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Posts tagged “Brenden Dillon

Last Weekend of Games Leaves T-Birds Short of Playoffs

As you know last weekend’s games were the final matches in the regular season.  They weren’t, however, guaranteed to be the last game of the season, as there was a shot at passing Everett for the eighth and final spot on the western conference playoffs.  Unfortunately the loss Saturday against Portland ended the playoff chase for next season, but there was still a game to be played Sunday, and team awards to be handed out, too.  Here are some of the best photos from the last weekend of the 2010/2011 season.

The first period of the Portland game on Saturday was an exciting one with each team scoring two goals.  Portland got its’ two first just after the halfway point in the period, but not long afterward, Burke Gallimore and Marcel Noebels found themselves on a two-on-one breakaway…

Right wing Burke Gallimore slides a centering pass past Portland defenseman William Wrenn towards an uncovered Seattle right wing Marcel Noebels…

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

Who then fires it past Portland goalie Keith Hamilton and into the net for a goal!

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

Late in the period, center Colin Jacobs found himself on a breakaway with no one but Hamilton between him and his 22nd goal of the season.  He was trailed by two Winterhawks, however, who did whatever they could to prevent Jacobs from scoring…

Jacobs is upended by Portland defenseman Taylor Aronson (bottom left) while on a breakaway with one minute left in the period.  Aronson would be given a two-minute hooking penalty and Jacobs would receive a penalty shot…

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

Which Jacobs promptly buried into the net! Tie game!

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

The second period saw a goal from both teams, keeping the score even at 3-3.  Also, the second period gave us this photo of left wing Chance Lund keeping control of the puck despite the attempts of Portland left wing Nino Niederreiter to poke it away.

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

And to close out the Portland game, let’s take a look at a series of photos from the third period in which left wing Mitch Elliot throws his weight around and leaves Portland center Brendan Leipsic lying on the ice…

Mitch Elliot blocks Potland center Brendan Leipsic’s path to a loose puck.

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

Elliot begins to throw Leipsic to the ice in an effort to ensure Leipsic can’t get to a loose puck.

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

Elliot makes sure Leipsic won’t get immediately get up after throwing him to the ice.

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

In the third period, Portland got two more goals and a lead the T-Birds couldn’t cut down again.  Burke Gallimore scored his 34th goal of the year with three minutes left to go, but The T-Birds didn’t have any more goals left in them and fell to the Winterhawks, 4-5.

Now for the Tri-City game on Sunday…

Center Luke Lockhart attempts to steal the puck away from Tri-City right wing Jordan Messier in the first period of Sunday’s game against the Americans.

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

Michael Salmon got the start in goal over Calvin Pickard Sunday and played pretty well despite only getting three other starts during the season.  He made 28 saves over the course of the game and was named the third start for his efforts.  Here’s a photo of one of his 28 saves…

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

A slapshot from defenseman Dave Sutter bounces off the stick of Tri-City defenseman Brock Sutherland.

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

This next photo, I think, is one of the best photos I’ve found all year.  Fitting it comes at the end of the season, right?  Too bad it’s of Tri-City goalie Chris Driedger and not one of our own netminders…

Tri-City goalie Chris Driedger blocks a shot from Seattle defenseman Brenden Dillon in the second period.

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

Center Travis Toomey tries to control a loose puck in front of the Tri-City net.

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

Dillon attacks the Tri-City net from the right in his last game as a Seattle Thunderbird.

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

Salmon deflects a shot to behind the net where a teammate can gain possession and push it up the ice.

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

Center Connor Sanvido tries to knock the puck away from Tri-City defenseman Zachary Yuen.

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

Unfortunately, that does it for action photos during the game Sunday, but that doesn’t mean we’re done with this post!  After the game, there were awards to hand out recognizing the palyers’ efforts throughout the year.  Players’ excellences in school, the community, and on the ice were all celebrated with awards.  First up the Booster Club gave out awards, and Burke Gallimore received two of those, one for a hat trick, and the other for being a graduating player (being 19 and not automatically returning next year.  He can still come back as a 20-year old exception if chosen as one, however).

Canon 7D, 28mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Mitch Elliot received the Scholastic Award, which was hinted at by assistant coach and former T-Bird player Ryan Gibbon’s eying of Elliot while Elliot’s accolades were being read aloud.

Canon 7D, 78mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Marcel Noebels won the Rookie of the Year award thanks to his 28 goals and 26 assists…

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

While Brenden Dillon won Defenseman of the Year.

Canon 7D, 115mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Burke Gallimore’s 34 goals earned him the title of Top Scorer for the year…

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

And Calvin Pickard and Brenden Dillon shared the MVP honors.

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f/5, 1/500th, Manual

After the awards were handed out, the players raised their sticks in appreciation to the T-Birds fans for their great support throughout the season.

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f/5, 1/500th, Manual

One of the surprises of the night: some of the trophies froze to the ice after being set down.  Here, Burke Gallimore uses his stick in an attempt to unstuck his trophy.

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f/5,  1/500th, Manual

And that’s it for this blog post.  Even though these were the last few games, I do have a few more games worth of photos to post up.  I’ll probably get them taken care of in a single post later this week.  So this isn’t goodbye, not yet at least.  You’ll have to go through my musings at least once more before I call it a season…

As always, go T-Birds!

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Game 33: T-Birds Fly Past Bruins with More Overtime Magic from Gallimore

Alright, I’m slowly getting bogged down in games I haven’t posted photos from (I still have some to show you from the Everett game March 5), so bear with me while I play catch-up (which I’ll be doing for a bit after the season ends) on this blog.  Meanwhile, let’s celebrate a great 5-0 win over Kelowna with some photos from another great win: last Friday’s 3-2 overtime win over Chilliwack.

For a few weeks now, the Thunderbirds have huddled around Calvin’s goal just after coming onto the ice for the first period.  I’ve tried to get a good shot of them every game, but since the lights are out I haven’t had much luck; any photo is either to dark or has motion blur since I took it with a very slow shutter speed (which doesn’t freeze action well and creates motion blur).  Last Friday, however,  I got lucky when a spotlight moved across the huddle at the same time I released my shutter…

The Seattle Thunderbirds huddle up before their game against the Chilliwack Bruins on Friday, March 11, 2011.

Canon 7D, 110mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/30th, Manual

Left wing Marcel Noebels and Chilliwack defenseman Jeff Einhorn watch the puck fall to the ice early in the first period.

Canon 7D, 180mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Defenseman Austin Frank knocks down Chilliwack center Kevin Sundher in order to regain possession of the puck.

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

Throughout the course of the game, the Thunderbirds put an incredible 58 pucks on Chilliwack goalie Lucas Gore, and Gore stopped all but three of them.   Here he’s making a glove save on one of the 22 shots he faced in the first period, and to steal a baseball term sno-coning the puck with the glove (that means I timed my shutter right!)

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

Gore couldn’t keep that last save in his glove, however, and it fell loose in front of the net.  The puck eventually found its’ way to T-Birds’ center Tyler Alos, who saw a clear lane to the goal…

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

And fired the puck into the back of the net while skating past Chilliwack’s Gore.

Canon 7D, 190mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Center Brendan Rouse tries to separate Chilliwack right wing Robin Soudek from the puck in the T-Birds’ defensive end.

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

Chilliwack goalie Lucas Gore and defenseman Tyler Stahl can only watch as a Seattle shot crosses dangerously in front of the Chilliwack goal in the first period.

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

Recently one of the T-Birds’ communications interns commented how I haven’t submitted a photo of a hit for the press release at all this year.  I told him I never have too many good photos of hits, and ironically enough I got a few pretty good ones during the Chilliwack game, including these next two shots…

Center Chance Lund is pushed out of position to reach the puck by Chilliwack defenseman Mitch Topping.

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


Defenseman Erik Bonsor knocks Chilliwack’s Sundher to the ice in an attempt to take the puck away from the Bruins.

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

And to close out the photos from the first period, let’s see one of the few Chilliwack scoring chances in the first…

Goalie Calvin Pickard (left) prepares to stop a shot from Chilliwack right wing Robin Soudek.

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

At the first intermission, the score was 2-1 Thunderbirds.  Colin Jacobs added another goal for the T-Birds with two and a half minutes left while Chilliwack opened the scoring with a power-play goal from Soudek halfway through the period.   For period two, let’s move down to just behind the Chilliwack net…

Center Connor Sanvido follows a loose puck towards the Chilliack goal in the second period.

Canon 7D, 44mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Right Wing Burke Gallimore reaches to knock the puck away from Chilliwack’s Stahl, but doesn’t quite have the reach.

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

Center Luke Lockhart tries to find the loose puck and sweep it into the Chilliwack goal in the second period of play.

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

Unfortunately most of the rest of my second period photos had bad puck marks in them since the clean spot I found on the glass was ruined after a pile-up in front of me about halfway through the period.  So that does it for the second period, where Chilliwack evened the score at two all.  Onto the third period, where I took my typical spot amongst the players between the benches. ..

Travis Toomey seemed to be involved in most of the offensive action early in the third period.  I say that because the first four photos of the third period involve him, and they cover three different plays as well…

Center Travis Toomey tries to get through defenseman Brandon Manning and get into a good position in front of the Chilliwack net early in the first period.

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

Toomey sees a shot of his go slightly to the right of Chilliwack goalie Lucas Gore.

Canon 7D, 93mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Toomey looks for a loose puck in front of the Chilliwack net after a T-Birds’ shot on goal was blocked.

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


Toomey and Chilliwack right wing Dylan McKinlay battle for a loose puck in front of the Chilliwack goal.

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

Enough of Toomey for now, let’s check back in on Calvin, who’s now deflecting a shot from Chilliwack left wing Roman Horak.

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

Left wing Mitch Elliot brings the puck up-ice along the boards with Chilliwack’s Persley hot in pursuit.

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

Luke Lockhart tries to stop a loose puck from leaving the Thunderbirds’ zone but is knocked down by Chilliwack right wing Dylen McKinlay.

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

In the last part of the third period, Pickard came up big with a couple of nice saves.  While Chilliwack still only got nine shots on goal in the period, the T-Birds found themselves playing in their defensive zone more than during the rest of the game.

Pickard uses his stick to block the net while watching a centering pass from Chilliwack slide on by in the third period.

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

Defenseman Travis Bobbee tries to poke check the puck away from Chilliwack’s Sundher.

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

Pickard scrambles back to cover the net while defenseman Brenden Dillon takes control of a puck heading for the Seattle goal late in the third period.

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

Now for overtime!  Since neither team scored in the third, we headed into the extra five minutes still tied at two.   Toomey tried to end the game early in the overtime period, however, when he tried to send a shot up over Gore’s leg pads, but the puck just didn’t get high enough.

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

A minute and a half into the overtime period, Gallimore again found himself in space to the right of the Chilliwack net.  Like the last game against the Silvertips, Gallimore wound up and fired a slapshot towards the goal, and like the last game the puck hit the back of the net.   Unfortunately I couldn’t swing my camera over to him in time to get the shot, but I did get the celebration of his second straight game-winning goal in overtime…

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

That shot earned Gallimore a hug from Toomey…

Canon 7D, 93mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Also after the game, Pickard went over to Chillwack goalie Lucas Gore and congratulated him on his 55 save performance that earned him the first star of the game.   I thought that was pretty classy of Pickard, so let’s see a photo of it…

Canon 7D, 175mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

And that’s it for this post!  With just three games left in the season, the T-Birds are still in the playoff race.  They need points from each game—including two wins—and a little help from either Everett or Prince George to make it in, but with the way Seattle has been playing recently, I wouldn’t be shocked to see them in the playoffs.

Keep coming back here for photos of the final games of the season, T-Birds fans, and as always tell me what you think in the comments section below.

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!


Game 32: T-Birds Beat Silvertips with Gallimore’s Late Heroics

T-Birds’ fans, there’s just two weeks left in the season, but six games are yet to be played.  The T-Birds are just three points out of the last playoff spot in the western conference, making each game important.  One of the teams the T-Birds have a chance at passing for a playoff spot is their rivals from just up the road, the Everett Silvertips, and wouldn’t you know it, the ‘Tips came down to the ShoWare Center last Saturday…

The game started off great for the ‘Birds.  Not even a minute in, center Travis Toomey found himself in good position to give the T-Birds an early lead.  Unfortunately, his shot would hit the post and bounce away from the net…

Canon 7D, 180mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And towards a group of other T-Birds, including defenseman Brenden Dillon, who would bury it in the back of the net for a Thunderbirds’ score!

Just a bit later, Toomey would tried to steal the puck away from Everett center Landon Ferraro while Ferraro was still in Seattle’s offensive zone.

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

The number of shots in the first period was pretty balanced: the Thunderbirds earned 13 shots on goal, while the Silvertips put 11 pucks on goalie Calvin Pickard.  Pickard stopped all but one of those shots, including this one here…

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

Center Luke Lockhart tries to redirect a puck into the Everett goal, but can’t get to it before Everett goalie Luke Siemens knocks it away from the net.

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

Center Brendan Rouse battles for the puck with Everett left wing Tyler Maxwell near the face-off circle in Seattle’s zone.

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

Nearly halfway through the period, the T-Birds found themselves on a power play after Everett right wing Cody Fowlie got called for tripping.  The power play had nearly been killed off until Toomey found himself in front of the Everett net while the puck was also heading towards goal…

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

Toomey raised his stick and redirected the puck, having been originally shot by Rouse, into the net, giving Seattle a 2-1 lead they’d hold for the rest of the period.

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

And now for the second period!  Instead of my spot behind the net the T-Birds shoot at, I sat in Calvin’s Corner in an attempt to find clearer glass and different photos than I’d been getting.  And get a different shot I did, as in this one it looks as though right wing Burke Gallimore is being held up by Everett defender Chad Suer instead of being knocked to the ice like you’d expect…

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

In the second period, the Thunderbirds again earned 13 shots on goal but couldn’t get anything past the red line.  Everett’s Siemens blocked all of them, including this one by Seattle right wing Marcel Noebels.

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

Toomey again found himself in front of the Everett net with a loose puck in the second period, but this time it was poke-checked away before he could put a stick on it for yet another scoring opportunity.

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

During the second period, Everett snuck one past Pickard to even the score at two-all.   There was also a minor scuffle between Dillon and an Everett player with just a few seconds left in the period, but no penalties or anything else resulted from it.  Tensions clearly weren’t worked out, though, as just seven seconds into the third period Dillon and Everett’s Ferraro dropped gloves and squared off against each other.  After a fairly one-sided beatdown by Dillon, the two fighters were sent to the penalty box for five minutes to cool off, but here’s a photo of the fight.

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

Center Luke Lockhart is upended after taking a shot on Everett’s Siemens in the third period.

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

Defenseman Erik Bonsor tries to take the puck away from Everett right wing Scott MacDonald.

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

Lockhart takes Everett’s Ferraro down to the ice while defending him late in the third period.

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

During the period, Pickard faced nine more shots from the Everett attack and stopped all nine of them.  Unfortunately Seattle couldn’t get one past Siemens either (not one that wasn’t disallowed, anyway), so we headed into overtime, where Pickard was forced into action early…

Pickard makes a save in the beginning of the overtime period.

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

Gallimore protects the puck from Everett defender Ryan Murray during the overtime period.

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

And Pickard was called upon again soon afterward to make a game-extending save…

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

With just fifteen seconds before the shootout, Burke Gallimore found himself in space and with a decent angle on the goal.  Furthermore, Toomey was once again in front of the goal, looking to tip in a centering pass for the game winner.  With all this in mind, Gallimore wound up for a slapshot towards the goal…

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


And unleashed a nice shot that didn’t need any help from Toomey, for it found an empty space to cross over the red line and win the game for Seattle!

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

What a shot! With just seconds before overtime, Burke Gallimore—who had missed the previous night’s game at Portland since he was back home attending the funeral of his grandfather—fired a great shot past the Everett defense and clinched two vital points in the playoff chase for the Thunderbirds… This deserves some celebration, no?

I got many photos of Gallimore celebrating, but I had a tough time deciding what one to go with for the press release.  You be the photographer: Let me know what one I should have gone with below in the comments section.

Our first choice is a full-body shot of Gaillimore with Dillon hanging on behind him…

Canon 7D, 90mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And the second one is a cropped version of the first, emphasizing Gallimore and eliminating some extraneous information…

Canon 7D, 90mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

The third one is the one I ended up using and is close to being one of my favorite shots I’ve taken this entire year.  It has many great qualities in it: Gallimore (who scored the game-winning goal) extending his arms wide and looking upwards; Dillon (who scored once and assisted Gallimore on the game-winner), and beautiful lighting around both their faces—there’s even a glint coming off Gallimore’s visor!  What’s wrong with it, though?  Only another terrible case of referees in the background ruining a shot.  Is that ref enough to ruin this image?  Let me know below!

Canon 7D, 93mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And the fourth and final one is one I submitted to the WHL website.  It’s similar to the third photo, although Gallimore’s arms aren’t as extended anymore and his eyes are closed.  It’s past the peak moment, which I captured in the photo above, but it doesn’t have that ref in the background.  Tell me, is this better than celebration photo three?  Or either of the first two?

Canon 7D, 90mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And let’s leave off with a photo of the entire team surrounding Gallimore and celebrating their two points…

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

Alright, that’s it for this blog post!  Let me know your opinions about those celebration photos or any other picture I posted tonight, and I’ll see you Friday when the T-Birds take on Chilliwack in another crucial game in the playoff race!

‘Til then, go T-Birds!


Game 29: T-Birds Drop Heartbreaker to Winterhawks

Hello again T-Birds fans!   Sorry for the delay in posts, but I’ve been pretty busy the last few days and haven’t found time to throw together a blog post for either of the games I have left to write about.  I’ve finally found some now, though, and I can do a quick one about the Portland game last Saturday.  Let’s start off with a photo of goalie Calvin Pickard making yet another routine save shall we?

Pickard makes a glove save on a Portland shot early in the first period.  This was one of his 52 saves on the night.

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

Center Colin Jacobs tries to get a shot past Portland defenseman Joe Morrow (middle) and goalie Keith Hamilton.

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

Center Brendan Rouse tries to get the puck away from the boards despite being checked into them by Portland defenseman Taylor Aronson.

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

Right wing Marcel Noebels takes a shot on the Portland goal.

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

Pickard holds strong as a puck slides in from Portland center Craig Cunningham.

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

Noebels takes the puck away from Portland’s Aronson at center ice.

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

Jacobs (right) waits for a pass from center Travis Toomey (left) beside the Portland goal late in the period.

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

Toomey (left) battles with Portland’s Hamilton for a puck in front of the Portland goal in the second period.

Canon 7D, 30mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Toomey (right) chases after a rebounded puck with Portland defenseman William Wrenn.

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

Toomey (right) chases after a rebounded puck with Portland defenseman William Wrenn.

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

Noebels has the puck stolen from him in front of the Portland goal by Portland’s Wrenn.

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

Ever wonder what it’s like to be right on the glass while players are being checked about six inches in front of you?  Well, it’s something like this…

Portland center Ryan Johansen is checked into the boards by Seattle’s Noebels (behind Johnasen).

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

Defenseman Erik Bonsor puts a hit on Portland left wing Brad Ross early in the third period of the game.

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

Defenseman Ryan Button controls the puck.

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

Center Tyler Alos tries to send a loose puck into the Portland goal, but is defended by Portland’s Aronson.

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

Alos tries to rein in a puck knocked away from him by Portland left wing Sven Bartschi.

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

Center Connor Sanvido brings the puck up ice and into the T-Birds’ attacking zone.

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

Defenseman Brenden Dillon tries to block a clearance by Portland center Brendan Leipsic.

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

Pickard makes a diving save to prevent the Winterhawks from extending their lead in the third period.

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

Button jumps on the celebration pile after a Toomey goal that evened the score at 3.

And unfortunately that’s where my photos from the game end.  As you may remember, Portland snuck one past Pickard with just thirty seconds left in regulation to steal that second point and the win.  The T-Birds played pretty well, though, giving hope to ending the season on a good streak and maybe even finding themselves in the playoffs…
I hope to have photos from last Tuesday’s Everett game up in a few days.  As always, feel free to leave any comments or questions you may have in the comments section below.

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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Game 28 (Part 2): T-Birds Whack Bruins in Shootout

When we last left off, 20 mascots were running around on the ice with brooms and attempting to play broomball.  Eventually they were cleared off the ice and the main attraction of the night—a hockey game with players in skates instead of overly-large feet and heads—resumed.  As always for the second period, I took up a position behind the opposing goal, hoping for another good offensive period…

…and didn’t find it in the first photo.  But hey, it takes place in the T-Birds’ offensive third so that counts for something, right?

Left wing Chance Lund tries to pry the puck away from Chilliwack left wing Curt Gogol early in the second period.

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

But that first photo was just an aberration as in this next photo, left wing Mitch Elliot takes a shot on the Chilliwack goal.

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

The T-Birds found themselves on a power play about four and a half minutes into the period.  They successfully converted this time when center Travis Toomey fired a shot past Chilliwack goalie Lucas Gore.  Unfortunately there was a Chilliwack defenseman blocking my shot of Toomey and the celebration traveled away from me, so I didn’t get anything good from the goal.  The only thing I did get after the goal, however, is a photo of Cool Bird celebrating the now-level game.

Canon 7D, 28mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/320th, Manual

Center Luke Lockhart positions himself to get the rebound from a Chance Lund slapshot.  Lockhart caught up with the puck and fired on goal, but Gore blocked it from going between the pipes.

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

And here Lockhart goes behind the net in order to get a pass off to Lund, who’s positioned right in front of the Chilliwack goal.

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

Center Justin Hickman tries to knock Chilliwack center Steven Hodges away from the puck after the T-Birds’ defense cleared it from their own defensive zone.

Canon 7D, 44mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Late in the second period, a fight broke out between right wing Burke Gallimore and Chilliwack center Brandon Magee.  I did not see what caused the tussle—I was watching the puck and at the time of the fight it was in front of the goal and to my right, not along the boards and to my left like the fight was—but both players quickly got support from their respective teammates in it.  Pretty soon (I think it was) all five skaters from each team were involved in some way in the string of fights caused by Gallimore v. Magee.  Here’s a photo showing each individual match-up.

Fans at ShoWare Center saw a multi-fight melee at the end of the second period were seemingly everyone but the goalies were trying to punch someone wearing a different-color jersey.

Canon 7D, 33mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

In all, 72 minutes were dished out to seven players, four of them being T-Birds.  The four Thunderbirds who received penalty minutes for their part in the altercation were sent to the locker room since less than two minutes remained in the second period, and I got a photo of them skating off the ice… From left to right its center Travis Toomey, Gallimore, defenseman Ryan Button (who’s furthest from me), and center Brendan Rouse.

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

And with that little bit of excitement, the period ended.  Chilliwack added two more goals in the period, bringing the score to 3-1 in favor of the Bruins.  For the third period, I headed onto the ice and between the benches in order to get a clearer view of the third period action where hopefully the T-Birds could produce another comeback…

Center Colin Jacobs tries to poke the puck away from Chillwack right wing Blair Wentworth near center ice early on in the third period.

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

Center Justin Hickman (middle) is flanked by fellow center Tyler Alos (background. left) and Elliot (foreground, right) while skating down the ice with the puck.

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

Later in the possession Hickman found himself in position to take a shot on goal, but was denied by Gore.

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

About halfway through the third period, Elliot found himself right in front of the net when Toomey knocked the puck towards Mitch.  Elliot took a bit of a windup and then proceeded to bury the loose puck past Gore and into the back of the net to cut the Bruins’ lead to one.  I managed to get the entire play, and I’ll give you the series of five photos now…

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

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

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

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

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

And of course he had to celebrate his fifth goal of the season…

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

In the third period, the T-Birds very much controlled the game, earning a whopping 25 shots on goal while limiting the Bruins to just 11.  They were able to end Chilliwack possessions early and at times threw their weight around, including this photo where Alos shoves Chilliwack’s Hodges away from the puck.

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

Button is upended by Chilliwack left wing Jamie Crooks in the attacking third of the ice.

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

Jacobs brings the puck past a Chilliwack defender during a Seattle power play.

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

Late in the power play, Brendan Dillon fired a shot towards the Chilliwack goal.  After Toomey redirected it, Colin Jacobs finished the play by powering it into the back of the net.  My view of Jacobs during his shot was blocked, but I did have a nice view of Dillon’s pass that earned him an assist.

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

And of course Jacobs had to celebrate the game-tying goal…

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

And here’s goalie Calvin Pickard celebrating Jacobs’ goal.

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

And with the game tied, the T-Birds had to stop the Bruins from scoring for two more minutes in order to get into overtime.  That effort was helped by this interception of a Chilliwack pass by defenseman Travis Bobbee.

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

And in the closing moments of the game, Button had a decent opportunity to put the T-Birds up and prevent the Bruins for earning a point.  He didn’t convert, however, and lamented his chance when regulation ended.

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

In the overtime period, the Bruins actually outshot the T-Birds six to four.  None of those attempts were successful however, as Pickard made six of his 37 saves in the overtime period.  Here’s one of them…

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

For the shootout, the T-Birds bench got their rally helmets on (flipped their helmets around) in an attempt to will the team to victory.  Here’s right wing Jacob Doty sporting the backwards helmet.  I think they may be onto something here… it was obviously successful.

Canon 7D, 125mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

After the first shooters for both teams both converted their chances.  Second up for Chilliwack was center Kevin Sundher.  Before Sundher could take a shot, however, Pickard poke-checked the puck away, ending the attempt.

Canon 7D, 100mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Second up for the T-Birds was Jacobs, who didn’t allow the puck to be poke-checked away and instead converted his attempt.

Canon 7D, 98mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

The third shooter for Chilliwack, left wing Roman Horak hit the post during his attempt, sealing the win for the T-Birds.  The team rushed onto the ice to celebrate the two points, many still wearing their rally helmets.

Canon 7D, 105mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

There was a lot of celebration and numerous hugs on the ice after game, including this exchange between Pickard and Toomey.

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

With those two points over the Bruins, the team directly above them in the standings, the T-Birds’ playoff chances grew a bit stronger that night.  It will surely take more than this single win to propel the T-Birds into the playoffs, but the way the team came back from a two-goal deficit suggests that the last few weeks of the season will have plenty of intrigue…

And that’s it for this time!   I appreciate any and all comments you have on this post or any other one; just leave one in the comments section below!

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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Game 23: T-Birds Drop Close One to Everett

I’ve always said that I watch each event I shoot twice: once while I shoot it and once more (at least) while going through the photos from that event.  While going through the photos, I often relive the game and see most of the plays in my head as I see photos of them on my computer screen.  It’s a skill I enjoy, for the most part, as knowing what’s going on in the photos really helps me to write better cutlines and give a good account of the photo’s significance according to the story of the game.  While going through the photos for this Everett game, though, nothing was coming back to me.  I wasn’t reliving the plays in my head, I couldn’t remember the significance of what was on my computer screen; it was like I wasn’t even at the game and looking through someone else’s photographs.

Why?  I can’t tell you for certain.  Maybe it was because I sick that day, or maybe I was exhausted from my two shoots the day before (the Portland/Teddy Bear Toss game and a Seattle U. women’s basketball game directly before it).  Whatever the reason, I can’t tell you what happened in that game so I won’t even attempt to.  Instead of commenting on the game in between photos like I normally do, I’ll post just photos, cutlines, and metadata.  To make up for no commentary, I’ll throw in more photos than normal.  Sound good?

Let’s get it started then…

A local hockey beginner gets to stand on the ice with the T-Birds during player introductions and the national anthem.

Canon 7D, 153mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/640th, Manual

Goalie Calvin Pickard stops an Everett shot from going into the net in the first period.

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

Defenseman Austin Frank brings the puck out from behind the Seattle net with Everett right wing Cody Fowlie in hot pursuit.

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

Left wing Chance Lund takes a shot on the Everett goal despite having Everett defenseman Rasmus Rissanen draped on his back.

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

Left wing Chance Lund takes a shot on the Everett goal despite having Everett defenseman Rasmus Rissanen draped on his back.

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

Calvin Pickard flips the puck after catching an Everett shot in the first period.

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

Despite falling to the ice, Luke Lockhart tries to knock the puck away from Everett left wing Tyler Maxwell.

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

Center Colin Jacobs (top right) and Everett’s Rissanen scramble for a loose puck between Seattle defenseman Brenden Dillon’s skates.

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

Lockhart scrapes the puck away from the boards behind the Everett net in the second period.

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

Jacobs checks Everett defenseman Brennan Yadlowski into the boards in the corner of the ice.

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

Center Travis Toomey (middle) waits for a pass from Jacobs (right) in front of the Everett goal.

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

Jacobs watches as a shot from Brenden Dillon (not pictured) flies by Everett goalie Kent Simpson (middle, bottom) and hits the back of the net.

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

Everett’s Rissanen can’t clear Dillon’s shot before it crosses the red line and counts as a goal.

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

Jacobs begins to celebrate Dillon’s goal.

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

Jacobs’ celebration continues…

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

Fans join in on celebrating the equalizing goal by Dillon.

Canon 7D, 28mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/400th, Manual

Familiar faces to this blog cheer on their favorite team after Dillon’s goal.

Canon 7D, 30mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/400th, Manual

Center Brendan Rouse watches as Everett center Clayton Cumiskey clears a loose puck from in front of Everett’s goal.

Canon 7D, 45mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Lockhart fires a slapshot onto the Everett goal in the third period.

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

(I have no clue how the puck got behind Lockhart.  Maybe it was blocked back to him?)

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

Lockhart hits the ice in front of the Everett goal, leaving Everett’s Simpson to freeze the loose puck and stop play.

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

Dillon brings the puck up the ice during the third period.

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

Jacobs brings the puck past Everett left wing Josh Winquist.

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

Center Justin Hickman fires the puck past Elliot’s Maxwell and to an awaiting teammate.

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

Jacobs (left) and right wing Burke Gallimore (right) discuss tactics while returning to the ice for a faceoff.

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

Pickard stretches to block a shot from Everett center Parker Stanfield while Dillon (left) and defenseman Erik Bonsor (middle right) look on.

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

Pickard makes another save, one of 31 on the night.

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

Everett’s Simpson knocks away a shot from right wing Marcel Noebels (middle, facing camera).

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

Pickard knocks down an Everett shot late in the game.

Canon 7D, 153mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Noebels takes a knee during a late break in the action.

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

And that’s it for this post!  What do you think of this different format?  Do you like it?  Should I start using more photos and spend less time dissecting (at least trying to dissect) the game?  Let me knowbelow in the comments section!

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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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 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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