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Posts tagged “Chance Lund

T-Birds Fall to Portland in Teddy Bear Toss Game

Well now, isn’t this a pleasant surprise? Another edition of Bird Watching! I do have to apologize for the long breaks in between this post and my last one; my quarter is very busy with three classes and a lot of work at Seattle University. But I have the time now, and I’ve got the photos from an always-special game: the annual Teddy Bear Toss game!

Every year, many (if not all) WHL teams hold a Teddy Bear Toss game where fans bring teddy bears to donate to charity—the Thunderbirds give the bears to the WARM 106.9 Teddy Bear Patrol which gives them to local firefighters and other emergency responders to give to children in times of crisis. The best part about the Teddy Bear Toss, though, is seeing all the bears thrown onto the ice after the first T-Birds goal. But before we see the bears thrown to the ice, the players must be introduced…

The Thunderbirds’ starting lineup is introduced to a capacity crowd at the ShoWare Center Jan. 28.

Canon 7D, 2500 ISO, 40mm, f/2.8, 1/640

A couple of stuffed animals have great seats for the beginning of the game. They didn’t even get to watch a full period, however, as Connor Honey opened the scoring for the Thunderbirds with seven minutes left in the period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 80mm, f/2.8, 1/800

Before that, though, the Thunderbirds had a couple of other decent shots on goal…

Defenseman Dave Sutter takes a shot on the Portland goal early in the first period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 73mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Center Connor Sanvido watches as Portland goalie Mac Carruth saves his shot in the first period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 90mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

As said before, Connor Honey put the Thunderbirds on the scoreboard with his first goal as a Thunderbird. Just as the celebration started on the ice, the teddy bears went flying…

Fans toss their stuffed animals onto the ice after Connor Honey’s first

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 53mm, f/2.8, 1/800

Here’s a cool shot I got while the stuffed animals were being thrown on the ice. I like this photo a lot because while you can still see the fans, including a couple bears that hadn’t been thrown over the boards yet, you can also see the ice starting to get littered with animals in the reflection off the glass. It all made for a nice shot.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 30mm, f/2.8, 1/800

 

Being a Seattle/Portland rivalry game, the match was littered with hard hits and checks into the board. Here are a couple photos of those hits including part of a Luke Lockhart string…

Center Justin Hickman is about to slam Portland defenseman William Wrenn into the boards in the Portland zone during the second half.

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

Center Luke Lockhart jostles for position with Portland defenseman Troy Rutkowski.

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

The jostling turned into a good ole-fashioned check later on…

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

Unfortunately I wasn’t in position to get Honey’s first WHL goal, but I did have a nice viewpoint on what could have been his second…

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 40mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 32mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Portland’s William Wrenn blocks a shot late in the second, resulting in a loose puck in front of the Portland net.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 35mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

And we’ll move to the third period, where I took my normal spot of between the benches. Although I missed left winger Chance Lund’s goal, I did get a good shot of him celebrating with Hickman…

Chance Lund and Justin Hickman celebrate Lund’s goal in the third period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 155mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

For that weekend of games, center Justin Hickman wore a wireless microphone for Q13 Sports. I wanted a photo that showed the mic and ended up with this beauty. Unfortunately, I cannot tell where it is on him. Can you spot the microphone?

Justin Hickman returns to the bench after a shift during the third period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 135mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Here’s newly-acquired right winger Dillon Wagner escaping from being pinned into the boards by Portland defenseman Derrick Pouliot. Wagner, a former Winterhawk, was claimed off waivers back in early January.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 195mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

During warm-ups before the game, I noticed something different about the Thunderbirds players: they weren’t wearing the typical dark blue helmet, they were sporting white lids for this game. I’m not sure when exactly the white helmet entered the Thunderbirds’ unifomr options, but it certainly does look pretty slick. Here’s a shot of the helmet on the bench, as modeled by right wing Seth Swenson.

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

Right winger Branden Troock tries to get at a rebound in front of Portland’s Marruth in the third period.

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

And for our last photo, let’s check out one final hit by Justin Hickman…

Hickman stands up Portland defenseman Joseph Morrow late in the game.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 135mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Unfortunately that’s it for photos for this post. Hopefully it won’t take me so long to post again, and I hope to see you all down at the ShoWare Center real soon!

‘Til next time, Go T-Birds!

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T-Birds Outlast Everett in Shootout

Hello again, T-Birds fans, and welcome back to Bird Watching.  Again I have to apologize for the delay between this post and the last one, I was busy during the Christmas break and didn’t find the time to put together some photos for you.  No matter now, though, as hockey’s back, I have a day off and photos to show off!

For this edition of Bird Watching, we’ll examine the T-Birds’ shootout win over Everett last week.  Rather, we’ll check out the shootout victory over the Silvertips that took place in Kent on Dec. 27, seeing as the teams played to the same result at Everett the next day.  On the 27th, the Thunderbirds kicked off the second half of the season with two points that could prove crucial in the playoff race later on in front of a sold out ShoWare Center crowd.  Onto the photos!

I don’t get many photos of goalie Daniel Cotton since it’s normally Calvin Pickard between the pipes for the Thunderbirds, so when I learned Cotton recently got a new mask, I jumped at the chance to snap a few photos of it.  Hopefully I’ll get to see it in action one of these games, but until then, here’s a shot of the back of it.

Goalie Daniel Cotton shows off his new mask—and assures anyone behind him of his identity— during warm-ups before the game Dec. 27.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 155mm, f/2.8, 1/1600

As mentioned before, the T-Birds and ‘Tips played in front of a sold out crowd of 6,150 that night, the best crowd of the year.  I wanted to get a nice shot showing the entire bowl, but unfortunately I don’t have a wide enough lens to get that shot.  WPS photographer Brian Liesse did, however, and he was nice enough to let me use the HDR image he took of the entire bowl in this post.  Thanks Brian!

Photo by Brian Liesse, Washington Prep Sports

Nikon D5000, 500 ISO, 11mm, f/2.8, 1/60

Right winger Burke Gallimore tries to sail a rebounded puck past Everett goalie Kent Simpson halfway through the first period.

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

The Thunderbirds had a goal waived off in the first period.  I didn’t catch the reason why it was waived off, so unfortunately I can’t give you all an explanation, but I can give you a photo of the play that didn’t happen…

Gallimore (top) and center Sean Aschim crash the net and send the puck past Everett’s Simpson.  Unfortunately for the T-Birds the goal was disallowed and the score remained 0-0.

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

The game would remain at 0-0 for the rest of the period.  Now onto the second!

The newest Thunderbird, right winger Connor Honey, brings the puck up along the boards during the second period.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 35mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

For part of the second period, I tried out a new position right in front of section 107.  As well as giving me a different angle than I’m used to for the second, the move gave me less-damaged glass to shoot through (the glass to either side of goals will always be clearer than the glass right behind it as pucks don’t hit the side glass nearly as often) and allow me to use my 70-200mm lens, which provides a better quality of photo.  Moving, for this game at least, gave me a good amount of shots, much more than I normally get in the second…

Right wing Branden Troock is knocked over in front of the Everett goal by Everett defender Evan Morden. (Note: this could be the play that earned Morden an interference minor, but I’m not sure)

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

Left winger Marcel Noebels watches as Simpson deflects a shot wide of the goal late in the second period.

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

With just seconds left in the period, Marcel Noebels found himself on something of a breakaway—there was only one defender between him and the goal, but that defender was on the other side of the ice.  He fired a shot at Simpson, who couldn’t freeze the puck before Burke Gallimore arrived to threaten the goal…

Everett goalie Kent Simpson tries to freeze the puck before it can rebound to an awaiting Burke Gallimore…

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

Simpson did manage to freeze the puck and stop play, but not before Burke was able to try and knock the puck away from the Everett goalie.

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

 

That’s it from the second period.  During the period, Gallimore one-timed a pass from defender Evan Wardley into the back of the net for a Seattle goal.  It was Gallimore’s 15th goal of the year, and Wardley earned his first WHL assist for the pass.  Noebels was given an assist as well.  Now onto the third period, where I took my normal spot between the benches…

Noebels maneuvers around the outstretched-reach of Everett defenseman Dominik Bittner for a shot on frame.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 115mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Defenseman Brad Deagle brings the puck into the neutral zone during the third period.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 115mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Left winger Chance Lund clears the puck out of the Everett zone in the third period.

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

Honey carries the puck over the center line.

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

By now you’re probably thinking, “Wow, Kyle got a lot of photos of people carrying the puck that night.”  You’d be correct: I did get a number of clean shots of the T-Birds possessing the puck tonight.  Why?  I don’t know, but I always like getting stock photos of those I don’t normally catch in images, so I’m not complaining too loudly.  Here’s one more, this time of defenseman Shea Theodore.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 35mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

And in case you were worried about the lack of goalie Calvin Pickard in this post so far, don’t worry.  Here he is doing his best impression of a brick wall.

Goalie Calvin Pickard makes a stick save on an Everett shot during the third period.

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

The shot I didn’t get, however, is a photo of the goal Everett scored to even the score at one in the third period.  Since no one likes to go home with a tie, how about we go to overtime?

Center Luke Lockhart dives for a puck in the opening stages of the overtime period.

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

Pickard stops a shot from Everett left winger Joshua Linquist.

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

Neither team scored in overtime, so the game was sent to a shootout.  The Thunderbirds’ coaching staff, (from left to right) assistant coach Darren Rumble, head coach Steve Konowalchuk, and assistant coach Steve McTaggart, got together and decided who would take the shootout attempts for the T-Birds.

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

They decided to send center Colin Jacobs out first, and he vindicated that choice by sending the puck past Everett goalie Kent Simpson.  Josh Birkholz and Joshua Winquist for Everett didn’t see the same success, however, and it was up to Cody Fowlie to get one past Pickard in order to extend the shootout.  That didn’t happen.

Pickard sends Fowlie’s shootout attempt sailing wide of the net, clinching the victory and two points for Seattle.

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

With the game won, Pickard threw his arms up in celebration as the rest of the team rushed out to greet him.

Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 195mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

And again, Colin Jacobs and center Tyler Alos found and congratulated each other on the win.

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

That’s it for this post! T-Birds win!  Sorry again for the delay in getting something new up on the blog,  hopefully it won’t be two weeks before the next post again.  If you want to complain about the lack of posts or comment on any of the photos, feel free to do so in the comments section below.
‘Til next time, though, go T-Birds!


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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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!


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 30: T-Birds, Noebels Storm Past Silvertips

Well that certainly was an exciting couple games, now wasn’t it?  On Saturday the T-Birds lost an absolute heartbreaker when Portland scored in the final thirty seconds of regulation, and on Sunday Marcel Noebels happened on a four goal effort, his first hat trick in the WHL.  For this post we’ll concentrate on Sunday’s game against Everett since I’ve gone through and worked up a few photos from it for the WHL website already…

Let’s start with the first period (naturally).  The T-Birds seemed a tad sluggish to begin with—the game against Portland certainly took a toll on them—and were on defense for much of the first period.  They did, however, manage to get the puck up ice often enough.

Center Connor Sanvido brings the puck up-ice while center Justin Hickman dodges past and cuts down towards the goal.

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

Despite defending for much of the period, the T-Birds still managed to earn 10 shots on Everett goalie Kent Simpson.

Right wing Burke Gallimore tries to slip the puck past Everett goalie Kent Simpson, but Simpson deflected the shot.

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

And here Gallimore gets another shot on Simpson, although is again blocked.

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

Center Luke Lockhart gets his chance in front of the Everett net but can’t bring in the puck to put it on goal.

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

And here’s our first shot of Mr. Noebels.  This time he gets rebuked, but it’s fair to say that Marcel came out on top in the end…

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

Note:  The Silvertips actually opened up the scoring with a power play goal about halfway through the period.  Naturally, my shot of it was blocked, which seemed to be one of the themes of the day for me (but more on that later).
Now we’ll move onto the second period…

And that’s it for photos from the second period!

What?  There are none from the middle part of the game?  Yeah, I noticed that, too.  I can’t tell you why, I just had a really bad game Sunday, which is too bad because the T-Birds played so well.  Anyway, to summarize the second period, Luke Lockhart evened the score at 1-1 with a powerplay goal 11 minutes in, and Marcel Noebels scored his first of the night just a minute after, also on a power play.

Anyways, for the third period I went to my normal spot between the benches, hoping to turn around my bad night and capture some photos of the T-Birds’ good one.  I did it, for the most part.  Check out some of what I got…

Goalie Calvin Pickard (bottom right) freezes the puck on his stomach while center Travis Toomey (right) tries to clear the puck before Everett right wing Parker Stanfield can put it in the net.

Canon 7D, 115mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Left wing Chance Lund brings the puck from behind the Everett net early in the third period.

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

Possibly the most ironic part of that game (for me at least) was I got a photo that I really like on an otherwise lackluster night.  An Everett defender cleared the puck a bit into the period, and defenseman Ryan Button thought he had a chance at blocking the clearance, keeping the puck in Seattle’s attacking zone.  I managed to get a cool-looking photo of him falling to the ice and swinging for the puck.  He missed the puck but definitely earned his way onto the blog…

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

Defenseman Erik Bonsor skates up the ice with the puck.

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

And now that those are out of the way, let’s enter the Marcel Noebels portion of the night.  After the second goal (which came two minutes into the third period), I started to keep an eye out for him, knowing I’d need a good Noebels photo for the press release.  Here’s a nice portrait of him looking up ice at an Everett attacker.

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

And here’s Noebels’ third goal, an open-netter with four minutes to go.

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

It’s a hat trick, the first of Noebel’s WHL career!   Coming back to the bench, he raised his stick with a big grin on his face in celebration…

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

With his hat trick in hand, Noebels wasn’t about to take a break, however.  Two minutes later, he added to his already terrific night and scored once more, making it four on the night and 25 on the season.  Here he celebrates with defenseman Austin Frank…

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

And Lockhart(right) joined in on the celebration with Frank (left) and Noebels(middle).  Note the big grin still isn’t off Noebels’ face.  In fact, I bet it’s still there, a whole 24 hours after the game…

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

One more note:  Sorry for the lack of goal photos today.  It just so happens for three of my five goals, my view of the play was blocked by either a ref or a defender.  I can’t do much about it, although I really wish that hadn’t of happened Sunday night.  Oh well, that’s just the way it is…

Enough of the sad talk though, THE T-BIRDS WIN!  They keep their playoff hopes alive and are playing pretty good hockey right now, I recommend you get down to the ShoWare Center before the end of the year and get your hockey fix in!
Want to congratulate Noebels?  Want to commiserate with me about the horrible timing of referees and defenders?  Do so 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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