The Official Photoblog of the Seattle Thunderbirds

Posts tagged “Dave Sutter

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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Road Trippin’ with the Thunderbirds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Til next time, Go T-Birds!

Kyle


T-Birds fall to Giants

They lose 4-2 on November 1st to the Vancouver Giants.

Hello, T-Bird’s fans, welcome back. It’s me. Not Kyle me, but Brian me. The OTHER me, or “The Other Guy” as I’m known in the press box at ShoWare. Great, now the blog is bi-polar. Anyway, school got in Kyle’s way again and I’m going to be showing off some photos this time.

Now before I start, I want to say thank you to the three people who stopped me and said hi at the last game. It’s great to get to know the fans and get some feedback on the photos. Hopefully I’ll be saying hi to more of you in the future.

Okay, so I’m going to put as many good photos up as I can, but I doubt I’m going to hit Kyle’s usual 20. To begin…

Nikon D5000 50mm 1/800th of a sec @ f/2 500 ISO

To start off, Dave Sutter runs one of the Giant’s into the boards. I’m sure most of you have seen how the ice can sometimes “puff” up off the ice when the players come to a skidding stop. This is what it looks like frozen in a photo. I always like that effect.

Nikon D5000 50mm 1/800th of a sec @ f/2 500 ISO

This is funny face photo #1 of this game. There is more mist on the ground, but I love the expression on Verdino’s face.

Nikon D5000 50mm 1/800th of a sec @ f/2 500 ISO

This was just after Justin Hickman’s goal in the 1st period. They all lined up quite neatly in my camera frame. There is Hickman on the left leading the charge.

Canon 7D 105mm 1/400th of a sec @ f/5 1600 ISO

Here is Verdino being mixed up while going after the puck near the goal.

Canon 7D 135mm 1/400th of a sec @ f/5.6 1600 ISO

Brad Deagle and Vancouver’s Brendan Gallagher go for a spill while trying to catch up with the puck. Yes, they both ended up on their stomachs, but that Popcorn on the railing didn’t fall off so that’s good. You need to prioritize these things you know.

Canon 7D 18mm 1/500th of a sec @ f/3.5 1600 ISO

Ever wonder what it is like to sit right next to the glass and have someone be smashed right in front of you? Well, aside from the noise, surprise, and sudden jerking motion of the glass, thanks to Tyler Alos, now you can! This is right in front of the camera. I was able to zoom out in time to get this in focus. In the reflections, you might be able to see me holding my camera on the left. On the right is the photographer from the Kent Reporter. He is a fun guy who takes some great shots.

Canon 7D 135mm 1400th of a sec @ f/5.6 1600 ISO

Luke Lockhart is someone else who I rarely get any actions shots of. Fortunatly though, I managed to get one this game. Here he is guarding his goal in a tight spot.

Canon 7D 105mm 1/400th of a sec @ f/5.6 1600 ISO

Lots of Verdino in this post. Funny how that happens sometimes. Anyway, here he is after getting the puck away and coming up the ice.

Canon 7D 70mm 1/400th of a sec @ f/4.5 1600 ISO

Here is Sutter again, coming straight for me! I DIDN’T DO IT, I DIDN’T DO IT… oh wait, you’re going for the puck.

Canon 7D 50mm 1/400th of a sec @ f/4 1600 ISO

Funny Face Photo #2. It’s not usually a ref, but it is and I can’t help but think that he is horrified that the puck is coming for him. Trust me Mr. Ref, it is.

Canon 7D 135mm 1/400th of a sec @ f/5.6 1600 ISO

This is a smashing good shot if I do say so myself. Well it is a smash anyway. Tyler Alos gives a little nudge to one of the Giants.

Canon 7D 135mm 1/400th of a sec @ f/5.6 1600 ISO

A Nobels shot! Yay. That’s two posts in a row for me. This blog must be my good luck charm. He always looks like he is on the prowl for another goal.

Canon 7D 135mm 1/400th of a sec @ f/5.6 1600 ISO

I would call this shot “Alone in Enemy Territory”. Sutter flies by in the 3rd period to try and get the T-Birds back in the game.

Canon 7D 135mm 1/400th of a sec @ f/5.6 1600 ISO

Here is a shot right after the second goal by the T-Birds. I love the expressions in the faces of the fans, but I love the attitudes of the players too. Every goal deserves a celebration.

Canon 7D 135mm 1/400th of a sec @ f/5.6 1600 ISO

To wrap up the post, Brendan Rouse flies down the ice for another attempt on goal.

You can see the rest of my photos at http://blphoto.smugmug.com/Sports/Hockey/WHL-Hockey-Vancouver-4-Seattle/19866179_qNNJgT#1562781200_gpFPqxG .

I’m sure Kyle will be back for the next home game which will be a lot closer to Thanksgiving. Nothing like some holiday hockey at ShoWare for a good time.

Until next time T-Birds’ fans, and with respect to Red Green, keep your stick on the ice.


Wheat Kings Rule T-Birds in Cotton Debut

Hello all,

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

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

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

Nikon D5000 50mm f/2 1/125th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time for shameless self promotion. If you liked these photos, you can view the rest of them at http://blphoto.smugmug.com/Sports/Hockey/WHL-Hockey-Brandon-4-Seattle-1/19622475_HsNh8X#1537865330_5q7nqD6. I put the link in because I can’t figure out how to do that slideshow thing that Kyle does at the end of his posts. I put a lot of hockey photos up on that site so check back to see more if you’re interested.

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

Brian

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


T-Birds Dice Up Saskatoon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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T-Birds Give Grand Performance on Pink the Rink Night

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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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 27: T-Birds, Sutter Give Chiefs a Fight—and Win

First off, what a game last Sunday!  The T-Birds broke their eight game home losing streak in exciting fashion, coming back from a goal deficit to nab a win against Spokane, the number two team in the conference.  Throw in an amazing last-second save and Dave Sutter’s first fight of the year and that resulted in one loud and excited ShoWare Center.  (You may be wondering, “what happened to games 25 and 26?” Well I wasn’t at game 25, so there will be no post about Feb. 5th’s game against Spokane.  As for game 26, I ended up going through photos from this game first, so that post will come later in the week.  Sorry for being out of order)

Anyways, back to Sunday’s game against Spokane.  We’ll start with photos from the first period, naturally…  The first period was a very back-and-forth affair.  Both teams had scoring chances, both teams controlled the puck well, the only difference was Spokane got one past the red line in front of the net, and the T-Birds didn’t.  Onto the photos…

Right wing Burke Gallimore is held back from reaching the puck by Spokane left wing Levko Koper.

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

Right wing Marcel Noebels takes a shot on goal but Spokane goalie Mac Engel is there to block it from the net.

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

Gallimore has the pick knocked away by Spokane defender Tanner Mort.

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

Center Travis Toomey can’t get a stick on the puck, so he attempts to direct it into the goal with his foot.  The attempt was wide, however.

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

Center Connor Sanvido takes a shot on Engels from the face-off circle.  Engles blocked the shot.

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

Goalie Calvin Pickard deflects a Spokane shot on goal.

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

Pickard tries to stay with Spokane center Anthony Bardaro as Bardaro crosses in front of the net with the puck.  Pickard couldn’t and Bardaro buried a shot past him for a goal.

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

Defenseman Ryan Button hits the ice in an attempt to block a shot by Spokane’s Koper.

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

Gallimore takes a knee in order block a centering attempt late in the first period.

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

With the period ending, the score was still 1-0 Spokane.  For the second period, I moved down to the area behind the Spokane goal.  During the period, the T-Birds had a bit more shots on goal—16 as to 11 in the first—and they converted one of those shots as well.  I had a nice view of one of those attempts, this one by center Tyler Alos early on into the period, and got a good string of photos from it…

Center Tyler Alos gains possession and takes a shot on goal early in the second period.

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

Center Tyler Alos gains possession and takes a shot on goal early in the second period.

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


Center Tyler Alos gains possession and takes a shot on goal early in the second period.  The shot was blocked by Engel.

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

That wasn’t the only attempt, however, as other T-Birds got into the action in front of the Spokane net…

Center Luke Lockhart takes a shot on Engles.

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

Left wing Mitch Elliot (left) centers the puck by passing the puck to Alos, positioned in front of the Spokane net.

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

Despite my good location, I missed the photo of Toomey’s goal as my view of him was blocked by a Spokane defender during his wind-up (as usual).  So take my word for it when I say the T-Birds went into the third period in a one-all deadlock.  I took my usual third-period spot between the benches.  This would have given me a good view of Colin Jacobs’ goal early on to give the T-Birds a 2-1 lead, but wouldn’t you know it I was blocked from that photo as well, this time by Ryan Button.   Instead of the goal, I got a decent photo of him leaping in excitement originally (not posted), then he jumped onto the other players celebrating the goal, giving me a nice frame…

Button leaps onto the other T-Birds in celebration of Colin Jacobs’ goal early in the first period.

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

His excitement stayed with him while returning to the bench…

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

Pickard got into the celebration and broke out a new one, apparently based on the movie Rocky.

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

Being down a goal, Spokane started pressing the attack, leaving the T-Birds to defend and hold onto their lead.  Center Brendan Rouse did his part, checking defenseman Tanner Mort and separating him from the puck.

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

And now for what I think is the pivotal moment of Sunday’s game: Dave Sutter’s fight.  He’s really not much of a fighter—this was his first one all year—but he engaged in fisticuffs with Spokane left wing Colin Valcourt and came out victorious.  He got Valcourt’s helmet off first and landed a few punches…

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

…then took him to the ice.  A great victory for the Swiss defenseman!

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

That fight energized the fans—for the rest of the game ShoWare was rocking—and it really energized the T-Birds players.  They used the excitement generated from the fight as motivation to keep playing strong.

Left wing Chance Lund (left) and right wing Jacob Doty (right) encourage the rest of the team after Dave Sutter’s fight with Colin Valcourt.

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

Once play resumed again, the T-Birds were still under siege from the Spokane attack.  The Chiefs got 28 shots on goal, but Pickard didn’t let one through.

Pickard gets his leg pads in front of a Spokane shot during the third period.   He made 28 saves in the third alone, and 57 overall on the night.

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

Rouse clears the puck out from the defensive zone late in the game.

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

After withstanding a ten minute long offensive onslaught, during which the T-Birds killed off nearly two minutes of a 5-on-3 power play and added an empty-net goal by Burke Gallimore, the clock hit triple-zeroes and the game was final.  With their 3-1 win, the T-Birds snapped their eight game home losing streak and gained two points, which may turn out to be an important two points in the playoff race. Indeed, there was a lot to celebrate Sunday night, so the T-Birds met on the ice to enjoy their win.

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

That’s it for this blog post!  Tune in later this week for more photos and as always, let me know what  you think about my photos in the comment section below.

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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Game 22: T-Birds, Teddy Bears Fall against Portland

Teddy Bear Toss night had finally arrived!  After going over to Kennewick for Tri-City’s Toss, I was looking forward to our own night to throw bears on the ice for charity, and last Saturday happened to be that night.  The T-Birds’ opponent that night was the Portland Winterhawks, a team the Thunderbirds have found plenty of success against so far this season.  Would the T-Birds be able to vanquish their rivals from the south again?  Would the T-Birds fans donate a tremendous amount of bears to charity?  Would Kyle manage to not screw up the Teddy Bear Toss photos?  Find out in this edition of Bird Watching!

To begin the photos, let’s check out yet another shot of Colin Jacobs making a face while I’m trying to get a photo of him.  In my three years of sports shooting, there’s always been one person who can never give me a straight face while I’m shooting his or her sport.  At the UW, it was one of my friends from the gymnastics team who’d always give me a weird face, and this year it’s Jacobs.  While going through my photos after a game, I can always enjoy a nice chuckle whenever Jacobs pops up because he’ll always make a face.  See for yourself…

Center Colin Jacobs makes a pass while being shoved by Portland center Ryan Johansen during the first period.

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

It being Teddy Bear Toss night, fans came to the game with stuffed animals in hand in hopes of a T-Birds goal and a chance to throw the furry toys onto the ice.  Until then, fans had to hold onto their donations and store them anywhere there was space.  Some fans, like this one, ended up sharing a chair with their bears.

A fan watches the action on the ice alongside two stuffed animals that will later be tossed onto the ice.

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

Before the T-Birds could score a goal and make it rain teddy bears, they had to make sure Portland didn’t get a goal of their own.  Goalie Calvin Pickard made sure the Winterhawks wouldn’t get the first score on this play…

Canon 7D, 148mm, 2000 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

It wasn’t just Portland controlling the puck for the first period; Seattle got 14 shots on Portland goalie Mac Carruth, including this one by right wing Burke Gallimore.

Canon 7D, 145mm, 2000 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Even Cool Bird had a bear to throw onto the ice for Teddy Bear Toss night…

Canon 7D, 145mm, 2000 ISO, f/2.8, 1/400th, Manual

Thanks to passes by Tyler Alos and Colin Jacobs, center Travis Toomey found himself with the puck in space in front of the Portland goal.  He coolly fired the puck past Carruth for a score and promptly celebrated the feat with center Tyler Alos (bottom).

Canon 7D, 180mm, 2000 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

And with that goal, the teddy bears began to fall from the stands and onto the ice!

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

While bears were seemingly falling from the sky, I took the time to run down to the ice level (and I mean run: I nearly ran over a few suite attendants in my mad dash) to get some on ice photos of the beary special activities.  Anyone up for a game of 5,000-bear pickup?

Thunderbirds staffers pile bears onto tarps for easier transportation off the ice.

Canon 7D, 48mm, 2000 ISO, f/2.8, 1/640th, Manual

The players even helped with the cleanup.  Here, defenseman Dave Sutter (foreground, right) and left wing Chance Lund (background, left) organize the bears into piles.

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

Assistant Director of Operations Joey Ravotti tosses teddy bears onto a tarp in an effort to clear the ice of bears.

Canon 7D, 33mm, 2000 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

Every sort of bear-collecting device imaginable was used to pick up the donated bears off the ice and transport them into the depths of the ShoWare Center for counting and packing.  Here, T-Birds staffers—and even Cool Bird himself—pack an SUV full of stuffed animals.

Cool Bird carries an armful (and also a beakful) of teddy bears to an on-ice transport car during the Teddy Bear Toss.

Not every bear tossed made it to the ice, unfortunately.  This furry friend got caught up in the protective netting above the glass at the south end of the rink.

A fan uses Marcel Noebel’s stick to attempt to dislodge a bear stuck in the netting above the ice at the ShoWare Center.

Canon 7D, 33mm, 2000 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

A bit after play resumed, a ShoWare maintenance worker climbed the boards to free the stuck bear.

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

And that does it for an exciting first period.  With the score tied at one, we’ll move onto the second period of action…

And let’s start out that action with a shot of Gallimore trying to get the lead back for the T-Birds with a shot on Carruth, which ended up being blocked.

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

As is true for all games against US division foes, this game featured plenty of hard hits that elicited groans from not only the players being hit, but from the fans as well.

Chance Lund knocks Portland right wing Ty Rattie to the ice after Rattie attempted to dislodge the puck from Lund’s possession in the second period.

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

Center Luke Lockhart wins a faceoff against Portland’s Johansen.

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

For this next photo I had a lot of trouble deciding what crop to use.  I could have cropped it so just Calvin and the Portland attacker were shown, but I ultimately decided that defenseman Erik Bonsor was just too important in the photo as he’s knocking the puck away from the Portland player and Calvin wasn’t involved in the play at all.  What do you think?  Should I have cut off the left side up to Rutkowski and just showed Calvin and him?  Let me know in the comments section below!

Defenseman Erik Bonsor knocks the puck away from Portland defenseman Troy Rutkowski, eliminating the chance of a shot on Seattle goalie Calvin Pickard on the play.

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

As usual, I didn’t get as many second period photos as first or third, so let’s just move on, shall we?

Center Brendan Rouse (center) and Portland right wing Ty Rattie compete for a puck while Seattle left wing Mitch Elliot watches on in the beginning of the third period.

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

In the third period, the T-Bird offense was firing on all cylinders, earning a whopping 22 shots on goal in the period, just one less than they had in the first two periods combined.  Here’s one of those shots, this one by center Tyler Alos.

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

In fact, for long amounts of time Calvin Pickard was relegated to puck-chaser often times as Portland sent many clearances down the ice.  Here, he’s retrieving a clearance so the offense can generate more scoring opportunities faster.

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

Center Justin Hickman continued his physical play, checking Winterhawks into the boards often and without warning.  Here, he crushes his latest victim, Portland defenseman Joe Morrow, into the glass in the north end of the rink.

Canon 7D, 173mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Lockhart is brought to his knees while scrapping for the puck with Portland defensemen Rutdowski (left) and Morrow (right).

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

During a Seattle powerplay late in the game, Portland used their timeout to plan how to kill the penalty.  The Thunderbirds also used this time to strategize and earn a goal or two that would get them back into the game.

Head coach Rob Sumner talks with his players during a time out late in the third period.

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/500th, Manual

 

During that power play the Thunderbirds did get a goal from Marcel Noebels to bring the score to 2-4.  Unfortunately my view of the actual goal was blocked, but I did get a celebration shot with Noebels (center), Toomey (left) and Lockhart (right).

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

Fans showed their support to Noebels and the rest of the team by standing and cheering on the T-Birds after the goal.  One fan even bore the flag of Germany, Noebels’ home during the offseason.

A fan waves a German flag in support of Marcel Noebels after Noebels scored a third period goal.

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

And let’s end the game photos with a shot of Lockhart stealing the puck away from Portland left wing Nino Niederreiter…

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

Alright, that’s it for this post.  I hope you enjoyed the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them!  And a note:  T-Birds fans tossed a whopping 5,031 bears onto the ice and collected for the WAMR 106.9 Teddy Bear Patrol!  That’s a great number, good job guys (and gals)! The bears will be given out to local fire and police departments to give to children in times of crisis, so thanks for helping with that great cause!
Have any questions for me?  Comments?  Suggestions?  Let me know in the comment section below!

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!


Game 20: T-Birds Make Incredible Comeback, Lose to Kamloops on Controversial Call

Thanks to a stretch of four home games in just eight days, I’ve found myself falling behind on updating the photoblog.  This post will contain photos from the Kamloops game Jan. 18.  That game was certainly the most exciting home game of the year, one where the T-Birds scored three times in the third period only to lose on a controversial call, to say the least, in the shootout.  In addition to the excitement of the game, I finally was able to use my 28-70mm lens in a hockey game!  I’ll talk about that experience a tad later in the blog, but let’s begin with the photos, shall we?

Let’s start with Calvin Pickard.  The fellow faced an astounding 26 shots in just the first period.  What’s even more amazing is he only let one pass him and find the net.   That’s a .962 save percentage for the period.  It’s safe to say Pickard’s play in the first half kept the T-Birds in the game.  Just for that, let’s see two photos of two amazing saves by Calvin…

Goalie Calvin Pickard stops a shot from a Kamloops player during the first period.

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

Pickard makes another first-period save against Kamloops.  He made 25 saves in the first period alone, and 55 total that night.

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

Since they were defending for most of the period, the Thunderbirds didn’t get too many shots on Kamloops goalie Jeff Bosch; they just had five in the first period.  They did have a few more opportunities than shots, however, including this one by Connor Sanvido.

Center Connor Sanvido has a shot stopped by Kamloops goalie Jeff Bosch during the first half.

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

Just after that Sanvido attempt, I spotted Cool Bird borrowing a fan’s binoculars just to my right.  I think they would have worked better if Cool Bird was facing the ice instead of away from it, but that’s just my opinion.

Canon 7D, 95mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/640th, Manual

Surprisingly enough, that’s it for my first period photos.  Actually it’s not so surprising as I had numerous shots of Calvin, but didn’t want to post four similar photos next to each other…  Anyway, on to the second period!  I was excited for the second period to come, for I wanted to test out my 28-70mm lens for hockey.  It had been unusable for over a year after it received multiple knocks during the post-game rushing of the field after the UW knocked of USC in 2009 (I was in the middle of the mass of bodies, an experience I’ll never forget).  Anyway, I had finally gotten it fixed and tested it out during the second period, while I was behind the north net and facing the Thunderbirds when they were attacking the Kamloops goal.   I was able to get numerous plays in front of the net, such as…

Center Travis Toomey battles with Kamloops defenseman Josh Caron (middle) for a rebound in front of the Kamloops goal early in the second period.

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

and…

Toomey watches as a loose puck is swatted away from the Kamloops net early in the second period.

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

and even…

Right wing Tyler Alos has a puck knocked away from him in front of the Kamloops goal.

Canon 7D, 47mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

A shot this lens allowed me to get is battles for the puck in the corners.  Any other lens I had would have cut off players’ heads and feet, but when I could actually get wide enough to get the entire player in the photo.  Take this one, for example, where Sanvido (right) and Toomey (left) are battling Kamloops defenseman Brandon Underwood for the puck in the left corner.

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

I could even get a photo when the play was happening right in front of me.  That’s how I got this cool portrait (well, sort of a portrait) of Dave Sutter.

Defenseman Dave Sutter tries to gain possession of the puck along the boards behind the net in the second period.
Canon 7D, 28mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And that’s it for the second period.  Despite the increased shots on goal (14), the T-Birds couldn’t get one into the net while Kamloops added one goal to go ahead 2-0.  They’d add one more three minutes into the third period to increase their lead to 3-0.  Down by three goals, the T-Birds had to attack a lot in order to stay in the game.  Here’s a photo of them doing just that…

Defenseman Erik Fleming brings the puck past center ice during the third period.

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

In all, they had 15 shots on target in the third period—just one more than the second.  Here’s one of those shots, this one by Luke Lockhart.

Center Luke Lockhart (left) takes a shot on Kamloops goalie Jeff Bosch.

Canon 7D, 102mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

The T-Birds found themselves on a powerplay when Kamloops defenseman Austin Madaisky was called for hooking, and the T-Birds capitalized on the advantage when Marcel Noebels finally knocked the puck into the net.

Left wing Marcel Noebels slips the puck past Bosch and converts the power play for the T-Birds’ first goal of the night.

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

Just twenty seconds later, Jacob Doty scored the T-Birds second goal of the night.  While I didn’t get a good photo of the goal, here’s a nice frame of the celebration afterwards…

Right wing Jacob Doty (left) and  left wing Mitch Elliot (right) celebrate Doty’s goal to draw the T-Birds within one of the Kamloops Blazers.

Canon 7D, 110mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/500th, Manual

Now down just one goal, the T-Birds kept pressing and forcing the Blazers to play defense.  They did, keeping the T-Birds off the board for another 10 minutes despite Seattle controlling the puck most of that time.

Noebels tries to protect the puck from Kamloops center Dalibor Bortnak (left) and defenseman Corey Fienhage (right).

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

Right wing Burke Gallimore has the puck knocked away by Kamloops center Dalibor Bortnak in the third period.

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

Over the past few games, I had noticed that Connor Sanvido was receiving more ice time, particularly in the third period and on power plays.  He had been playing pretty well recently and one of these days he’ll get his first goal of the season.  When taking into account the nice attempts he’d created in this game, I’m sure that elusive goal will come sooner than later…

Sanvido wraps around the Kamloops net in hopes of a better scoring opportunity.

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

Eventually the Thunderbirds did tie it up, however.  Unfortunately Noebels, the goal scorer, blocked my view of the puck going into the net, but he paid me back by giving me a strong celebration shot afterward.  I love the reactions of the fans in this photo, they’re what make the image so strong.

Noebels raises his arms in triumph after the T-birds tied the game up at three with barely a minute left to play in regulation.

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

For the overtime period that followed, I wanted a view of both halves of the ice so I’d always have a clear chance at capturing any important play.  The only place I could go for that, since it was too late to go between the benches, was the suite I’d shot from in the first period, so I ran on upstairs and got into the suite just before the overtime faceoff.  My hustle was rewarded with this image of Noebels trying to win the game…

Noebels tries to get the puck past Bosch in overtime for the potential game-winning goal, but can’t find a hole in Bosch’s protection.

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

Kamloops also had their chances in the overtime period, specifically this one by center Dalibor Bortnak.  Despite Seattle defenseman Brenden Dillon’s best sliding attempt to knock the puck away, Bortnak took aim and fired at the Seattle goal.  The shot sailed wide to the right, fortunately for the Thunderbirds.

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

Not all Kamloops shots went wide in overtime, though.  Calvin was forced to make nine saves in extra time, none of them producing as cool a photo as this one…

Calvin Pickard knocks a Kamloop attempt away with his stick in the overtime period.

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

Neither team scored in overtime, so we went to a shootout, something the T-Birds’ fans haven’t seen since Nov. 24.  Unfortunately the first two Seattle shooters missed their attempts, and Kamloops hit its’ first one.  It was all up to Calvin Pickard to block Kamloops center Colin Smith’s shot to prolong the game, and he nearly did it… In fact, he says he actually did poke-check the puck away from Smith, which would end the attempt immediately.  The refs didn’t call the play dead, though, and Smith buried the puck into the net, which the referees counted.  Despite complaints from Pickard, Toomey, and the rest of the Thunderbirds, the shot was not reviewed and the shootout ended at 0-2 for the T-Birds.  Here’s a photo of Calvin attacking the puck in Smith’s control.  Use it to decide for yourself if Pickard touched it or not…

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

And that brings an end to the most exciting game of hockey we’ve seen this season.  The T-Birds did great to come back from a three goal deficit and force a shoot out, and the shoot out didn’t lack for drama thanks to the controversial play that ended it.  Overall, it was a thoroughly entertaining game to watch and to photograph.  Hopefully the next one will be just as good…

And also hopefully I can get caught back up on this blog.  Expect photos from the Kelowna game up in a few days.

What do you think of the ending of this game?  Does that photo of Smith’s goal change your opinion?   Re-affirm it?  Let me know in the comments section!

Til next time, go T-Birds!

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