The Official Photoblog of the Seattle Thunderbirds

Archive for October, 2011

Mid-week T-Birds Photo Break

T-Birds fans, it’s Kyle back with you now.  I’d like to thank Brian for taking over for the Brandon game and sharing his wonderful photos with us.  It’s always nice to get a different perspective on the games every once in a while, and that’s what he’ll be providing this blog.

As for tonight, I wish I had a full 20+ image post in store, but alas grad school rears its’ ugly head and I’m afraid I’ll I have time for tonight is 12.  Hopefully that will be enough to whet your guys’ appetites, but I also do have to save some photos for the upcoming Eastern road swing. Let’s check some shots out from last Sunday’s home game against Everett (I promise I’ll have a more-extensive post or series of posts on the Everett home-and-home weekend later)…

Center Luke Lockhart fires the puck past Everett left winger Jordan Boyd.

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

 Center Tyler Alos takes a shot, but it is turned away by Everett goalie Kent Simpson.

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

Goalie Calvin Pickard (middle) deflects an Everett shot on goal wide for defenseman Braedon Laroque (right) to collect.

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

Right winger Branden Troock tries to steal a puck back from Everett defenseman Austin Adam.

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

Center Connor Sanvido can only watch as his shot on goal gets blocked by Everett’s Simpson.

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

Center Tyler Alos reaches to knock the puck away from Everett center Ryan Harrison.
Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1250
Defenseman Jared Hauf races after the puck.
Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 98mm, f/2.8, 1/1250
Alos and center Justin Hickman (left) are involved in a scrum for the puck along the boards.

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

Troock (center) and left winger Burke Gallimore (left) skate up the ice to threaten the Everett goal in the third period.

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

Right winger Marcel Noebels fires a shot onto the Everett goal late in the third period.

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

 Center Brendan Rouse (center) and Everett right winger Cody Fowlie (left) jostle for possession of the puck.

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

And, for the last photo in this quick post, I’ll show you a shot I’ve been wanting to get for over a year now. It’s about time I actually get a photo of someone catching the puck…

Alos grabs a puck from mid-air late in the third period.

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

Alright, unfortunately that’s it for this blog post.  I promise I’ll go more in depth in my next one.  Also, I have photos from last Friday’s victory at Everett (I made the short jaunt up I-5 for that one) up in the next few weeks as well.

Til next time, go T-Birds!

Wheat Kings Rule T-Birds in Cotton Debut

Hello all,

Figures that I have to use that incredibly witty  phrase of “Wheat Kings Rule” against the T-Birds instead of in favor. Seattle falls, 4-1 to Brandon

Second of all, Hi. This isn’t Kyle, it’s someone completely different. I’m Brian Liesse. I am the Washington Prep Sports guy for the T-Birds and I work and shoot alongside Kyle all the time. Kyle wasn’t able to shoot the Brandon – Seattle game on Tuesday so you get me. Just a note about me, I am not a hockey expert, so my post,  and maybe one or two more in the future, will be more of a layman’s perspective (if any perspective at all) of the game. Never fear though, I shoot football, basketball, baseball and so on so you’ll still get to see photos of the game around the same level of excellence you get from Kyle. So to jump right in…

The big thing about the game is that it was the rookie Daniel Cotton’s debut. He is the back-up goalie to Calvin Pickard. Cotton saved 45 of 48 shots in his debut. That’s pretty good, but it would have been nice to see him debut in a win. Here he is with the spotlight on him before the game.

Nikon D5000 50mm f/2 1/125th

So there it is, my first photo up on this blog. And there is Cotton, standing in his spotlight looking all cool… bird… … … … forgive me, I’m new. So next is a shot early in the game, during one of Brandon’s first thrusts into T-Birds territory. Kyle Verdino does his best to guard the goal.

Nikon D5000 50mm 1/800th of a sec @ f/2

Again, I don’t know a lot about hockey so this is mainly me just showing photos. If it were baseball, WHOOOOONELLY would this be a long post, but it wasn’t baseball, so it’s not long at all. You might also be seeing another peculiarity about me is that don’t like to crop my photos out of ratio like Kyle does with his amazing work so all of these are going to be the same monotonous size, over and over again. Speaking of over and over again, this next one is of Dave Sutter. Now, I say this because I shoot Sutter more than anyone else. Whenever I am editing my photos, there he is, over and over again. So I figured that if he wants to be in my photos that much, I might as well post one.

Nikon D5000 50mm 1/800th of a sec @ f/2

Now it wouldn’t quite be a hockey game without a little aggression and the following is a photo of that aggression showing a bit. This was broken up pretty quickly, as you can see Mr. Smith is on his way there, but it wasn’t the last time tempers flared a bit during the game.

Canon 7D 135mm 1/320th of a sec @ f/5.6

Next is a non-spotlight photo of Cotton. This time, he was blocking the goal during a Wheat King assault (it sounds like a battlefield doesn’t it?). As I said earlier, Cotton saved 45 of 48. He did a good job.

Canon 7D 105mm 1/400th of a sec @ f/4.5

In contrast with the photo of Sutter, here is someone I rarely ever get in my photos, Marcel Nobels. Mr. Nobels was just sort of skating around in front of me during a time out in the second period and I figured I might as well shoot him while I can. Funnily enough though, we do see him again in this post.

Nikon D5000 50mm 1/800th of a sec @ f/2

Time for the funny face photo! Here is Branden Troock trying to get past a Brandon defender with the puck with Mitch Elliot  on his left. (Insert funny voice sound here) “I’m going to get you puck, yes I am! (End funny voice sound). I hope to get many a funny face photo from Troock. He is so animated on the ice. I think he brings a lot to the table with that.

Nikon D5000 50mm 1/800th of a sec @ f/2

The last of my photos is a shot of the fantastic threesome of Nobels, Hickman, and Burke Gallimore there in the back. They are all good players that make a great line, the starting line in this case.

Canon 7D 135mm 1/500th of a sec @ f/5.6

Well, that’s it. The suffering is over until the next time Kyle doesn’t make it. If you attend the games, you can see me on the ice before the game. I’m the young guy with long hair. I’m also running around a lot so it isn’t hard to find me.

Time for shameless self promotion. If you liked these photos, you can view the rest of them at I put the link in because I can’t figure out how to do that slideshow thing that Kyle does at the end of his posts. I put a lot of hockey photos up on that site so check back to see more if you’re interested.

So until next time guys, check back to see Kyle’s great photos, be sure to root on the T-Birds, and have a great weekend (or week depending on when you read this).


I just realized I signed this post like a letter or email… that’s a bit weird.

T-Birds Dice Up Saskatoon

It has taken me entirely too long to get this post up, and for that I apologize.  Just a warning, you can probably expect just one post a week from me going onward, and not until the middle of the week either.  I’ve got class Monday and Tuesday nights, and they take up a lot of my energy (then again, grad schools are like that…).  But luckily tonight’s Wednesday so let’s photoblog!  These are photos from Saturday night’s game against Saskatoon.    Although I was not at the Brandon game last night, Brian Liesse was and he’ll be writing about that a bit later on this week.  We’re tag-teaming photos and the photoblog this year, FYI, so don’t be surprised if you read a post with a different flow.

Anyway, back to the Birds/Blades game.  What a fun game, right?  The first period was entertaining as possession was fairly even—the Blades, who probably held the puck a little bit longer than the T-Birds did—managed 14 shots, but the T-Birds were right behind them with 10; Calvin made some great saves (and I actually got a photo of him for the first time this year); and there was a bunch of jostling and hitting going on for those of you who love that brand of hockey.  On with the pictures…

Here’s that Pickard photo.  Hard to believe I went three games without getting a good one of him, but this one’s well worth the wait.

Goalie Calvin Pickard collects the puck before Saskatoon center Brent Benson can threaten the net.

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

Center Tyler Alos blocks the goal-mouth with his body during a pileup in front of the Seattle net (note: the puck is right under Alos’ leg in the photo).

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

Defenseman Shea Theodore jockeys for position with Saskatoon defenseman Darren Dietz during the first period.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 85mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Defenseman Kyle Verdino shoves Saskatoon right wing Michael Burns backwards during the first period.

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

Right winger Burke Gallimore put a lovely sniper shot into the net for the T-Birds’ first goal of the night and his first goal in 2011-2012.  Now onto the second period with the score tied one-all…

Left winger Chance Lund fires a shot onto the Saskatoon goal despite Saskatoon’s Dietz’s attempt to prevent the shot.

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

The tie was broken with three minutes left in the second period when center Marcel Noebels got the puck at center ice and beat Saskatoon goalie Andrey Makarov one-on-one for his third goal of the year.  That, of course, prompted the T-Birds on the ice to gather around Noebels in celebration…

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 42mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

That wasn’t the only scoring chance the T-Birds had in the second period, however…

Center Luke Lockhart attempts to slide the puck past Saskatoon goalie Andrey Makarov late in the second period.

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

Defenseman Dave Sutter tries to take a shot through Saskatoon’s Dietz’s attempt at stopping him.

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

The second period ended with the T-Birds up 2-1 on the Blades.  Onto the third!

I finally got a good picture of new Thunderbirds defenseman Cason Machacek in the early stages of the third…

Defenseman Cason Machecek brings the puck up-ice in the opening part of the third period.

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

Just two and a half minutes into the third, left winger Mitch Elliot and Saskatoon defenseman Duncan Seimens threw down their gloves and started circling each other, preparing for fisticuffs.  That’s when I got this beauty of a photograph of Elliot and Seimens staring each other down…

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

The fight started, and Mitch Elliot came out on top, pulling Seimens’ jersey over his head…

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

They both took five minutes in the penalty box and the game continued on…

Center Jusin Hickman (right) tries to bat the puck out of the air before Saksatoon defenseman Zach Hodder can.

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

Hickman brings the puck up the ice in the third period.

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

With the T-Birds up one in the closing stages of the game, Saskatoon started pressing more, even pulling their goalie with roughly two and a half minutes left.  This forced the T-Birds to fall back on defense, with which everyone helped out.

Alos tries to block a centering pass from Saskatoon right winger Josh Nicholls.

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

Lund sacrifices his body to try and deflect the puck away from the Seattle net.

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

Defenseman Brad Deagle prepares to upend Saskatoon right wing Matej Stransky in the third period.

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

Alos hits the ice to take away a passing lane from Saskatoon’s Dietz.

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

With Saskatoon pulling their goalie, their net was wide open and a delicious target for Marcel Noebels.  He found himself with the puck in space, fired, and…

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

put the final nail in Saskatoon’s coffin.  That deserves another celebration, right?

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

And with that win, the Thunderbirds pulled back to .500 on the season at 3-3.

As I said earlier, we’ll be getting a new contributor to the blog later this week.  Brian Liesse of Washington Prep Sports will be by to post photos of Daniel Cotton’s first start in the WHL.

As always, feel free to leave a comment or ask me something in the comments section below.  I’d be happy to answer anything you’ve got.

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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T-Birds Give Grand Performance on Pink the Rink Night

The third weekend of the 2011-2012 season brought about two home games for the Thunderbirds, against the Prince Albert Raiders on Friday, Oct. 7, and the newest WHL team, the Victoria Royals (formerly of Chilliwack) the next day.   Since it’s freshest in my memory, why don’t we examine the game against Victoria first?

The game started off quickly, with the T-Birds scoring just one minute into the opening period.  I had just enough time to get situated and my camera settings set up before center Tyler Alos sent a centering pass into Justin Hickman, who calmly finished the scoring play.

Center Tyler Alos (right) centers the puck towards Justin Hickman (left), who sent it past Victoria goalie Braden Gamble for the first T-Birds goal of the night.

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

In case you didn’t notice in that last picture, yes, the ice was pink on Saturday.  It was “Pink the Rink Night” at the ShoWare Center to raise awareness of breast cancer and the ShoWare Center’s maintenance staff took that literally, putting chemicals in the ice to turn it pink.  I knew it would be a rare event and make for an interesting photo from above, so I focused on getting an action shot with an entirely pink background.  Just a few minutes into the game, I succeded…

Alos blocks the passing lane in front of Victoria defenseman Hayden Rintoul, forcing Rintoul into a back-pass.

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

Six minutes into the game, the Thunderbirds found themselves on a power play after Victoria’s Kade Pilton got called for roughing.  Just five seconds into the power play, Dave Sutter found himself in a great shooting position, and he promptly took advantage of it, scoring his first goal of the season…

Defenseman Dave Sutter fires the puck past the Victoria goalie during a power play in the first period.

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

40 seconds later, the T-Birds added to their 2-1 lead with a goal by Mitch Elliot.  That goal was the T-Birds’ third of the game, which led to this interesting photo…

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 200mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

That’s right; the first three T-Birds goals came on three shots on goal, giving them a shooting percentage of 100% for over seven minutes of action.  I certainly haven’t seen that before in my hockey-watching days.

One of the (relatively) new players on defense is youngster Jared Hauf.  He played three games as an under-ager for the T-Birds last year, but I didn’t get any good photos of him.  My goal in the first five or so games of this new season was to get a couple decent photos all the new people to have some in case we need a photo of one of them.   Luckily, I got a nice photo of Hauf going down to the ice in order to keep Victoria center Kevin Sundher from shooting the puck into the Seattle goal.

Defenseman Jared Hauf blocks Victoria center Kevin Sundher from the puck directly in front of the Seattle net.

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

Also playing a lot more is Connor Sanvido.  He got the start at left wing against Victoria, and worked his way into this blog post with this beauty of a photo…

Left wing Connor Sanvido stretches to reach a loose puck in front of Victoria right wing Austin Carrol.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 150mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Alos is upended before he can take a shot on Victoria goalie Keith Hamilton in the first period.

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

That’s it for first period photos, and the score was still set at 3-1 in favor of the Thunderbirds.   Onto the second period!

Left winger Mitch Elliot fires a shot towards the Victoria goal early in the second period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 62mm, f/2.8, 1/1000


Early in the second period, the T-Birds found themselves on the offensive, and Burke Gallimore had a great shot on goal.  It was knocked down by Hamilton, but it was awfully close to crossing the blue line for a score.  Burke thought it was in, and raised his stick in triumph…

Right winger Burke Gallimore raises his stick in triumph after a shot on goal.  The puck nearly crossed the line, but was saved just before counting as a score.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 30mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

I thought center Luke Lockhart had a decent game on Saturday.  He assisted Sutter’s goal and he was constantly in the action all throughout the night.  He was also in front of my camera a lot, like he was for this shot on frame in the second period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 59mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

For his efforts in the game, Dave Sutter was named the second start of the game.  We already saw how he contributed on offense, now check out his defense as he fights to take the puck away from Victoria’s Rintoul.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 200mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

In the second period, the Royals got one back, cutting the T-Birds’ lead to 3-2.  Now for some third period action!

A shot from left winger Chance Lund gets blocked by Victoria’s Hamilton early in the third period.

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

The story of the game was undoubtedly Branden Troock.  The right winger missed all of last year due to injury and played in just his second competitive game in two years Saturday night.  That didn’t stop him from scoring the last two goals for the Thunderbirds, including the game-winner.  Although I didn’t get a good shot of his first goal, I had a window to his celebration, which was just as good…

Left winger Branden Troock celebrates his first goal of the season with center Luke Lockhart.

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

As I’m writing this blog, I’m realizing that Tyler Alos has been in a lot of photos so far.  So what’s one more? He deserves it…

Center Tyler Alos tries to get in front of Victoria’s Kade Pilton’s pass in the third period.

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

Left wing Connor Sanvido and Victoria defenseman Jesse Pauls race for a puck in the third period.

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

Sanvido hits the ice while trying to reach a puck in front of Victoria’s Pauls.

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

Lockhart gets tangled up with Victoria’s Sundher while they both dash for the puck.

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

These last three photos were evidence of how much Victoria pressed in the middle of the third period in an effort to tie up the game.  It worked, briefly, as they notched it up at four by scoring two third period goals.  That result wasn’t going to hold, though, if Branden Troock had anything to say about it…

Troock fires a shot past Victoria’s Hamilton after stealing the puck from a Victoria defender deep in the Victoria zone.

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

That goal put the T-Birds up 5-4, giving Troock something else to celebrate…

Troock celebrates his second goal of the game, one that gave the T-Birds the lead with three minutes left to play in regulation.

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

The last three minutes were more of Victoria pressing, having pulled the goalie for the last two minutes or so.  The T-Birds did well, though, and didn’t let Victoria score again.  They threw themselves in front of Victoria shots and battled for pucks.  It was a tough-fought three minutes, as evidenced by this photo of Hickman and Victoria left wing Jamie Crooks on the ground after they both scrambled for a loose puck.

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

Those three minutes ended with no other goals, and the Thunderbirds earned their first win of the year.  It was time to celebrate around goalie Calvin Pickard!

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 190mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

What a game!  It certainly was exciting at the end there, and it was nice to see the T-Birds win their first game for Coach Konowalchuk.  Also, it was great to see Troock play so well in just his second game since the 2009-2010 year.

Tell me what you thought of the game, or of the pictures, in the comments section below.

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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