon’s best sliding attempt to knock the puck away, Bortnak took aim and fired at the Seattle goal.  The shot sailed wide to the right, fortunately for the Thunderbirds.

Canon 7D, 95mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Not all Kamloops shots went wide in overtime, though.  Calvin was forced to make nine saves in extra time, none of them producing as cool a photo as this one…

Calvin Pickard knocks a Kamloop attempt away with his stick in the overtime period.

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

Neither team scored in overtime, so we went to a shootout, something the T-Birds’ fans haven’t seen since Nov. 24.  Unfortunately the first two Seattle shooters missed their attempts, and Kamloops hit its’ first one.  It was all up to Calvin Pickard to block Kamloops center Colin Smith’s shot to prolong the game, and he nearly did it… In fact, he says he actually did poke-check the puck away from Smith, which would end the attempt immediately.  The refs didn’t call the play dead, though, and Smith buried the puck into the net, which the referees counted.  Despite complaints from Pickard, Toomey, and the rest of the Thunderbirds, the shot was not reviewed and the shootout ended at 0-2 for the T-Birds.  Here’s a photo of Calvin attacking the puck in Smith’s control.  Use it to decide for yourself if Pickard touched it or not…

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

And that brings an end to the most exciting game of hockey we’ve seen this season.  The T-Birds did great to come back from a three goal deficit and force a shoot out, and the shoot out didn’t lack for drama thanks to the controversial play that ended it.  Overall, it was a thoroughly entertaining game to watch and to photograph.  Hopefully the next one will be just as good…

And also hopefully I can get caught back up on this blog.  Expect photos from the Kelowna game up in a few days.

What do you think of the ending of this game?  Does that photo of Smith’s goal change your opinion?   Re-affirm it?  Let me know in the comments section!

Til next time, go T-Birds!

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Game 19: T-Birds Dropped by Giants

As we left off last time, you may remember me lamenting my broken 70-200mm lens, the one I use all the time.  Luckily I still have contacts with my former college paper, The Daily, and the photo staff there was more than willing to let me borrow one of theirs.  Thanks guys (and gals), I couldn’t have properly covered the Vancouver game without you!

Onto the actual game. Last Sunday completed the third game of the T-Birds’ second straight three-in-three weekend, where they played three games in as many days.   Overall, they had played six games in nine days, all the while traveling across the state, keeping up with school, AND practicing some days without games.  Needless to say it would be understandable if they came out and looked a little tired in the beginning. They weren’t, and center Travis Toomey proved it by scoring just 12 seconds into the game.  He collected the loose puck from the opening faceoff, brought it down the rink, fired a shot onto Vancouver goalie Mark Segal, and quickly put the rebound off Segal’s pads into the back of the net.

Center Travis Toomey fires a rebounded shot into the back of the net just 12 seconds into a Jan. 16 game.

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

And a quick score like that deserves a celebration, right?

The starting lineup celebrates Toomey’s quick goal.

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

Toomey wasn’t the only T-Bird to get an early shot on the Vancouver goal.  Left wing Chance Lund had this opportunity to increase the lead to 2-0.  Segal got his stick in front of the puck, however, and deflected it away from the goal.

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

Center Justin Hickman had been playing fairly well in the games leading up to the Vancouver game.  I was hoping he’d break through and get his first WHL goal that night as he got his first point, an assist, the previous home game.  He didn’t put one in the back of the net, but he continued to play his physical game…

Hickman slams Vancouver defenseman Tyler Hart into the boards, this time in the T-Birds offensive third.

Canon 7D, 170mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

Unfortunately the Giants were able to even up the score when Vancouver left wing  Spencer Bennett snuck one past goalie Calvin Pickard.  A quick note on the shape of this photo: you don’t often see many extremely horizontal photos in print as it’s a hard shape to fit stories around.  That extreme horizontal shape, though, is the best fit for this photograph.  It’s a good think no paper will be printing this, as this blog enables me to crop my photos any way I want.  Isn’t new media great?

Goalie Calvin Pickard can’t cross the goal fast enough to block Vancouver left wing Spencer Bennett’s shot from crossing the red line.

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

And there were some Vancouver fans that made the short jaunt down for the game Sunday.  They stood and cheered along with their team after Bennett’s goal.

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/640th, Manual

Here, right wing Jacob Doty carries his enforcer duties well by delivering a big hit to Vancouver center Andrej Stastny.

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

The T-Birds had plenty of chances to extend their lead in the first period.  Officially they had 12 shots on goal, converting two of them for scores.   There were many other good trips down the ice, however, that didn’t necessarily result in a shot.  This is one of them.

Right wing Tyler Alos lies entangled with Vancouver right wing Michael Burns in front of the net after Burns knocked Alos to the ice to prevent him from getting a shot off.

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

After getting back on his feet, Alos got a second chance at a goal when he found himself with the puck to the side of the Vancouver goal while Segal was down.  Unfortunately Burns was in a position to knock the puck away.

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

That ends the first period photo-wise (seemed like a lot, huh?).  Let’s move to the second!  This next shot could act as an ad for Reebok if I moved the frame up a bit.  Let’s just chalk this photo up to another wacky adventure in autofocus…

Defenseman Erik Bonsor chases down the puck during the second period.  Not like you could tell from the photo or anything…

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

During the media timeout around the halfway point of the second period, Cotton Eye Joe is always played to get fans up and dance around for a ride on the zomboni during the second intermission.  I like using that period to get fun fan shots, and these two T-Birds fans looked they enjoyed doing their thing on the big screen.

Canon 7D, 105mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/640th, Manual

As for actual gameplay, the Thunderbirds mustered eight more shots on goal.  Here, defenseman Ryan Button fires the puck towards the goal during a power play.

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

When I first saw this photo, I was scared I wouldn’t be able to use it.  The unedited version of this was very loose (in photographic terms, loose means lots of extra space around the subject to crop out).  I was afraid that I had shot this too lose and the photo quality of a zoomed, cropped photo wouldn’t be high enough for my tastes.  Luckily the grain here isn’t too bad as this really is a cool shot.  I really like the near-multiple reflections in the boards.

Defenseman Brenden Dillon slams Vancouver right wing Brendan Gallagher  into the boards during the second period.

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

That brings us to the end of the second period.  With one more period left and the score now 3-2, it was still anyone’s game.  Calvin Pickard knew this, and it looks like he came out of the intermission ready to play.

Pickard watches intently as Dillon battles Vancouver right wing Brendan Galligher (hidden) for the puck.

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

Pickard tried to keep the Thunderbirds in the game by fending off an onslaught of Vancouver shot early in the period, including this particular beauty…

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

About halfway through the period, though, the Giants snuck another goal past Pickard to take a two goal advantage.  Knowing this and knowing I had a nice photo of Calvin making a save, I decided to head down to the spot near section 112 that allows me a nice angle of the Vancouver goal seeing as the T-Birds would be pressing to get back into the game.  Just a minute after I moved, Toomey found the back of the net again for his second goal of the night and to cut the Vancouver lead to just one.  Unfortunately I didn’t get a useable photo of the goal, but I did get a cool celebration shot of two fans nearby…

Fans hi-five each other after Travis Toomey scored a goal to bring the Thunderbirds within one goal of the Vancouver Giants.

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

After Toomey’s goal, the T-Birds kept up the pressure on the Vancouver defense in an effort to draw even at four.  Here, right wing Marcel Noebels controls the puck while attacking the Vancouver goal.

Canon 7D, 80mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Unfortunately they didn’t get another one past Segal and the game ended 4-3, snapping the T-Birds two-game home winning streak.   It was a good game, however, particularly when you consider the torrid schedule the players had been dealing with the last few weeks.

That ends this edition of Bird Watching.  Tune in next time for photos from the Kamloops game Tuesday Jan. 18!  As always, tell me how I’m doing in the comments section below.  Or, if you have something you’d like a photo of for the next game, let me know.  I’m open to suggestions!

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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Game 18: T-Birds Fly Past Silvertips

Last Friday night (Jan. 14), the Thunderbirds hosted Everett for just the second time this season (a fact that surprises me, especially considering we’ve played Tri-City three times before January).  That game, broadcast to the entire region by FSN Northwest, was another well-played home game, giving the Thunderbirds two straight 3-1 wins.  The building was electric for Everett and the tv cameras and everything, so I was amped up before the game started.  I was asked to get photos of the combined choir that sang the national anthem last night, so I spent the player introductions and pregame out on the ice, where I found this cool shot…

Center Luke Lockhart (middle) is bathed in a spotlight while being introduced to the crowd.

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/500th, Manual

Onto the game!  You will notice I don’t have any photos from above this time.  This is because as I was heading to my spot to shoot for the first period, my 70-200 lens (my primary one and the one that allows me to zoom in on the ice from the suite level) learned about gravity the hard way and decided to tumble to the concrete floor of the top level.  It had “a major impact”, as the guys at the camera repair shop would later say, and wouldn’t focus on anything.  I’d have to shoot the entire game with a 50mm prime lens (that means it doesn’t zoom in or out; its focal length is fixed at 50mm), a real challenge for me since I depend heavily on the added distance the 70-200 gives.  Enough with the technical talk, though, you’re not here for that.  Let’s move onto game talk and game photos…

One of the things I was looking for Friday night was photos of the two players the Thunderbirds recently traded for, defensemen Mitch Spooner and Ryan Button.  Since this was their first home game as Thunderbirds, I wanted to build up a couple of stock images for them.  Luckily Spooner was involved with the defense early on in the first period…

Newly-arrived defenseman Mitch Spooner fires the puck out of the T-Birds defensive corner and towards center ice.

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

Spooner tries to shove Everett left wing Ryan Harrison off balance and away from the puck.

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

This next shot isn’t normally a photo I’d take or publish in this blog—I much prefer to put action that shows the puck or a nice moment that most fans generally can’t see—but it is a decent-looking portrait of Colin Jacobs.  Chalk this one up to using that 50…

Center Colin Jacobs (right) and Everett left wing Tyler Maxwell chase after a cleared puck.

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

And here are the same two players fighting over possession.  Funny how that turned out…

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

For the first period, the shots on goal for each team were about even as Seattle had 15 and the Silvertips had 13.  Here, the Seattle defense clears out one of those shots…

Lockhart (left) clears a loose puck after an Everett shot in the first period.

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

The biggest difference is that Seattle got two past Everett goalie Kent Simpson while Seattle netminder Calvin Pickard stopped all 13 shots taken on him.

Goalie Calvin Pickard puts a glove between the net and the puck after an Everett shot.

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

That does it for the first period, but before moving onto the second period, let’s focus on the first intermission.  We had a special intermission show: a proposal!  After the lucky lady scored a goal, the goalie popped off his mask, got on one knee (or is it one pad here), and popped the question…

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/5.6, 1/500th, Manual

And it’s a yes!  Congratulations you two, I hope you have a great life together.  Judging from the looks on your faces in the next photo, it’ll be a happy lifetime at that!

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/5.6, 1/500th, Manual

Ok, now we can move onto the second period.  I was again near the side of the north goal for that period.  This time, however, it was the Thunderbirds shooting at this goal.  Take, for example, this photo…

Newly-arrived defenseman Ryan Button takes a shot on goal during a power play in the second period.

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

The Thunderbirds again put 15 shots on the Everett goal.  Silvertip goalie Kent Simpson blocked 14 of them, including this particular shot.

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

There was one that went in, however.  Center Justin Hickman earned his first WHL point by assisting left wing Chance Lund with his goal about halfway through the period.  The two raised their hands in celebration of the goal.

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

Fans celebrated in a similar fashion, including this particular fellow named Erik…

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/640th, Manual

Center Connor Sanvido also had a good chance at his first of the season when he faced a loose puck in front of the Everett goal.  Everett defenseman Ryan Murray, however, got his stick in front of Sanvido’s and eliminated the opportunity for a shot.

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

That didn’t stop Sanvido, though, as he continued to jostle with Murray until the puck slid past the goal.

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

As I mentioned earlier, the game was broadcast live on Fox Sports Northwest.  I got this gem during the second intermission of play-by-play voice Ian Furness and T-Birds Assistant General Manager Colin Campbell.

Ian Furness (left) interviews T-Birds Assistant General Manager Colin Campbell. 

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Now for the third period!  I split time between the handicap seating area near section 112 and Calvin’s Corner (which was unused).  I don’t really like the photos I got from the handicap section, so here’s another photo from in front of the north goal.  This was a particularly hard-fought faceoff…

Players pile on top of each other during a faceoff in the middle of the third period.

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

Late in the game, Everett pulled Simpson in an attempt to catch up to the T-Birds.  The Silvertips pulled an all-out attack, but the Seattle defense pulled out all the stops to keep the score at 3-1.

Defenseman Erik Bonsor hits the ice in an effort to block the path to the Seattle goal.

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

The Silvertips didn’t get a single goal, yet needed two to force overtime.  You know what that means: SEATTLE WINS!

The Thunderbirds rush onto the ice to celebrate the win over Everett with goalie Calvin Pickard.

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

That’s it for this blog post, T-Birds fans.  Tune in a bit later in the week for photos from Sunday’s game against Vancouver and to see if I managed to survive without my broken lens.

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!


Netminding 101

Wednesday, Jan. 12, there was a special guest down at the ShoWare Center: Steve the Producer from KISW 99.9 FM.  Steve will be tending the net for the Thunderbirds’ celebrity game February 26 but wanted to avoid repeating his “ten goals in one period” performance he had in his last celebrity game a few years ago.  If I remember correctly, he said he was still burned from all the red lights that went off behind him.  To ensure that he would not be burned again by the dreaded red lights, he enlisted the help of T-Birds goalies Calvin Pickard and Michael Salmon and received a crash course in becoming a brick wall between the pipes.

Before all the lessons, though, Steve had to get out all his gear, and boy was there a lot of it…

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/250th, Manual

And here’s a nice photo of him lacing his skates (I don’t know why I like those photos; I also got one of Christie Johnson lacing up when she was at ShoWare)…

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/200th, Manual

About then, one of the on-air talents of his show, Vicky Barcelona, arrived to catch Steve’s training on video.  She sat in the locker room chatting with him while he finished gearing up…

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/200th, Manual

The pair had brought two video cameras, one for Vicky to hold and one to hopefully get a cool angle on some of the action.  He tried to find a way to connect it to his neck guard, but quickly decided it wouldn’t survive a direct hit from a puck…

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/160th, Manual

He was finally ready to head out onto the ice!  Unfortunately the ice wasn’t ready for Steve the Producer, though, as he had to put the goal he’d be protecting into place on the ice.

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

Since the camera couldn’t be attached to Steve’s neckguard, Vicky tried to attach it to the boards behind the net.  I’m not sure if it worked or not, but if it did, I bet they got some cool footage from it.

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/890th, Manual

Once the net was in place and the video camera was taped up, Calvin and Michael were ready to come out and teach Steve how to tend goal.  Before they got started, however, introductions were made and the two T-Birds got a feel for Steve’s past goalie experiences…

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

And Steve had to film a quick intro to the video for his blog, http://blogs.kisw.com/stevetheproducer/.

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

After the intro was filmed, Michael and Calvin took a couple shots on Steve to see what he needed to work on.  After seeing that and consulting with him, the trio thought it would be best to work on Steve’s butterfly drops (note: I think I remember that term, I’m sorry if I’m a tad off on it).  In this picture, Michael (left) demonstrates the proper knee position for the butterfly while Calvin helps Steve get his knees into a similar pose.

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

Next they worked on sliding across the face of the goal while keeping the leg pads facing out.  This time it was Calvin who demonstrated the proper techniques.

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

In a drill to test this new skill, Michael and Calvin took shots on Steve after passing the puck amongst each other.  Here it’s Michael firing on the net.

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

Being goalies, Calvin and Michael don’t get much of a chance to score a goal.  It was nice to see them be able to get one into the net themselves.  Calvin was so excited over getting one in he couldn’t help but celebrate…

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/3,2, 1/1250th, Manual

Then came a lesson on defending the net when the attacking player is behind it.  Here, Calvin demonstrates how he uses his stick and pads to stop a puck from slipping though on the ice.

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

Since I was on the ice for all of this action (I didn’t have to worry about 12 players in pads flying all around me) I decided to try and get some photos I wouldn’t have a chance to make during a game.  During the drill for defending against an attack from behind the net, I placed my camera on the ice, aimed it at Steve, and fired away from a low angle.  This was my best shot from trying that out.  Unfortunately I cut off the right half of Michael’s body.  It’s still a decent shot, though; it could have turned out much worse.

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

To wrap things up, Michael and Calvin took shots on Steve, testing everything he’d learned during the lesson.  He did a good job and made a good amount of saves, including this one he made while falling down.

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

After they were done, Steve taped a closing for his videoblog, thanking the two Thunderbirds for showing him the ropes.

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

While recovering from the extreme workout, Steve asked for some stretching tips.  During this, Vicky got a close up of the sweat pouring off Steve’s head.   I particularly like the shot on Vicky’s video camera…

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

To end everything, he asked for a photo of the three goalies together, and I happily obliged.

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/4, 1/640th, Manual

A special thanks to Steve and Vicky for coming down and spending part of the day with us.  I had a blast shooting this, and I hope they enjoyed their time with the Thunderbirds.  If you want to catch Vicky and Steve on the morning, tune into the BJ Shea Show on KISW 99.9 FM between 6 and 10 AM.

Don’t forget to come out to the ShoWare Center tomorrow and watch the T-Birds renew their rivalry with the Everett Silvertips at 7:30.  If you can’t make it to Kent, be sure to watch the game on Fox Sports Northwest as the network will be airing it live!

‘Til then, go T-Birds!


Game 16: Thunderbirds Soar Past Rockets

Now that was fun to watch!  Last Friday’s (Jan. 7th) win against Kelowna was something special: it was just the T-Birds’ second home win since mid-November.  They’ve played well for the most part, but somehow found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard.  Against Kelowna, however, they out-shot the Rockets, out-defended (is that a word? I certainly hope so…) the Rockets and, most importantly, outplayed them.  All of those things combined to give the Thunderbirds a 3-1 win over the second place team in the BC division.  Let’s see how they did it…

Normally any photos of goalie Calvin Pickard are of him making a save or another outstanding defensive play.  Not this next one, however, as there weren’t too many shots for him to save in the first period.  Instead, here’s Calvin receiving an errant Kelowna clearance and knocking it towards a fellow T-Bird.

Canon 7D, 180mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

This next picture I’m putting in as a literary device (if a blog can be considered anything like literature): foreshadowing.  My, that glass bent an awful lot…

Defenseman Erik Fleming checks Kelowna defenseman Colton Jobke into the boards during the first period.

Canon 7D, 105mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

And here’s what the previous photo foretold; either that glass was shifted out of position or Jacob Doty hits really hard.   Either way, players generally don’t end up in the laps of fans with seats on the glass.

Right wing Jacob Doty checks Jobke into the boards near the south goal, shifting the plexiglass out of place.

Canon 7D, 170mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

Luckily the crack maintenance staff at the ShoWare Center quickly fixed the problem and play resumed in about five minutes or so.

Canon 7D, 190mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/640th, Manual

One of the hardest things to photograph in hockey, for me at least, is a save of a long-range shot.  I generally keep my lens following the puck; when it travels a long distance at high speeds, it’s very hard to see both ends of the play.  In order to do so, I need to point my lens toward the area the puck is heading, press the shutter halfway to engage the autofocus, and then press it down all the way to take the shot.  I often get out of focus images when I try to keep up with a speeding puck, but this time I didn’t.  What I got instead was this gem…

Calvin Pickard makes a save on a shot from the Kelowna Rockets in the first period.

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

What a great shot, huh?  What’s that, the top of Calvin’s head is missing?  That’s what happens when you speed-aim your camera: you don’t have time to correct the borders and you end up cutting off people’s body parts (photographically, of course, for I have not touched Calvin’s head in real life).  Photos with a partial head-ectomy are not how you advance in this industry; I need to do better if I want to get a head… err, ahead.

Done groaning now?  Good, let’s continue with the photos.  Here’s one of the Thunderbirds’ 16 shots on goal in the first period.

Jacob Doty (left) fires a shot at Kelowna goalie Jordan Cooke from point-blank range.

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

And here’s a shot of Doty fulfilling his other duties on ice: fighting and demoralizing the other team’s players…

Doty (right) and Kelowna right wing Jessey Astles exchange punches during a first period fight.  Both were slapped with five minute major-fighting penalties.

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

Travis Toomey has been playing well lately, putting five pucks in the back of the net since January 1st, and collecting one assist for a total of six points.  He scored one against Kelowna in the first period on Friday, but unfortunately I had a player blocking my view for that play.  I wanted to have a nice photo of him anyway, so here’s one of his other shots from the period.

Center Travis Toomey takes a shot on the Kelowna goal.  Although this one was successfully blocked, Toomey managed to score earlier on in the period.

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

And our last photo from the period came just after the second T-Birds goal of the period.  Unfortunately I missed the goal, but I did get a decent image of the fans; it’s just too bad I had their backs to me.

Thunderbirds fans celebrate the goal scored by right wing Burke Gallimore 12 minutes into the first period.

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/250th, Manual

In the second period, the Thunderbirds continued their offensive surge, throwing twelve more shots at the Kelowna goal.

Right wing Marcel Noebels watches as Kelowna’s Jordon Cooke stops Noebels’ shot early in the second period.

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

This was Noebels’ first game back from the World Junior Championships, where he scored once and provided two assists in Germany’s six games in the tournament.  Since returning (and as of Sunday night after the Chilliwack game), Noebels has put two more pucks in the back of the net.  Worth another photo, right?

Noebels fights of Kelowna defenseman MacKenzie Johnston while collecting a free puck.

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

I couldn’t decide whether to put this next photo up on the blog.  It’s a nice decent moment—one of the goal scorers on the night taking a shot on goal—and in pretty good focus, but that black stripe on the right is pretty obvious.  That stripe is one of the poles of the guardrails on the staircase leading behind the north goal.  Once I saw that on my images, I decided to move into the small space between the glass and the rail, but for this shot it was a move made too late… Something else to remember for next time.

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

And here’s another shot of Noebels.  It’s funny how I go entire nights without a decent photo of some people only to get three or four keepers the next night…

Noebels tries to catch up to an errant puck, outracing Kelowna right wing Shane McCoolgan (left) and left wing Brett Bulmer (right).

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Late in the second period, center Charles Wells found himself on a breakaway with no one but Kelowna’s Jordon Cooke between him and a goal.  Kelowna defenseman Mitchell Chapman dove in an attempt to trip up Wells, though, and knocked the T-Birds’ center off balance.

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

Being brought to his knees, though, didn’t prevent Wells from his attempt to score.  He took a shot at Cooke from the ice.  Unfortunately, Wells wasn’t rewarded with a goal, although Chapman earned two minutes for tripping.

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

Shortly after, the period ended.  As the Thunderbirds went back to their locker room, this young fan offered a high five and words of encouragement.

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.5, 1/1250th, Manual

Now time for the third period!  I wanted to spend a bit of it shooting from the upper level again.  I’d be able to get photos of plays on both ends of the ice and I didn’t think I’d had such a good first period image-wise.  Being up there, though, allowed me to get an unblocked view of Noebels’ goal halfway through the period.

Noebels puts a puck past Jordan Cooke and into the Kelowna goal to increase the Thunderbirds’ lead to 3-1 halfway through the third period.

Canon 7D, 120mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Shortly after the goal, I moved to the handicap seating in section 112.  It offers a good view of the ice at the south end of the building and is where many other photographers sit during the first and third periods.  I didn’t get many good photos from that position (or at all in the third period), but here’s one I kind of like…

Center Colin Jacobs passes to Marcel Noebels in the third period.

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

And unfortunately that’s it for game photos.  For some reason I got fewer good photos than normal, but I think the ones posted are a bit better than normal.  I guess I went for quality and not quantity.   Oh well, we’ll see what happens with the next game!

Have any questions for me?  Want to say something about one of the photos on here (or not on here)?  Want to have an in-depth conversation on the importance of maple syrup on the global economy?  Feel free to post in the comments section below!

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!


Game 15: T-Birds Fall to Chiefs

Happy New Year T-Birds fans!  I do have to apologize for not putting up a new post for a new week; I’ve been quite busy with my other photography duties and with my grad school application, so time to update this has been limited.  I’ve finally found a few hours, though, so here’s a post from my last game, the Dec. 28 bout between the T-Birds and Chiefs!

The game was the highest-attended game this season with 6,125 screaming T-Birds fans packing the ShoWare Center to watch as the Thunderbirds take on Spokane.  There were so many tickets sold that night that the ticket office was forced to sell individual tickets to a suite since the lower bowl was sold out.  While making for a great atmosphere, this forced me out of my typical shooting spot in the first period and into the one owned by the T-Birds overlooking the south goal.  It gave me a great vantage point to shoot any Seattle shots on goal and Spokane goalie James Reid…

Spokane goalie James Reid makes a save on an early shot by the Thunderbirds.

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

But put me right in front the protective net which wrecked havoc with my focus.

Spokane defender Davis Vandane collects the rebound of a Thunderbird shot on goal.

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

Note: thanks to my location, I ended up with a lot of photos of Spokane from the first period.  I tried to cut down on those the best I can during editing but most of the photos from then have Chiefs as the more prominent player.  Next time I’m forced into that situation, I’ll be sure to find a new spot.

Center Travis Toomey has a centering pass blocked behind the goal by Spokane defender Brenden Kichton.

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

At least the net didn’t cover my entire view of the ice.  In this photo, left wing Mitch Elliot fights for the puck closer to center ice out from behind the protective netting.

Left Wing Mitch Elliot battles for the puck with Spokane right wing Mitch Holmberg (top) and defenseman Kyle Krzyzaniak.

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

The T-Birds outshot the Chiefs in the first period, 10-6.  Despite the additional shots, they didn’t get one past Reid or the Spokane defense.  Here’s a photo of Spokane defenseman Tyler Vanscourt (center left) falling on a loose puck in front of the Spokane net while Seattle right wing Burke Gallimore tries to knock it into the net.

Canon 7D, 180mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

Left wing Mitch Elliot is checked into the boards by Spokane center Steven Kuhn after getting a pass off to a teammate.

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

Right wing Tyler Alos fires a centering shot towards the Spokane goal.

Canon 7D, 170mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

For most of the first period, the T-Birds dominated play.  There were a few shots on goalie Calvin Pickard, but not many.  Spokane’s one goal in the period was definitely against the run of play…

Goalie Calvin Pickard can’t quite stop a shot from Spokane center Tyler Johnson late in the first period.

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

For the second period, I moved to my normal spot behind the north goal, where I got much better shots of the home team than in the first period.  Here’s a head-on shot of right wing Jacob Doty controlling the puck despite Spokane defenseman Davis Vandane’s best efforts to knock Doty over.

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

Here’s another straight-on shot of Doty, this time pursuing a loose puck down the ice.

Canon 7D, 135mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/1250th, Manual

The second period was just as tightly contested as the first.  The Thunderbirds still outshot the Chiefs, but the margin was cut to just one.  The T-Birds had plenty of chances, though, like Travis Toomey’s breakaway here.

Center Travis Toomey loses the puck to Spokane defenseman Corbin Baldwin while on a breakaway in the second period.

Canon 7D, 73mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/1250th, Manual

Center Brendan Rouse prepares to fire a shot past the Chiefs’ Vanscourt towards the Spokane goal.

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/1250th, Manual

Defenseman Brenden Dillon also fires a puck towards the Spokane goal.

Canon 7D, 125mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/1250th, Manual

And to finish of the second period, here’s a shot of left wing Chance Lund controlling the puck.

Canon 7D, 130mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/1250th, Manual

Since the crowd was the biggest all year, I wanted to get a nice, wide shot showing as many fans as possible.  Unfortunately the smallest lens I had with me was 50 millimeter, which doesn’t give a very wide shot.  To show you how crowded it was (and how narrow a 50mm lens is), here’s a shot of the crowd taken from the top row of seats at center ice.

A crowd of 6,125 packed the ShoWare Center to watch the Thunderbirds take on the Spokane Chiefs on Dec. 28, 2010.

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/640th, Manual

Also for that game, I had a yearbook student/photographer from Kentwood High School (my old school!) job shadow me.  He followed me everywhere during the game and even helped me with some shots of an advertisement I had to grab before the game started.  Since it was nice to have someone to talk to while shooting, and because I don’t have very many good photos from the third period, here’s a shot of him in action.  Thanks for coming, Danny!

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

I can’t decide if this next shot is as really what it looks like.  At a quick glance, it looks like defenseman Travis Bobbee is getting an elbow in the nose from Spokane right wing Blake Gal.  If you look closer, though, it seems that Gal’s elbow might be just in front of Bobbee’s face.  It doesn’t look like Bobbee’s reacting much to the possible elbow, but maybe we just can’t see the reaction.  In either case, it’s still a decent shot and worth a look or two.

Defenseman Travis Bobbee and Spokane’s Blake Gal fight for the puck against the boards during the third period.

Canon 7D, 160mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

In the third period, I shot from the handicap seating across from the Spokane bench instead of my typical spot between the benches.  In this section, I didn’t want to sit right on the glass and block not only other photographers but fans that paid for those seats, so I shot from a few feet off the glass.  This gave me a glare that made it difficult to see much action in the photo.  It did, however, lead to this cool shot of fans’ faces reflected when Toomey crashed into the boards near me.

Fans watch on as center Travis Toomey chases after the puck in the third period.

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

I need to remember to try and get a cooler shot of that, preferably when you can actually see the player’s faces amongst all the others.

From that vantage point, I had a nice view of the Thunderbirds’ bench and a great vantage point when head coach Rob Sumner gave instructions to Chance Lund during a timeout.

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

And lastly, here’s a shot of center Charles Wells skating down the ice near the end of the game.

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

That’s it for this game thread.  I hope you guys enjoyed it, and I’ll try not to wait a week before my next blog post, either.  As always, feel free to leave any comments or questions in the comment section below.

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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