The Official Photoblog of the Seattle Thunderbirds

Posts tagged “Charles Wells

Game 16: Thunderbirds Soar Past Rockets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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Game 15: T-Birds Fall to Chiefs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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(Home) Game 12: Thunderbirds Unlucky Against Americans

Center Charles Wells takes a shot on the Tri-City goal in the second period.

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

Hello again everyone!  It’s been a while since the last post (about a week, in fact) so it’s time for another roll of photos.  Sorry for the layoff; I’ve been shooting a lot in the last week, both for the T-Birds and Seattle University all while taking the GRE and getting my application for grad school together.  I’ve finally found time to write up a game thread.  I know I told you guys I’d have photos from last Friday’s away game in the Tri-Cities, but I want more time to put together the videos for that post.  Instead, here’re some photos from the home game against the Americans on Saturday the 11th.

Let’s start in the second period, shall we?  (Note: we kind of have to as I didn’t arrive at the ShoWare Center until just before the first intermission.  I had to come down from Key Arena and a Seattle U. men’s basketball game) Walking into the media box at the ShoWare Center, I was met with the nasty surprise that the Thunderbirds were down 0-4 late into the first period.   Now I’m sure you guys will be ok with skipping straight to second period photos, where the T-Birds seemed to come out with a new energy and ended up matching the Americans’ one goal during those two periods.  Let’s dive straight into the shots, shall we?

Left wing Marcel Noebels evades an attempt to dislodge the puck by from Tri-City center Brooks Macek on his way down the ice towards the Americans’ net.

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

Centers Justin Hickman (right) and Brendan Rouse (center-left) both try to force the puck through the Tri-City defense and into the net.

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

Left wing Chance Lund takes a shot on the Tri-City goal, but Americans goalie Drew Owsley stops the puck before it can cross the red line.

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

Now I know what you’re thinking… “Wow, Kyle actually has good-looking photos from through the glass for once,” and you’re right!  I have no clue why all of a sudden I could actually get good shots from behind the glass.  It might be due to the fact I actually stepped away from the glass; normally I press my lens up against it to reduce glare from the lights, but I was moving around a lot more than normal.  It may be because the hockey and the photo gods got together and decided to smile on me, I have no clue.  I just know I got some killer shots from that position.  Those four aren’t it, either.  Here’s some more from the second period I’m quite pleased with…

Wells checks Tri-City left wing David Conrad into the boards behind the Tri-City goal.

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

Center Colin Jacobs battles tries to knock the puck past Tri-City defender Paul Sohor and into the Tri-City goal.

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

And we’ll end the second period photos there.  I still can’t believe how lucky I was to get all those shots.  I think I’ll put either the Noebels photo or the Lund photo—maybe even both of them—into my portfolio.  It’s not every day you get a portfolio-worthy shot, and somehow I got two of them in a span of about 40 minutes.  I was feeling pretty good and ready to continue my streak of good luck—and good photos—into the third period.

And before I went out to the box between the benches (they call it the Suicide Box over in Kennewick and most other hockey arenas; for some reason, I’m not too fond of that name…), Ashley, the intern that has the horrible job of going through every single one of my photos (I really feel bad for her, there’s a LOT of horrible photos from each game and she has to sort them all) caught up with me.  She asked me to get a few photos of defenseman Erik Fleming since I hadn’t gotten any at all this year.   You’re probably tired of reading my ramblings, so here’s that photo of Fleming and a couple other ones.

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

Defenseman Dave Sutter checks Tri-City right wing Jordan Messier in the third period.

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

Noebels skates around the Tri-City goal hoping to find a better angle for a shot while Tri-City defender Zachary Yuen follows in pursuit.

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

Here’s another photo I really like.  I think it’s one of the better shots of a defensive play I’ve gotten this year.

Defenseman Brenden Dillon throws himself to the ice in an effort to block a shot by Tri-City leftwing Justin Fesser.

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

Being not only a rivalry game, but the second game against the Americans in two nights, there was plenty of late hits and hard checks into the boards.  Here, right wing Jacob Doty slams Tri-City defenseman Sam Grist against the boards.

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

During one of the media timeouts in the third period, the team gathered at the bench to strategize.  After the strategy session, but before they were called back out onto the ice,  Jacobs (left) and Doty (right) discussed matters between themselves as well.

Canon 7D, 160mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

In keeping up with the rivalry, Lund and Tri-City defenseman Brock Sutherland found themselves in a fight with about five minutes to go in the game.

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

Although the two fighters were escorted off the ice, their dropped gloves, sticks, and helmets were still strewn about.  For the Thunderbirds, it was Hickman who received the task of collecting Chance’s gear and bringing it back to the bench.

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

Here’s a photo of Defenseman Erik Bonsor trying to steal the puck from Tri-City center Connor Rankin.

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

Despite the game being decided, both sides kept up the pressure on the goalies and tried to earn one more goal.  Here’s a shot on goal for Tri-City.

Tri-City’s Messier (left) fires a shot towards the Seattle goal, which is being defended by defenseman Scott Ramsay (center-left) and goalie Michael Salmon (right).

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

The Thunderbirds also had their late-game chances on goal.  Here, Dillon brings the puck down the ice with a defender in tow.

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

Noebels controls the puck in the Tri-City half.

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

And here center Luke Lockhart tries to brush the puck into the net and past Tri-City goalie Chris Driedger.

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

Alright, that’s it for this post.  I have no idea how I got so many good photos from just two periods, but hopefully my lucky streak will continue!  Check back for my next post to see if it does and, as always, let me know what you liked or didn’t like in the comments section below.

Til’ next time, go T-Birds!

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Game 10: T-Birds Cooled off by Kootenay Ice

First off, yes I know this title is a terrible pun.  It works for the game, though, and it keeps with the format I’ve been using for the game threads so it’ll stay unless I hear something better in the comments section below.

Now about the game?  It certainly wasn’t the prettiest of games—I’m not sure a 6-2 loss ever is—but at least it was the first game all season the T-Birds haven’t had a chance to win or tie at the end.   To be fair, however, I didn’t have the best game either.  I was often a second late on good shots and couldn’t really get anything in focus.  Oh well, it was just one of those nights.  Let’s just dive into the photos from it then…

We’ll start off with a shot of goalie Calvin Pickard saving one of 17 shots from Kootenay in the first period, this one from Kootenay center Steele Boomer.

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

A few minutes later center Luke Lockhart fired a shot past Kootenay goalie Nathan Lieuwen to give the Thunderbirds an early lead over the Ice.

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

For the second game in a row, Cool Bird appeared in a suite right by where I was shooting in the first period to throw t-shirts into the crowd (I think he might be following me, hmm…).  Naturally, for the second game in a row I grabbed a photo of him throwing shirts.  Check out how fast he’s throwing them: it’s just a blur to the camera!

Canon 7D, 75mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/200th, Manual

Here’s a photo of left wing Marcel Noebels controlling the puck…

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

And here, defenseman Brenden Dillon fires a shot towards the Kootenay goal .

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

(Game timeline:  somewhere between the Cool Bird photo and this next photo, Kootenay scored two goals to take the lead.  Sorry I have no photos from them, but they were both blocked by players in front of the net)

The next photo is further proof that Saturday just wasn’t the T-Birds’ night.  Pickard came out to diffuse a run by Kootenay left wing Kevin King.  Instead of going backwards, though, the puck went off to Pickard’s right (which is what’s pictured below) and was quickly taken back by King, who then fired at the open net.

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

The T-Birds tried to get one of those back in the end of the period, but they couldn’t get one past Lieuwen.  Here’s an attempt from right wing Tyler Alos that gets blocked by Lieuwen.

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

During the second period, I didn’t get anything good for the first 10 minutes or so.  Any shot I tried to get was either out of focus, blocked by a player not involved in the play, or taken at a bad angle through the glass and made blurry by that.  I was easily the worst thing in the arena during the second period…

Luckily I was thrown a bone during the second period’s media timeout (the one with the Zamboni Dance) and fans tried their best to earn a seat on the zamboni for the second intermission.  All four of the pictured candidates put up a valiant effort but unfortunately none of them were selected to ride the zamboni.   I hope it’s a consolation for them to be included on this blog…

Canon 7D, 120mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Canon 7D, 120mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/400th, Manual

Canon 7D, 120mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/400th, Manual

Canon 7D, 120mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/400th, Manual

About five minutes into the second period, coach Rob Sumner replaced Calvin with backup goalie Michael Salmon.  The Ice scored two more in the second period, making the score 5-1.  While it’s too bad Calvin couldn’t finish out the game, it was nice to see Salmon get some playing time, especially at home.  That gave me a chance to get some photos of him in action, so I moved down to the T-Birds’ defensive half to get better photos of Salmon.

Being in a new location, I was excited to get some photos I normally don’t get.  But of course my bad period continued when a player brushed up against the glass just to my left.  He picked himself off the ice, but unfortunately some water from his jersey remained, block my view down the ice…

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

Luckily I could still see out through the glass in front of me and to my right, which worked to my advantage when defenseman Scott Ramsay came skating past trying to take away Kootenay rightwinger Brock Montgomery’s path to the goal.

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

Thus ends the second period, by far my worst 20 minutes of shooting this year.  Yeesh.

When I moved into the box between the benches for the third period, my luck—and my shots—improved greatly.  Here’s a shot I really like of center Travis Toomey trying to sneak past Kootenay defender Joey Leach and take control of the puck.

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

And here’s defenseman Dave Sutter trying to disrupt Kootenay left wing Drew Czerwonka from passing the puck to a teammate.

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

Here’s center Charles Wells racing to control the puck in the T-Birds’ defensive end.

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

During a break in action, Coach Sumner drew up a play for the T-Birds to use.  I like this detail shot of just his hand much better than any other shot from the series.

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

Remember earlier how I was excited to finally get a game photo of Michael Salmon?  Well my worst period of shooting ever hampered that goal.  I came out ahead, however, when I grabbed this frame of Salmon making a stick save on a Kootenay shot.

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

By the middle of the third period, the score found its’ way to 6-2 in favor of Kootenay.  Despite being down four goals, though, the Thunderbirds never stopped fighting for pucks or playing hard.  Here Wells tries to knock the puck away from Kootenay center Max Reinhart despite having fallen to the ice.

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

To end the post, here’s a series of three shots of Dillon giving Kootenay’s Steele Boomer (ok I have to say this: what a great name) a hard shove over the puck late in the third period.

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

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

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

Alright that’s it for this post.  As usual, leave any comments or questions for me in the comments section below.   Is there anything you want to see more of? Less of? How about any photos or videos you’d like to see?

Til later, go T-Birds! And Huskies (that’s right, I went there…)!

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Game 9: T-Birds Upended by Americans

Hello again everyone!  I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving.  In my quest to finally get caught up with the Thunderbirds’ games (there have been four home games in eight days, and I can’t turn out these posts that fast…) I’ll be posting about the game on Thanksgiving Eve, Nov. 24, tonight.    In the next three or four days I’ll get something about Saturday’s game aganst Kootenay, and in about a week I’ll (finally!) be caught up with photos from tomorrow’s matchup with Medicine Hat.  But enough of the scheduling conversation, let’s get to some photos, shall we?

We’ll start off with a photo that stumped me.  When I first saw this while looking for a good photo to send with the press release, I thought this one would be a really good one.  When I got back to it while working on this blog, I realized just how much of a pain it would be…  I’ll show you the original now…

Center Justin Hickman fights for position with Tri City left wing David Conrad while racing after a puck in the first period.

Canon 7D, 100mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/640th, Manual

So you can see the main action, but it definitely needs some cropping, right?  Well there was the tricky part.  How much do you crop?  What shape should it be?  I first cropped it so all you can see are Hickman and Conrad, but included all of Hickman’s stick.

Canon 7D, 100mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/640th, Manual

That doesn’t look bad, but I really don’t like all the empty space around the stick.   I wouldn’t mind it if there was something big at the end of the photo, but I’m not sure the stick itself justifies the wide crop.  So let’s trim it down a bit…

Canon 7D, 100mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/640th, Manual

Ok, that’s a little bit better, but I still don’t really love it.  Maybe a little bit more space on the left would make it feel less crowded to me, but then again maybe not.  So let’s try something much different.

Canon 7D, 100mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/640th, Manual

I think this is my favorite.  I know there’s a lot of dead space in the middle between the two players and the puck, but I think the puck adds enough to the photo to justify it.  Dead space normally isn’t wanted in a photo—there’s a reason it’s called dead space—but there are times where it does good.   This may not be one of those times, but it doesn’t seem to detract enough to require a new crop.  Plus we’ve already tried a few other crops, and they don’t seem to work well.
You be the photographer: What crop would you have gone with?  Let me know in the comments section!

Oh, and you may have noticed that the metadata (the camera settings used for the photo I post under each picture) is different than the normal settings.  This wasn’t intended, I just forgot to check the settings after shooting the player introductions.  I compensated for the added light during game play, but I forgot to check anything other than my light meter to make sure everything on my camera is ok.  It happens all the time, I wish I was better at noticing these things.

Anyways, back to the game.  Five minutes into the game, center Tyler Alos found himself with the puck above the Tri City goal and being defended by the two Americans players that were back on defense, goalie Drew Owsley and defenseman Drydn Dow.  Fellow center Colin Jacobs was skating fast to the other side of the goal, but not being covered by anyone. Naturally Alos passed it over to Jacobs…

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

And Jacobs sent it into the back of the net.

Canon 7D, 100mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual
Already moving quickly, Jacobs lost his balance after getting the shot off (I think.  He might have purposely fell) and found himself on his back on the ice.  But he didn’t care, he just scored a goal!

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

Leftwinger Mitch Elliot came over to Jacobs, not only to celebrate, but to help him up…

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

I had an unexpected visitor on the suite I was shooting in for that goal… Cool Bird!  He had entered my suite a little before the goal was scored and was entertaining fans and waiting for the first period media timeout to throw t-shirts into the crowd.  Jacobs’ goal must have fired Cool Bird up because after the goal he was on his feet cheering with the rest of the crowd.

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

When Cool Bird finally started giving out the t-shirts, these two young fans pleaded for a shirt.

Canon 7D, 100mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/500th, Manual

The game, like nearly every Tri-City/Seattle matchup, was pretty physical.  There were plenty of checks and hits throughout the night.  Here, defenseman Dave Sutter throws Tri City Adam Hughesman off the puck.

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

And Calvin even got into the action.  Here he tangles with Tri-City right wing Jordan Messier in front of the Seattle goal.  I’ve never seen a goalie do that before…

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

Throughout the first period, the Americans did well to earn 19 shots on goal, including this one by leftwinger Neal Prokop.  All of them were saved, however, by goalie Calvin Pickard, as he’s doing here.

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

And that does it for the first period photos.  Let’s move down rinkside for the second period, shall we?  (Note: hopefully you said yes because that’s where we’re heading anyway…)

Let’s begin with a shot of center Charles Wells skating down the boards with the puck…

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

Wanting to try something a little different, I took off my 70-200mm lens and put on my fixed 50mm (it can’t zoom in or out, it’s set at 50mm).  This would allow me to get a wider shot—not much wider, but anything helps when the players are normally just a foot away from you.  It did make a slight difference, especially in front of and behind the goal.  I didn’t cut any body parts off anyone this time!

Wells and Tri City defenseman Sam Grist fight for the puck behind the Tri City goal in the second period.

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

Wells attempts to block a clearing attempt by Tri City’s Owsley.

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

Right wing Marcel Noebels sends a puck off the boards towards the Tri City goal.

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

Here’s another one of those photos that are made by the objects in the foreground rather than the subject themselves.    Defenseman Travis Bobbee is controlling the puck—an important part in hockey, yes, but it would be a fairly bland photo unless Americans center Kruise Reddick was blocking Bobbee.  I’d like it even better if we could see Bobbee’s gloves on the stick but in any case the photo seems to suggest an imminent confrontation.  You probably want to see the photo by now, don’t you?

Canon 7D, 100mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

That ends the second period photos.  Sorry I didn’t get many photos of the two goals the T-Birds scored but that’s what happens when you shoot through glass.  Onto the third period and between the benches!

The third period was action-packed, to say the least.  Here, Tri City center Mason Wilgosh pokes the puck away from Wells along the boards.

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

While it’s not generally good for a team when someone falls to ice, it does make for a different and a decent photo.  Here right wing Burke Gallimore has a nice view of the puck he tried to win.

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

Here’s a photo of Noebels (at least it looks like Noebels.  I can’t see a number in any other photos of that series) defending against right wing Jordan Messier of the Americans.  What’s really cool about this photo is that everyone’s perfectly lined up to show a perfect example of perspective.  Sometimes luck brings you photos that you couldn’t get even if you set up your own shot…

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

Center Travis Toomey and Tri City defenseman Brock Sutherland jostle for position to receive the puck in front of the Seattle goal.

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

The Americans unfortunately had a nice third period offensively.  They controlled the puck well and had 21 shots on goal during the period.  Calvin Pickard was working hard and earned this water break during a time out.

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

Unfortunately three of those 21 shots found the back of the net.  That means, however, Pickard made 18 saves in that period alone.  Here’s one of them.

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

The game being tied 4-4, we moved into the overtime period.  Neither team snuck a goal past either defense so a shootout ensued.  Despite Pickard saving one of the two shootout attempts he faced—this one here being saved against Tri City rightwinger Patrick Holland—no Thunderbird attempt found the back of the net.  At least the T-Birds got one point though!

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

That’s it for this post.  As always leave any comments or criticisms or questions in the comments section below.

Til next time, go T-Birds!


Game 8: T-Birds Tipped by Everett

So in the beginning of the last post I promised that we’d get to the Everett game soon, and here I am to keep it.  Last Saturday was the first time the Thunderbirds played host to their rivals from just up the road, and it was the first time since the season opener that the two teams faced off.  Inside the ShoWare Center you could tell it was a rivalry game:  the crowd was loud and into the game from the beginning, the refs were determined to keep the peace between the two teams, and the hits were hard and kept coming all night…

In fact let’s start out with a few hits.  Saturday also marked the home debut of center Justin Hickman, who had returned from injury during the Eastern road trip.  Hickman threw his weight around for the early part of the game, making more than a few hard checks on unsuspecting Silvertips.  Here’s two of those hits…

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

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

Fellow center Charles Wells got in on the action too.  In these next photos, Wells got tangled up with Everett rightwinger Cody Fowlie when the two were chasing after the puck in the first period.

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

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

The Silvertips came out ready to play Saturday night, as evidenced by their three first period goals.  By the end of the first period, however, the T-Birds seemed to have gotten back into the game when defenseman Brenden Dillon fired a shot past Everett goalie Kent Simpson and into the net.

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

And here, rightwinger Burke Gallimore puts a hit on Everett leftwinger Tyler Maxwell to end the photos from period one.

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

For the second period, I decided to keep myself behind and to the left of the Everett goal (the north goal).  I wanted to try out a new angle (as I’m normally to the right of the goal up there), and I must say I’m happy with what I got from that position.   It allowed me to get more of the action close to the benches like this particular battle for the puck between leftwinger Mitch Elliot (center) and Everett rightwinger Tyler Cote.

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

Of course, that position is not perfect, not for me and my equipment.  I mainly use a 70-200 milimeter lens; not only does it give me coverage of most of the ice, the photo quality of it is unbelievable (and no, I’m not getting a cut for this advertisement.  But I should, right Canon?).  The only drawback is that I have to be about five feet away from things in order to a) be in focus and b) to be able to see every part of an upright human.  Well when I’m right on the glass and the players are right on the glass, I can’t get a picture that includes every part of both players.  I commonly get photos that cut off players’ heads, hands, and feet.  Or, in this case, players’ heads AND feet.

Center Tyler Alos (left) is checked by Everett defenseman Ryan Murray.

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

With my 70-200, though, I can get pretty much everything between the blue lines, give or take a few feet on either side.  That set me up perfectly to get this photo of a Burke Gallimore shot.

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

Unfortunately I missed getting a shot of Gallimore’s goal in the second period (note: the previous photo isn’t his goal-scoring shot).  I did, however, get a celebration photo with Dillon (who was credited with an assist on the goal) and rightwinger Marcel Noebels.

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

Since Everett and Seattle’s home rinks are separated by just about an hour’s drive (assuming light traffic… we all know it can take much longer to get to Everett some nights) there were plenty of Silvertips fans at the ShoWare Center Saturday night.  This Thunderbirds supporter felt it necessary to remind the ‘Tips fans in front of him what team had just scored.  Thank you, unnamed T-Birds supporter, for standing up for Thunderbirds fans everywhere…

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/640th, Manual

And to close out the photos from the second period, how about a shot of leftwinger Chance Lund holding off Everett defenseman Alex Theriau while attacking the Silvertip goal.

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

Having cut the Silvertips’ lead down to one, the Thunderbirds came out and played a good third period.  They controlled the puck for much of the period…

Center Colin Jacobs controls the puck despite an attack from Everett leftwinger Josh Winquist.

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

Passed the puck fairly well…

Wells (back) skates towards the Everett goal while Noebels gets in position to receive a pass during the third period.

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

Checked the Silvertips often…

Gallimore checks Everett’s Josh Winquist into the boards during the third period.

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

Center Travis Toomey hits Everett defenseman Rasmus Rissanen before Rissanen can get to the puck.

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

Hustled to un-controlled pucks…

Noebels races Everett’s Cody Fowlie to a loose puck during the third period.

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

Got in position to tip a shot into the Everett net…

Center Luke Lockhart battles for position in front of the Silvertip net with Everett defenseman Brennan Yadlowski.

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

And earned 14 shots on goal throughout the third period.  Unfortunately, Everett goalie Kent Simpson blocked all 14 of those shots.

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

But I hate to leave on a down-note, so I will end with a nice portrait of Brenden Dillon taken during a late timeout.

Canon 7D, 155mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/500th, Manual

That’s it for this edition of Bird Watching.  I hope you enjoyed the photos and I wish each and every one of you a Happy Thanksgiving.  Be sure to tell me how awesome your dinner is (or my photos are, either one) in the comments section below.

Til next time, go T-Birds!

 

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Game 7: Thunderbirds Smoke Chiefs

Hello there everyone!  Now that the T-Birds are back from their successful road trip, I have new photos for you to enjoy!  Even though there were two back-to-back games, I’ll only be talking about the Friday night game against Spokane for now.  We’ll get to Everett a little later.  So let’s set those time machines back a few days and relieve that shootout win over the Chiefs, shall we?

We had a special visitor to the press box before the game started; a Stanley Cup championship ring!  Mark Kelley, the director of amateur scouting for the Chicago Blackhawks, went to the game to look over some players with his recent championship ring in tow.  He was nice enough to let me get a shot of it for the blog.  Thanks Mark!

A 2010 championship ring from Chicago Blackhawks’ Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Kelly.

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/1.8, 1/250th, Manual

Director of Media Relations Ian Henry told me that we had a big pre-game ceremony planned and that I should be on the ice for it.  So I went down there (didn’t fall again, I should go pro in ice walking with expensive equipment around my neck…) and waited for the pre-game to start.  It finally did once the players were introduced.  I got a nice photo of Dave Sutter side-light by the spotlight while waiting for the rest of the pre-game ceremony to start…

Canon 7D, 150mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/500th, Manual

Since the team was back east for Veterans Day, the men and women of our armed forces were honored before the start of the game.    The local Veterans’ association presented the colors and the puck was rappelled down from the rafters by some current national guardsmen (and women).  Here’s a gentleman carrying the American flag. He also did well to keep on his feet while bringing the flag out.  As a reward for staying upright, here’s a photo of him.

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/250th, Manual

I may have glanced over this part, but let’s go back: the puck rappelled down from the rafters.  More specifically, one of the guardsmen held the puck while rappelling down.  There were three rappellers and unfortunately I didn’t have a lens that could go wide enough to see all of them, but I did get some nice close-ups of one of them…

Canon 7D, 130mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/500th, Manual

And here’s the guardswoman who brought the puck down…

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/640th, Manual

Alright, now that we have the puck, we can play some hockey!    The game started off fast when center Luke Lockhart got one past the Spokane goalie in under a minute.  I wasn’t in position to get a photo of the goal, but I had a nice view of the Seattle bench after the goal, and the bench was excited to have an early lead.

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

I eventually moved up to the second level of the ShoWare Center from rinkside—I wanted to have a view of the goal the T-Birds were attacking—and started shooting again.   Naturally, the first good photo from that position would have been more dynamic if I had just stayed put.  Oh well, it’s still a nice shot, though…

Goalie Calvin Pickard blocks a shot from Spokane rightwinger Matt Marantz in the first period.

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

Here, center Charles Wells (right) and Spokane defender Brendon Kichton battle for the puck in the first period.

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

It was a brutal, bitter game; about what you’d expect for a rivalry game.  There was a lot of face-to-face confrontations throughout the game, like this one between rightwinger Jacob Doty and Spokane leftwinger Colin Valcourt…

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

And also some shoves, like this altercation between center Colin Jacobs and Spokane defenseman Jared Cowen.

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

Here’s a photo of rightwinger Marcel Noebels controlling the puck.

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

And actually that last photo ends the second period of play for us.  Either time flies when you’re having fun (you guys are having fun reading this, right)  or I just didn’t get many good shots during the first two periods…

Anyways onto the third.  Three minutes into the third period, Spokane snuck a goal past Calvin to tie the game.  Of course I got a photo of it, and unfortunately a nice-looking photo, too.  Why are my best always of the other team doing well?

Spokane center Tyler Johnson (left) slips a shot past Seattle defenseman Travis Bobbee (center-right) and goalie Calvin Pickard (center) in the third period.

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

This next photo is actually one of a string of fifteen or so photos of defenseman Dave Sutter trying to get the puck away from Spokane center Brady Brassert.  I might end up giving you that strain eventually, but here’s one of the better ones (although they’re all pretty good)…

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

Here’s a faceoff between Jacobs and Spokane center Kenton Miller.  It’s not a particularly important photo (I mean it is just a faceoff, those happen all the time), but I like how Miller’s face is framed by Jacobs’ arm.  Again, why are my coolest photos of Spokane?

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

Here’s a photo of defenseman Travis Bobbee and Spokane center Steven Kuhn scrambling for the puck while Pickard looks on.

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

And here linseman David Tise has to step in between Noebels and Spokane rightwinger Blake Gal.  The refs were adamant to stop any fights from happening Friday night.

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

In case you haven’t noticed, many players have grown mustaches for the month of November.  As well as it being no-shave-November (check out your local college campus if you don’t believe me) it’s also Mo-vember in the NHL where many players have grown their mustaches to raise awareness for men’s health problems like Prostate cancer.  Many WHLers decided to join in on the mustache-growing fun.  Here’s two of them…

Defenseman Erik Bonsor and Spokane defenseman Brenden Kichton battle for the puck during the third period.

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

Now this next photo I’d normally not put in the blog: nothing important is happening and it’s not that great of a photo anyway.  I just thought like how Bobbee is surrounded by the flying ice particles.  And I guess you can see Pickard making another save in the background, but this photo is really about Travis…

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

With the score tied, the two teams went to overtime, five minutes of four-on-four action.  Nothing slipped past either goalie, though, and we went to a shootout.  Since I missed out on my chance at being in between the benches for the third period, I was relegated to finding a rinkside seat (what’s that? I’m lucky to have such great seats anyway? You have a point there…).  I ended up setting up just to the right of the goal Pickard was defending.  That, in theory, would give me a head-on view of the goal the T-Birds were shooting at.  It did, but I did not take into account that a certain referee would be blocking my view…

It’s a successful shootout attempt!  You can’t see the goalie or much of rightwinger Burke Gallimore but you can see the puck just off of the referee’s right hand…

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

I did, however, have a unique view of the Seattle goal.  Here Pickard blocks the attempt by Spokane center Tyler Johnson.

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

And of course the team rushed out to Pickard to celebrate with him.  Jacob Doty seems particularly excited.

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

And that’s it for this blog post.  I hope to get the thread from Saturday’s game up soon, but they do take awhile.   There is a day coming up Thursday where I don’t have to do much but help out in the kitchen.  Hopefully I can get it done by then, huh?

As always, leave your comments/criticisms/critiques/quandaries in the comments section below.

Til next time, go T-Birds!

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Game 5: T-Birds Beat Up, get Beat by Cougars

Hello again everyone.  Well, I’m sure we’ve all recovered from not only Halloween, but that rough, chipper game the Thunderbirds played Friday night.  In case you’ve forgotten all about it, I’m here to remind you and let you relive the game.  So brace yourself because this post will leave you black and blue…

The game started at 7:40 pm on Friday night.  Before the clock struck 7:41, we had our first fight of the night. Center Mitch Elliot and Prince George’s (PG) Brock Hirsche dropped the gloves and resorted to fisticuffs after just 40 seconds of game play.  The fight didn’t last long, however, as Hirsche apparently suffered a leg injury during the fight.  Here’s a picture of the two going at it…

Left wing Mitch Elliot lands an early punch on Prince George center Brock Hirsche just a half minute into the game.

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

Don’t worry, though.  A hockey game broke out after the early fight.  Both teams had their chances in the first period, but both goalies had great games and kept it scoreless for two plus periods.  Here are a couple shots of the T-Birds’ chances in the first…

Prince George goalie Ty Rimmer collects a Seattle shot.

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

Left wing Chance Lund takes a shot on PG’s Rimmer.  The shot went high

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

It wasn’t just the T-Birds controlling the puck, however.  Here defenseman Brenden Dillon tries to win the puck back behind his own net.

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

This was the first game this season (that I noticed at least) that had a lot of pucks leave the ice and go high in the air.  Seeing that, I really hoped to get a shot of someone knocking the puck down.  One of those shots came to me (yay!) when Burke Gallimore tried to knock the puck down midway through the first period.

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

Alright, back to the hits and fights.  Here defenseman Scott Ramsay gets pushed by a Cougar player.  Ramsay, however, did well not to retaliate and drew a penalty, giving the T-Birds a two minute power play.

Defenseman Scott Ramsay is pushed by PG left wing Wilson Dumais.  Dumais was given a 2:00 roughing penalty for this shove.

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

There were many times where the refs had to intervene and separate players from both teams.  Here linesman Adam Brastad is forced to separate center Travis Toomey and PG defenseman Sena Acolatse.

Center Travis Toomey (top middle) gets a few extra punches on PG defenseman Sena Acolatse (middle left) during a scrum in the third period.

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

And it happened again later in the third period (note: the players are different, and I can’t identify the official that is pictured)…

An official steps in between Lund and PG defenseman Jesse Forsberg.

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

The scrappiness continued into the second period.  Here, center Luke Lockhart is pushed off-balance by Hirsche.

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

And here’s Lockhart controlling the puck.

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

Here, Mitch Elliot fires a shot in front of the PG goal, hoping for a re-direct into the net.

Canon 7D, 73mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Now onto the third period which brought on another fight, this one between rightwinger Jacob Doty and PG center Greg Fraser.

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

Doty gains the upper hand- literally -on  PG’s Fraser.

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

It seemed that all night I had players randomly skating in front of me and into the foreground of my shots.  Most of the time the completely block me from the play, but sometimes they help create a nice looking shot.  This next picture is one of the latter.

PG left wingeTaylor Stefishen (middle right) waits for a pass in front of the Seattle goal while Dave Sutter jostles for position with him.

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

When I first saw this next photo I dismissed it because it was too cluttered: there were players all around the goal and I didn’t see any obvious crop that wouldn’t cut someone in half.  After looking a little more (and zooming in) I decided to try a tight crop on Pickard.  What turned out looks pretty good, although it makes me wish for an even better camera to help reduce some of the noise and improve the picture quality (zooming in and close-cropping takes away the quality and clarity of a photo).  Here it is…

Pickard makes a glove save in the third period.

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

In my photo career, I’ve shot a lot of gymnastics and have seen some athletes bend their bodies in incredible forms and still stay on their feet.  According to this next photo, center Charles Wells has that same control over his body gymnasts do.  Check out how far down he goes and still stays on his skates…

Center Charles Wells (right) manages to stay on his skates to knock the puck away from PG’s Bounassisi.

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

Here, defenseman Travis Bobbee races for the puck with PG center Charles Inglis.

Defenseman Travis Bobbee (right) and PG center Charles Inglis go after the puck.

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

Both teams had quality chances in the third period, as well.  Again, the goalies did well to keep the puck in front of the red line (although PG did eventually get two in at the end of the game).  Here’s a shot of PG goalie Ty Rimmer saving a Burke Gallimore shot on goal…

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

And here’s Pickard making one.

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

And we’ll end with a shot of Lockhart and PG rightwinger Brett Connolly fighting for the puck late in the third quarter…

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

That’s it for this post.   Please leave any comments or questions or anything else in the comments section.  Let me know how I’m doing and if there’s anything you’d like to know or see differently, just let me know!

Til next time, go T-Birds!


Game 4: Thunderbirds go to Shootout vs. Americans

I was hoping to get this post up yesterday, but unfortunately some errands unexpectedly came up and I couldn’t get it done before work.  Have no fear, though, as I’m off today and can spend it all on the blog!

Tuesday night’s game against the Americans was a well fought game, I thought.  As always with these ‘birds, the outcome wasn’t decided until after they played five extra minutes and took three extra shots on goal.  Unfortunately, the Americans slipped two shoot-out attempts past Calvin Pickard while only one of the T-Birds found the back of the Tri-City net.

We’ll start, however, before all of that; even before the game started.  Before the game, equipment manager Jason Berger brought out the pucks for pre-game warm-ups and formed the letters W,H, and L with them. Director of Media Relations Ian Henry told me about the pucks and asked for some photos, so I happily obliged.  I got three frames of the design that I really liked, but this one stood out above the other two.

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/1.8, 1/60th, Manual

Having shot the pucks, I had nothing to do until the players came out for warm-ups.  Normally I don’t shoot that seeing as I’ll be getting the same photos during the game, but I needed to get some photos of backup goalie Michael Salmon for a newspaper in his hometown of Red Deer, Alberta.  I took a couple nice shots of Salmon but couldn’t decide between the two.  I’ll let you guys see both of them and decide what one’s better…

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

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

Now for in-game photos.  I wanted to go back up and shoot from the suite level again for the first period.  I like the angle it gives, I just wanted to do something different from the game against Calgary.  The nice thing about shooting from the suite level is that I have a great view of most of the ice and bench area.  That view allowed me to get this photo of Head Coach Rob Sumner during a timeout in the first period.

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/640th, Manual

I like this photo because you get to see the play designed.  Taken from any other angle, the players would be blocking the view of the whiteboard, but this time I was high enough to see over the players.

Remember a couple of posts ago when I said that there’d be games in college I’d get great photos of the opposing team and not the Huskies?  Well that happened to me again Tuesday.  I seemed to get many photos where you could see Americans players well, but the T-Birds guys had their back to me.  These next three are good examples of that.  Oh well, at least the pictures show the T-Birds doing well and having success…

Center Connor Sanvido has a shot blocked by Tri-Cities goalie Drew Owsley in the first period.

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

Rightwinger Jacob Doty (left) and Sanvido (right) sandwich Tri-Cities center Justin Messier in the first period.

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

Defenseman Travis Bobbee knocks a Tri-Citiy Americans player to the ground.

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

And to close out first period photos, how about a good ole’ Calvin Pickard save?

Goalie Calvin Pickard (middle) blocks a shot while center Luke Lockhart (right) and Tri-Cities leftwinger Justin Feser fight for the rebound.

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

Due to a terribly stupid operator error, most of my shots from the second period were not useable and were only worthy of being deleted.  So let’s forget the second period ever happened, assume the score magically changed to 2-2, and move onto the third, shall we?  Ok? Okay!

Since this was the third period (wow, it just seems like seconds ago we were in the first, where does the time go?)I went to my typical spot in between the benches, and was rewarded for going in between the benches by a shot of Luke Lockhart scoring a goal to take a 3-2 lead.

Lockhart tries to slip a slapshot past the Tri-City defense in the third quarter.  The puck did find it’s way to the back of the net, giving Lockhart his second goal of the evening.

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

And as always, a goal shot deserves a celebration shot…

Lockhart (right) and right wing Burke Gallimore celebrate Lockhart’s third period goal.

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

That lead, however, wasn’t a permanent one.  Just a few minutes later, the Americans evened up the score with this goal.

Tri Cities center Mason Wilgosh (left) gets a shot past Seattle goalie Calvin Pickard during the third period of a WHL game in Kent, WA, Oct. 26.

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

A bit after that goal, there was a small dust-up between Marcel Noebels and the Tri-Cities’ Spencer Humphries.  I couldn’t see the fight or what caused it since it took place in a corner I can’t see from between the benches, but I did get an important shot of the aftermath: Marcel Noebels being escorted off the ice.  He got more penalty minutes than what was left in the game and so was taken off the ice (note: he was eligible, though, to return in overtime).

Linseman David Tise escorts Seattle rightwinger Marcel Noebels off the ice after Noebels received a 10-minute miscondcut in the third period.

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

Here’s an attempt on goal by Travis Toomey.

Seattle center Travis Toomey (left) can’t knock the puck past Tri-Cities goalie Drew Owsley in the third period.

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

Luke Lockhart had a good game having scored two goals.  Since he had one of the better games, I tended to get more good photos of him. Here’s two of those…

Lockhart (right) runs into Tri-City left wing Justin Feser during the third period.

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

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

Now onto the overtime period where I got my best photos from the game. Both teams had some good chances in overtime, but neither could punch it through.   I’ll just let my photos describe it to you, as they’re a good representation of what happened.

Seattle goalie Calvin Pickard (right) blocks a shot while defenseman Dave Sutter (left) and Tri City right wing Jordan Messier fight for the rebound in the overtime period of a WHL game Oct. 26 in Kent, WA.

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

Seattle left wing Marcel Noebels (right) and Tri Cities defenseman Zachary Yuen fight for the puck during the overtime period of a WHL game Oct. 26 in Kent, WA.

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

Seattle defenseman Erik Bonsor (right) disrupts the possession of Tri-City defenseman Zachary Yuen.

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

Seattle center Charles Wells skates past Tri-City right winger Patrick Holland in overtime.

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

Tri-City goalie Drew Owsley stops a Thunderbird attack late in the overtime period.

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

Now that overtime is over, it’s time for the shootout!  There was really only one good photo from the shootout that I got, and thankfully it shows what happened in it.  So it is with great sorrow that I end with this photo of Pickard not being able to save a shootout attempt.

Tri-City right wing Patrick Holland slips a shoot-out attempt past Pickard.

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

You know what, I really hate ending with that photo.  So instead, let’s see some of Center Colin Jacob’s infectious smile…

Center Colin Jacobs is all smiles after Noebels converted his shootout attempt.

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

If you got this far, thanks for reading!  As always, I’d love to hear any comments, questions, criticisms, quandaries; anything you want me to know or answer, I want to hear it.

Oh, and Erica and Erik?  It was great meeting you Tuesday night!

Til next time, go T-Birds!


T-Birds v. Hitmen- A Look Back

With a good four days left until the next home game (and four since my last post), I think it’s time for more game photos!  Since it’s the most recent one, let’s take a look back at the game against Calgary, shall we?

Note: Due to time constraints (like me having to run off to work), this post will involve less than normal commentary.  I’ve captioned each photo, though, so you’ll always know what’s going on in the picture…

The beginning of the game started off with the Thunderbirds playing more defense than offense early on, as my photos will be able to show.

Defenseman Dave Sutter looks to pass the puck to a teammate and get it out from behind the Seattle goal during the first quarter.

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


Goalie Calvin Pickard makes a save in the first quarter.

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


There’s always an ethical quandary when someone gets hurt.  Do you take a photo of him?  How many?  On one hand, a photographer needs to do his or her job and document the game and everything going along with it.  One another, it is a bit of an invasion of privacy during a moment most would not want their pictures taken.  I bring this up because this next photo I—at the time—thought that this could be a moment like that.  Calgary rightwinger Cody Beach got wrapped up with Tyler Alos in front of the goal.  On the way down to the ice, I heard Beach’s helmet (or so I think… it could have been the puck I guess) strike the post.  I didn’t see much immediate movement from Beach, so I decided to snap a few frames of him getting medical care, just in case.   Luckily, he turned out to be ok and would reenter the game later.    So crisis averted, but I thought we had something big on our hands.  Thankfully I was wrong.  Here’s the photo…

Center Tyler Alos lands on top of a Calgary Hitmen player after the two got entangled in front of the Seattle net.

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

 

And here’s the last two photos from the first period…

Defenseman Travis Bobbee and Calgary leftwinger John Lawrence jockey for position while chasing the puck.

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

 

A young fan cheers on the Thunderbirds during a break in play.

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/640th, Manual

 

Easily the most frustrating thing for me while shooting is having part of a shot blocked by either a player not involved in the play or a referee.  For football, you will ALWAYS have either the back line judge or side judge coming into and going out of your shots as long as you are ahead of the ball.  Well, in hockey if you’re behind the nets, you will ALWAYS have an official coming into and going out of your shot.  Sometimes it works out and the ref is merely in the background: something not wanted by any means, but you can deal with that.  With this, though, there’s nothing that can be done…

Leftwinger Mitch Elliot (center) is checked by Calgary defenseman Matt MacKenzie.

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

That shot would have been a pretty good one.  It has good action, it’s crisp, and it’s fairly representative of the game.  Except for one teensy thing… can you name it?

 

And now let’s finish out the second period…

Leftwinger Chance Lund (left) stretches past Hitmen defenseman Ben Wilson to control the puck in the second period.

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

 

A young fan can’t hide her joy while taking a photo of Cool Bird.

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

 

Check out the background of this picture… notice anything hanging around?

Defender Brenden Dillon tries to get the puck to a teammate.

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

 

Well, it looks like the same can be applied here, as well…

Rightwinger Burke Gallimore can’t quite get the puck past Calgary goalie Juraj Holly.

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

 

This one’s safe though!

Center Tyler Alos celebrates his second period goal by slapping hands with the Seattle bench.

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

 

Rightwinger Jacob Doty pins Calgary rightwinger Cody Beach during a fight in the second period.

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

 

Now for the third period (and overtime)!

Defenseman Brenden Dillon tries to skate past Calgary forwards Misha Fisenko (left) and Chase Clayton (right).

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

 

Center Tyler Alos passes the puck to a teammate.

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

 

Center Charles Wells controls the puck in the third period.  Wells scored his second goal of the season in the first period.

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

 

Rightwinger Burke Gallimore chases after the puck alongside two Calgary Hitmen late in the third quarter.

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

 

Goalie Calvin Pickard makes a save in the third period.

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

 

That’s it for this post.  Sorry for the abbreviated one, but I didn’t have much material for you this time.  The next few weeks should be better.

Till next time, go T-Birds!