The Official Photoblog of the Seattle Thunderbirds

Posts tagged “celebration

First Half Recap

Happy 2013 T-Birds fans!

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this thing (And in other breaking news, ice is cold), so perhaps a quick recap is in order. Since I have so many games unposted, I’ll post some of the best photos I’ve taken since early November. Sound good? Good, I’m glad you agree…

Early Jan Post001

Defenseman Shea Theodore brings the puck up the ice during a game Nov. 16 against Medicine Hat. Theodore has 27 points on the year, eight goals and 19 assists.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 125mm, f/2.8, 1/2000

Early Jan Post002

Left winger Alexander Delnov crosses the Thunderbirds logo at center ice during a game Nov. 16 against Medicine Hat.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 115mm, f/2.8, 1/2000

Early Jan Post003

Delnov and center Connor Honey celebrate a goal in the second period of a Nov. 16 game against Medicine Hat. For much of the first half, the Delnov, Honey, and Roberts Leipsbergs line led the way for the Thunderbirds. The members of the DHL line are currently the top three points-scorers on the squad, with Honey leading the way at 33, Lipsbergs one behind at 32, and Delnov in third with 30.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 85mm, f/2.8, 1/1600

Early Jan Post004

Left winger Riley Sheen stretches out to block a puck during a game Nov. 17 versus Spokane.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 150mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

And, coincidentally enough, let’s look at a similar photo of Sheen attempting to knock down a puck during the same game.

Early Jan Post005

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Early Jan Post006

Defenseman Jesse Forsberg dives to interrupt a shot from Everett defenseman Landon Oslanski while Seattle goalie Brandon Glover prepares to make the save during a game Nov. 27.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 100mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Early Jan Post007

Center Justin Hickman celebrates a goal late in the third period of the Nov. 27 game against Everett. Hickman’s goal clinched the 5-3 victory for the Thunderbirds.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Early Jan Post008

Delnov checks for defenders as he brings the puck up-ice during a game Dec. 1 against Kelowna.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 170mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Early Jan Post009

Center and T-Birds captain Luke Lockhart fires a shot towards the goal during the Dec. 1 game against Kelowna. Lockhart had one assist on the night as the T-Birds downed the Rockets 4-2.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 93mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Early Jan Post010

Glover makes a save during the Dec. 1 game against Kelowna. Glover has played in 36 games for the Thunderbirds, holding an 89.8% save percentage while facing1,237 shots on the year so far.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 125mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

 

Early Jan Post012

Lockhart drops to one knee in an effort to block a puck during the Dec. 8 game against Portland. Lockhart has put up 25 points on the year, 14 goals and 11 assists in addition to his duties as team captain.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 155mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Early Jan Post013

Left winger Mitch Elliot grapples with Victoria center Brandon MaGee during a dust-up late in the game Dec. 6 versus Victoria.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Early Jan Post014

Defenseman Evan Wardley shoves Everett left winger Mitch Skapski as Skapski advances down-ice during a game Dec. 28.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 75mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Early Jan Post015

Glover sends a puck flying after blocking an Everett shot during Dec. 28’s contest against the Silvertips.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 93mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Early Jan Post016

Forsberg takes a knee in an effort to block a passing lane during Dec. 28’s matchup with Everett.  Forsberg has tallied 20 points on the year so far, scoring four goals while assisting 16 others.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Early Jan Post017

Theodore attempts to push Everett center Carson Stadnyk off the puck during the Dec. 28 game against Everett.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Early Jan Post018

Glover makes a save during a game Jan. 5 against Spokane.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 93mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Early Jan Post019

Right winger Branden Troock and Spokane left winger Carter Proft trade punches during a fight late in the game Jan. 5. Both earned five-minute fighting majors for their involvement in the fight.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

So now I’m caught up with the blog, thankfully! And I have even more exciting news: after every game,  we’ll be posting a photo gallery on the Thunderbirds’ Facebook page! Now you won’t have to wait the days or—let’s face it, the months sometimes—to see photos from some games, it’ll just be an hour or so! What that means for this blog is as of now undetermined, but I’m sure I’ll figure something out for it.

That’s it for this edition of Bird Watching, fans. Thanks for reading and as always,

Til next time, go T-Birds!

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Thunderbirds Pink the Rink, Earn a Point against Kamloops

Hello again Thunderbirds fans! And welcome back to Bird Watching! If you came to the most recent home game, a Sunday, October 18th tilt against the Kamloops Blazers, then you probably noticed something different about the ShoWare Center ice….

There’s something different about this photo, but I can’t quite put my finger on it…

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 28mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Maybe if we move down to ice level, we can spot what’s going on here…

Defenseman Taylor Green blocks Kamloops rightwinger Jordan DePape in front of the Seattle goal in the first period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Ok, I’ve got a suspicion, but I think I need one more photo just to be sure…

Multiple Thunderbirds players participated in the team’s Pink the Rink night by taping their sticks with pink tape, lacing up with pink skate laces, and spray painting sticks pinks.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 170mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

 

Ahh! That’s it! The face-off spots are now purple!

Well, they looked purpleish, I guess, but it’s only because the ice was colored pink. Yes, the wonderful ice technicians at the ShoWare Center figured out how to mix pink dye in with the zamboni’s water to create a few layers of pink ice over the typical white ice. This was done as part of team’s Pink the Rink Night to help Valley Medical and GLOW to bring awareness and funds to provide mammograms and breast health education for uninsured women at high risk of developing breast cancer. In fact, there was pink all over the ShoWare Center Sunday, from in the stands, in the players’ bench, and in the ice itself. There was even a pink car on the ice (not during game action though. That just wouldn’t be safe, for the players or for the car). Don’t believe me? Just look…

A car, all decked out in pink highlights, drives on the ice during the first intermission.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

The pink car was actually a prize for three lucky contestants to potentially win. All they had to do was make 15 goals in one minute from the center line. Piece of cake, right? Unfortunately no one won a car, but all three participants certainly made more goals than I would have…

A lucky Thunderbirds fan attempts to make 15 goals in one minute from the center line during the first intermission.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Everyone in attendance at the ShoWare Center Sunday received large pink glow sticks to light the rink even when the lights were off. They certainly lit the rink, which I’ll show you a bit later, and they seemed to be a hit with many in the stands…

Fans hold up their pink glowsticks during the first intermission in support of breast cancer awareness Sunday night.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 90mm, f/2.8, 1/50

Some players used the pink tape sparingly on their sticks. Others, such as left winger Roberts Lipsbergs here? Not so much…

Left winger Roberts Lipsbergs sports an entirely-pink stick in the second period against Kamloops.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 185mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

The Thunderbirds opened the game’s scoring early in the second period when right winger Connor Honey fired the puck past Kamloops goalie Taran Kozun. Did I get a photo of the goal? No, but here’s a photo of the post-goal celebration…

Left winger Riley Sheen, center, celebrates with the Thunderbirds players on the ice after the first goal of the game. Sheen, who assisted the goal, ended the game with one assist and a +/- ranking of +1.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 150mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Center Brendan Rouse fights through the Kamloops defense for a puck in front of the Blazers’ net. Although the puck was frozen on the play, Rouse scored his third goal of the season later on in the second period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Defenseman Shea Theodore fires a puck towards the Kamloops goal in the second period. Theodore scored his fourth goal of the year and also assisted Rouse’s goal for a rating of +1 on the night.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 105mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

The second period was full of action, with all six goals of regulation scored during the period. With the end of the period, the two teams retreated back to their locker rooms and the lights dimmed in the arena, emphasizing the pink glow sticks and other pink lights around the arena.

Pink light from fans’ pink glow sticks and some of the suites lights up the rink shortly before the start of the third period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/125

Center Justin Hickman skates up the ice with the puck early in the third period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 115mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Defenseman Jesse Forsberg hits the ice to block a shooting lane while trying to kill off a Kamloops power play in the third.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 108mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

And, to end this Pink the Rink photoblog, let’s end with another shot of Lipsbergs and his entirely-pink stick again, shall we?

Lipsbergs fights to stay on the puck despite the best efforts of Kamloops defenseman Sam Grist in the third period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 98mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

The T-Birds and Blazers played the third period to a scoreless draw, forcing the Thunderbirds into their second overtime game of the season. 25 seconds into the extra period, however, Kamloops snuck one past T-Birds goalie Brandon Glover and won the game, their 15th of the season. The Thunderbirds, however, received a point in the standings for their effort and moved two points above Everett in the standings.

That’s it for this edition of Bird Watching, Thunderbirds fans. Thanks for reading and, as always, Go T-Birds!


T-Birds Open 2012-13 Home Slate

Greetings again, T-Birds fans! I’ve finally found a bit of time so why don’t I revisit the Thunderbirds’ home opener against Portland last Saturday? Does that sound like a good idea to you guys? Well I certainly hope so.

As with the two other home openers I’ve seen, the T-Birds hosted a Party on the Plaza before the game started. There was a bouncy castle for the younger fans, a beer garden for the older ones, and face painting for everyone, along with other booths. Since you can’t really go wrong with a photo of kids having fun on bouncy castles, I headed there first and waited for a photo opportunity to arise. It didn’t take long for me to get this gem…

A young fan gets assistance in departing a bouncy castle at the Party at the Plaza outside the ShoWacre Center.

Canon 7D, 800 ISO, 28mm, f/2.8, 1/5000

 

As mentioned before, there was a face painter outside available to paint the logo of a certain hockey team on the body of anyone who wished to employ her services.

Canon 7D, 400 ISO, 37mm, f/4.5, 1/250

I stuck around outside to finish up a couple of photos I had to take, and then headed inside to prepare for the player introductions before the game started. Here are a couple of photos from those…

Defenseman Jesse Forsberg rushes onto his new home ice while being introduced to the Seattle crowd. Forsberg came over from Prince George in August.

Canon 7D, 2500 ISO, 90mm, f/2.8, 1/400

Surprisingly and a bit to my dismay, I didn’t catch any laser or flare in my lens, which would have made those photos stand out from the other introductions. Nevertheless, I found a nice way to make a good, somewhat unique photo during introductions by shooting without the aid of the spotlight. Here’s what I’m talking about…

Left wing Alexander Delnov, from Moscow, Russia, is introduced for the first time to Thunderbirds fans.

Canon 7D, 2500 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/400

While the pregame festivities were great to watch and everything, the main draw of the night was (obviously) the game against the rival Portland Winterhawks, so let’s check out some action shots from the first period!

Defenseman Shea Theodore fights through a check by Portland center Nic Petan.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 110mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

As you would expect from a Seattle/Portland matchup, the game quickly turned chippy with physical play all around the rink and plenty of pushing and shoving after the whistle. Here T-Birds’ left wing Riley Sheen (left) and right wing Seth Swenson (right) are involved in a small dust-up with Portland’s Adam De Champlain.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 115mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Center Connor Sanvido controls the puck in front of the Portland bench during the first period.

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

About seven minutes into the game, the Thunderbird found themselves on their second powerplay of the night. Barely 10 seconds into the advantage, Seth Swenson powered a loose puck past Portland goalie Cam Lanigan to give the T-Birds a 1-0 advantage in the first. I didn’t get a good frame of the goal, unfortunately, but I did get a decent photo of the resulting celebration.

Sheen is all smiles after Swenson scores his first goal of the year on a power play in the first period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 120mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Delnov chases down a loose puck while in the neutral zone during the first period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 175mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

That’s it for photos from the first period. Let’s move onto the second!

As we’ve previously established, the game turned very physical quickly. It came as no surprise when, nary two minutes into the second period, left wing Mitch Elliot and Portland right wing Joe Mahon dropped gloves and earned themselves a five-minute fighting major, but not before Elliot forced Mahon down to the ice.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 170mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Center Tyler Alos slides a centering pass through the reach of Portland’s Kirill Vorobev and towards the Portland goal.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Theodore controls the puck in the Portland zone during the second period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

The Winterhawks scored two goals in the second period, taking a two score lead into the third period. For the third period, I moved to my typical spot between the benches to get photos unblocked by the glass, where it looks like my efforts paid off…

Defenseman Jared Hauf brings the puck up the ice early in the third period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 110mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Theodore slides a pass up the ice and into the neutral zone.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 155mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Center Justin Hickman brings the puck past an offscreen Portland defender.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 80mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Right wing Branden Troock battles with Portland center Preston Kopec for a puck in the Portland zone.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 105mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Forsberg knocks away a puck heading for the Seattle goal in the third period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 125mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Delnov attempts a back-door shot on the Portland goal, but Portland’s goalie Cam Lanigan makes the save.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 155mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

And, since it’s a Seattle/Portland game, why don’t we end the blog on a shot of another fight? Deal? Deal.

Defenseman Taylor Green and Portland right wing Joe Mahon prepare to land punches on each other late in the game.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 90mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

And that’s it for this edition of Bird Watching! The Thunderbirds return to the ShoWare Center Saturday night, October 6 for a game against those [sarcasm]beloved[ens] hated rivals directly to the north, the Everett Silvertips. I’ll be there, will you?


T-Birds Take out Royals in Shootout

Well this feels familiar!  Hello again, T-Birds fans, team photographer Kyle Scholzen back here with you after an unfortunately long absence.  Classes have ended for the quarter, though, and that means I actually have time to update this blog again!  I don’t know any better way to celebrate that fact than with photos from a T-Birds victory, this one coming in shootout form over the Royals…

Saturday’s game against Victoria was a roller-coaster ride of emotion.  The first two periods were great as the T-Birds took a 3-0 lead and we saw newcomer Connor Honey’s first WHL point and both Tyler Alos’ and  Colin Jacobs’ first goals of the season.  The third, though, brought about an ill-advised fighting major and game misconduct from Justin Hickman that gave Victoria a three-minute power play during which the Royals erased their three-goal deficit and evened the game up.  A back-and-forth overtime ended with the game still tied, bringing about a shootout that saw just one successful penalty shot, converted by none other than Colin Jacobs.  It was a fun game to cover, so let’s dive into the photos!

Defenseman Braeden Laroque tries to knock Victoria center Steven Hodges off the puck.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 80mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Goalie Calvin Pickard deflects a  shot to defendseman Cason Machacek.

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

Center Sean Aschim controls the puck in the T-Birds’ defensive zone.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 80mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Aschim opened the scoring in the game with a well-placed blast from about 15 feet out.  That goal was his eighth of the season and drew a well-deserved celebration from Aschim…

Aschim celebrates his opening goal late in the first period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 130mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

And to close out the period, let’s check out a shot on goal by right wing Tyler Alos, who would later get his first goal of the year in the second.

Right wing Tyler Alos tries to force a shot through Victoria goalie Keith Hamilton in the closing moments of the first period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 32mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Aschim’s goal would be the difference between the two teams in the first period, and we now move onto the second, which brought on much the same style of play we saw in the first. Also, the T-Birds capitalized on the many opportunities they had to score, as they converted on two of the four power-play opportunities they had in the period.  For the first goal, Tyler Alos scored his first of the year, and Colin Jacobs also netted his season-opener eight minutes later.  Unfortunately my photos of those two plays didn’t turn out very clear, but I did get a decent shot of Luke Lockhart firing a centering pass towards goal during a power play…

Center Luke Lockhart centers the puck during the second period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 130mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Left wing Chance Lund tries to redirect a centering pass past Victoria goalie Keith Hamilton.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 70mm, f/3.5, 1/1000

Right wing Burke Gallimore tries to collect a loose puck in front of the Victoria goal in the second period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 75mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

And that’s it for the second period, unfortunately.  Now onto the third!

Defenseman Brad Deagle chases after a loose puck with Victoria center Kevin Sunder close in tow.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 85mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

When I’m in the box between the benches, sometimes I feel like part of the game due to how close I am to the action.  I feel the rush of air whenever someone skates past right in front of me, I hear every word chirped at opposing players between the benches (which is the reason why I can’t take video from down there: this is a family blog of course), and I’ve even been sprayed with snow a time or two down there.   Sometimes I feel like such a part of the game it feels like players actually pass me the puck, which is what looks like is going on in this next photo…

Defenseman Cason Machacek passes the puck back into the neutral zone during the third period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 93mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Not even two minutes into the third, right wing Justin Hickman found himself with a five-minute major fighting penalty and a game misconduct for fighting Victoria left wing Zane Jones after Jones tripped a T-Bird.  While it was nice to see Hickman sticking up for his teammate, it was unfortunate that he earned a five-minute major as the Royals used the resulting three minute power play (after Jones’ tripping minor ended) to even the game back up.  Here is the second goal from Victoria on the night, a far shot that Chance Lund tried his best to block…

Lund tries, but can’t block a blast from Victoria defenseman Kade Pilton during a Victoria power play in the third period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 85mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Right wing Connor Honey joined the T-Birds on Thursday, Dec. 8, and this last weekend of games was his first action as a T-Bird (although he attended Seattle’s preseason training camp).  Those two nights, I was tasked with getting photos of him and Jacobs (more from him later, obviously), and luckily they were seemingly right in front of my lens the entire night.  Here is Honey poke-checking the puck away from Victoria defenseman Jesse Pauls.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 125mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

After Hickman’s penalty and the resulting power play, the T-Birds tried to score the game-winner, but were rebuked by Hamilton and the Victoria defense.  They’d have to settle for overtime, where they got three shots on target, including this one by Chance Lund.

Left wing Chance Lund fires a shot on goal.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 80mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

None of those three found the net, however, bringing about a shootout to determine what team got that second point.  Before the shootout, however, the teams rested on the bench while the zamboni smoothed the center of the ice and the two goal creases…

While waiting for the zamboni, Alos (left), Jacobs (middle), and Gallimore (right) sat together on the forwards’ side of the bench, chatting with Luke Lockhart (not pictured).

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 80mm, f/2.8, 1/500

Once the ice was clear, it was time for the shootout!  Right wing Branden Troock took for the first shot, but missed.  After a Victoria miss, Gallimore took the second T-Birds penalty shot and also failed to convert.  Luckily, though, Calvin Pickard blocked Victoria’s second shot as well, taken by Kevin Sundher.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 108mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Up third for the T-Birds was none other than Colin Jacobs, making just his second start of the year after recovering from injury.  Having scored his first goal of the year earlier in the game, he was feeling fairly confident; at least confident enough to fire the puck past Victoria’s Keith Hamilton for a successful conversion.

Jacobs’ successful shootout goal was all that was needed, as Pickard also blocked Victoria’s last shot, taken by left wing Jamie Crooks.

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

T-Birds win!  That means a pig-pile around Pickard!

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

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 170mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

This win clearly excited the T-Birds, as you can tell from Alos’ and Jacobs’ reactions post-game.  Jacobs was named the game’s third star, and Alos earned first star honors for a goal and assist in the game. Here they are celebrating the win and two points with each other.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 90mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

What a game!  What a two points!  That certainly was a fun way to come back to Bird Watching, now wasn’t it?  I should be able to post with more regularity, at least for the next three or so weeks, so keep checking back for new updates.  And as always, have a comment or question for me?  Let me know in the comments section below!

‘Til next time, Go T-Birds!

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Road Trippin’ with the Thunderbirds

Hello again, T-Birds fans!  Kyle back with you, and I do apologize from being away from Bird Watching for a while.  School and work are keeping me quite busy and I haven’t had much time to work on this.  Today, however, was a light day, and I thought it would be good to put together a post in the middle of this Eastern swing the T-Birds are on.  Since they’re away from the ShoWare Center, let’s check out another away game.  Instead of going all the way to Calgary, let’s just head up I-5 to Everett…

I went to the Everett away game on October 21st (and yes, it feels like a while ago) to build up a stock of photos.  While also being treated to a great game—a hard-hitting rivalry game that the T-birds won—I was also treated to a good amount of strings, or a number of good photos in a row.  This  is due to the burst feature of my camera’s motor drive (it can take up to eight frames per second) and the fact that I abuse that feature all the time.  But since I’m not writing an ad for my 7D, I’ll get back on track to the hockey game.  I got a number of good bursts up in Everett, none better than this one of right winger Branden Troock checking Everett defenseman Evan Morden into the glass right in front of me.  And as you can tell by the end of this burst, I mean right in front of me…

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

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

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

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

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

That last frame is an excellent example of how close the players get to me while I’m shooting from ice level.  It also makes me thankful for the wonder that is plexiglass—it does a remarkable job of keeping players in the rink and not crashing into me (except for that time last year when Jacob Doty checked a Kelowna Rockets player through the glass.  Whenever Doty’s on the ice, I do find myself backing away from the glass…).  Anyway, back to the game.  Right winger Marcel Noebels had a great day up in Everett, having  a hand in all three Thunderbirds’ goals and scoring two of them himself.  Early in the first period I had a two-shot strand of him taking a shot on goal.

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

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

Center Connor Sanvido got in on the action, taking a shot on Everett goalie Kent Simpson…

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

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

One more shot from the first period is this particular one.  I can’t quite put my finger on why I like it, but I do.  It’s of Noebels competing with Everett defenseman Nick Walters for a puck.  You can’t see the puck, but you can see the concentration in both players’ faces as they race for the puck…

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

During the second period, I shot from the upper level at Comcast Arena.  Comcast Arena’s second level has some pretty steep sightlines to the ice, much steeper than the top ring at ShoWare, allowing for a different angle than I’m used to.  I took advantage of the different look and got more than a couple nice-looking shots from above.

Defenseman Dave Sutter beats out Everett left winger Jordyn Boyd for the puck to begin the second period of action.

As said before, Noebels had two goals in game at Everett.  He easily could have had three, as this shot…

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

Hit the post.  Just an inch to the right and it would have been a goal.

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

And here’s another shot of a Connor Sanvido shot.  Despite the fact that I had a pretty decent night photo-wise, I sure didn’t get photos of many players.  By the end of the post, I’ll just have photos of five different players by my count…

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

I’ve always wanted to get a good shot of a Thunderbird catching the puck at mid-ice and dropping it on the ice.  It’s been something I’ve wanted to capture for a while now, but so far haven’t been quick enough to actually get it yet.  I’m telling you this now not because I got that shot up in Everett, but because I got an even rarer shot—a Thunderbird catching his stick.  You heard me right, catching his stick.

Center Brendan Rouse loses his stick while bringing the puck down the ice in the second period.

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

Center Brendan Rouse catches his stick while bringing the puck down the ice in the second period.

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

For our last photo, let’s jump ahead to the third period.  Four minutes into the period, right winger Burke Gallimore buried a shot past Kent Simpson to give the T-Birds a 3-2 lead.  In the celebration hug afterwards, the flock of Thunderbirds rotated so I couldn’t see Gallimore, but I had a clear view of the first star of the night: Marcel Noebels.

Noebels celebrates the game-winning goal with his teammates in the third period.

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

And that’s it for this edition of Bird Watching!  The Thunderbirds will finish their Eastern swing up tonight at 6 pacific time as they take on the Kootenay Ice.  You can check out the stats for that game at seattlethunderbirds.com or listen live at 710sports.com.  As for the blog, I may be back with a post before the next home game, Friday, November 18 (I do hope to get something up early next week, but we’ll see how school goes).  Thanks for bearing with my busy schedule and as always, let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Til next time, Go T-Birds!

Kyle


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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2011/2012 Season Opener: New Beginnings and Familiar Faces

Welcome back to Bird Watching, T-Birds fans!  In case you’re new to Thunderbirds’ fandom, I’m team photographer Kyle Scholzen and I’ll be sharing some of my best and favorite shots from the season.  If you’re returning, welcome back!  I hope you enjoy this blog even more than you did last year.   As always, if you’ve got a question, comment, or suggestion for me, feel free to leave it in the comments section below!  I’d love to hear what I can do to make this blog better for you!

Last Saturday the 24th was the season opener for the Thunderbirds.  Throughout the offseason, the team underwent numerous changes, including new head and assistant coaches, numerous new faces on defense, and familiar faces of youngsters with the team full-time.  With all these changes, there was plenty of excitement around the ShoWare Center on Saturday, and that excitement was evident even before the game started.  Like last year’s opener, there were numerous activities set up in front of the arena set up for fans of all ages.  The older ones got to partake in a beer garden, while the younger ones enjoyed things like video games, free face painting…

Canon 7D, 640 ISO, 32mm, f/3.5, 1/250

and a couple of inflatable bouncy-toys.

Canon 7D, 640 ISO, 55mm, f/4.5, 1/50

After enjoying the festivities outside the ShoWare Center, it was time for everyone to head inside, warm up, and grab some concessions before the game started.

Canon 7D, 2500 ISO, 32mm, f/5, 1/60

Even though fans knew most of the new things about this year—Steve Konowalchuck had been announced as head coach in June and the roster was released the week before—there was one surprise waiting to be revealed: new jerseys!  On Saturday, the Thunderbirds debuted their new alternate jersey, a combination of darker blue trim and lighter blue base color, along with a secondary shield logo.

Defenseman Kyle Verdino styles the new jersey as he is introduced to the fans prior to the home opener.

Canon 7D, 2500 ISO, 105mm, f/2.8, 1/250

One of the players who got the loudest cheers was rightwinger Jacob Doty.  Something tells me we’ll be hearing more about Doty a little later on in this blog, but for now let’s see as he’s introduced before the game.

Canon 7D, 2500 ISO, 95mm, f/2.8, 1/500

After all the players were introduced came the inaugural puck drop.  Dropping the first puck that night was Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry, a recent Medal of Honor recipient based out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Wash.

SFC Petry (center) drops the puck for Seattle captain Luke Lockhart (right) and Portland captain Troy Rutkowski (left) to open the 2011-2012 season.

Canon 7D, 2500 ISO, 105mm, f/2.8, 1/250

To earn his Medal of Honor, SFC Petry attempted to throw a live grenade back at the enemy during a mission in Afghanistan in 2008 in order to save the lives of four of his squad-mates, some of them injured.  The grenade exploded immediately after Petry let go of it, severing his right hand, yet saving the lives of at least two of his fellow soldiers.

After a recovery time of several weeks, SFC Petry was given a state-of-the-art prosthetic hand.   Despite having a bionic hand, Petry did not leave service; he has since gone on tours of duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan with his prosthetic.  Everyone at the Seattle Thunderbirds was honored that SFC Petry agreed to drop the puck on opening night, and I’m jealous of Luke Lockhart for getting to shake the man’s hand.

Canon 7D, 2500 ISO, 53mm, f/2.8, 1/250

Next up came the national anthem.  Kent resident Stefano Langone was selected to sing it on opening night.  You may remember Stefano from the recent season of American Idol where he made the top seven, and he proved his talents further with his wonderfully understated version of the national anthem…

Canon 7D, 2500 ISO, 60mm, f/2.8, 1/320

And while everyone in the arena was watching Stefano sing, I noticed that SFC Petry had snapped to attention, saluting the flag…

Canon 7D, 2500 ISO, 48mm, f/2.8, 1/320

After the opening ceremony, though, it was time to get the season underway.   In this first action photo of the year, left winger Mitch Elliot brings the puck down the ice into the Thunderbirds’ attacking end.

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

Just over two and a half minutes in, Jacob Doty returned to his physical ways and found himself facing off with Portland’s Cody Castro after Doty had a particularly hard check on another Winterhawk.  Doty fulfilled his enforcer duties well, taking Castro to the ice and firing up the Thunderbirds and the fans after the fight.  ShoWare was rocking during Doty’s trip to the penalty box.  Here’s him in action with Castro…

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

And here’s Marcel Noebels skating up-ice with the puck…

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

Portland took 14 shots on goalie Calvin Pickard in the first period, and Pickard stopped all of them.  Luckily I was in a position to get some photos of him making those saves, like this one

Goalie Calvin Pickard stops a shot from Portland right winger Brad Ross.

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

And this one, which is my favorite shot from the game (I always like it when I get big ice sprays in my photos)…

Pickard pokes the puck away from Portland right wing Ty Rattie before Rattie can put it on goal.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

The first period ended 0-0.  The second period brought even more action, although unfortunately I wasn’t shooting much of it as I had to find photos from the pregame ceremony to put up on facebook.  That’s ok, though, as the third period had even more action than the three-goal period before it.

Marcel Noebels started his sophomore year in the WHL well Saturday, scoring once and getting named the game’s second star.  Unfortunately my view of his goal was blocked by a couple of players, so here’s a photo of him clearing a puck out of the Seattle defensive end in the third period.

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

Left winger Chance Lund also scored in the third period, and fortunately I had a fairly unobstructed view of that play.  Here he is slipping the puck past Portland goalie Mac Carruth.

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

Lund’s goal tied up the game two-all, and he seemed fairly excited for his first goal of the new season…

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

As said before, one of the new faces on the Thunderbirds wasn’t on the ice Saturday night, but behind the bench.  Saturday was Steve Konowalchuck’s first game as head coach of the Seattle Thunderbirds and first WHL game since his own playing days, coincidentally with the Portland Winterhawks.   Here he is talking with assistant coach Jim McTaggart.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/800

Also back for one more season is right winger Burke Gallimore.  Gallimore is one of three overagers (a team in the WHL may only have three 20 year olds; defensemen Kyle Verdino and Cason Machacek are the other two players) and also one of the crowd favorites.  Here he is on the puck with Lockhart skating up in support.

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

And speaking of Lockhart, here he is tussling with a familiar face around these parts, former Thunderbird and current Portland center Charles Wells.

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

 

And to end today’s post, how about we use a staple here on Bird Watching, another Calvin Pickard save!

Pickard stops a shot from Portland center Chase De Leo in the third period.

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

The T-Birds hung tough with Portland for 50 minutes Saturday night before ultimately falling 6-3.  This Saturday they hope to return the favor when they head down I-5 and take on the Winterhawks in Portland at 7 pm.  Tune in to that, and also keep coming back here for more photos throughout the year.

It’s great to have hockey back, isn’t it?  Til next time, go T-Birds!


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!