The Official Photoblog of the Seattle Thunderbirds

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Thunderbirds Pink the Rink, Earn a Point against Kamloops

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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T-Birds Open 2012-13 Home Slate

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


T-Birds Fall to Portland in Teddy Bear Toss Game

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Til next time, Go T-Birds!

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T-Birds Outlast Everett in Shootout

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Brian Liesse, Washington Prep Sports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Honey carries the puck over the center line.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pickard stops a shot from Everett left winger Joshua Linquist.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


2011/2012 Season Opener: New Beginnings and Familiar Faces

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

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

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

and a couple of inflatable bouncy-toys.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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


Last Weekend of Games Leaves T-Birds Short of Playoffs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which Jacobs promptly buried into the net! Tie game!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now for the Tri-City game on Sunday…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

While Brenden Dillon won Defenseman of the Year.

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

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

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

And Calvin Pickard and Brenden Dillon shared the MVP honors.

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

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

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

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

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

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

As always, go T-Birds!

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Game 26: T-Birds Iced by Winterhawks

Hello again T-Birds fans!  As promised last post, I’ve got some photos of the Portland game last Saturday for you.  I had a rather bad game—it seems I just couldn’t get much in focus—so it’ll be a smaller post than normal.     Enough with the chitter-chatter though, let’s see some photos!

Center Luke Lockhart has a shot blocked by Portland defenseman Troy Rutkowski in the first period.

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

Goalie Calvin Pickard makes a glove save on a shot from the Winterhawks.

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

Right wing Marcel Noebels tries to bring the puck down the ice and past Portland center Brandan Leipsic.

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

Right wing Burke Gallimore fires a slapshot past Portland’s Rutkowski and onto Portland goalie Keith Hamilton.

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

As you know, I’m always looking for new shots I haven’t seen before.  While I’m shooting from above it’s not as easy to create these new images—I have to get lucky and find some new action or notice something interesting going on around me—I did find a photo I’d like to work on a bit more.  Between the blue line and the faceoff circles on either side of the ice, there’s enough ice without paint on it for me to get a photo with 100% clear ice (i.e. there’s no blue or red coloring used to mark the lines or circles).  I’ve been trying to get a nice action photo in this section that would provide me with just the two players involved, the puck, and the players’ shadows.  I’ve always liked photos with shadows and reflections and feel that this photo (once I get it) will be much worth the time and effort used on getting it.  During the Portland game I got a photo close to it, but it doesn’t have enough of a shadow for my taste.  I’ll keep working on it, but here’s what I’ll be working on for the next few games.

Lockhart tries his best to separate Portland defenseman Joe Morrow from the puck while defending against a Winterhawk attack.

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

Thundersticks were passed out to fans before the game as a giveaway, and I was tasked to get a photo of fans using them.  While I did get a photo of their intended use that we’ll see later, I like this photo of a little kid looking at a single thunderstick a tad better.  What can I say, I like photos of adorable babies…

A very young fan plays with one of the thundersticks passed out before the game.

Canon 7D, 98mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/500th, Manual

Pickard and Defenseman Ryan Button have a nice view of the puck falling to the ice late in the first period.

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

Pickard prepares to pounce on a shot taken by Portland center Ryan Johansen.

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

And here’s that other thundersticks photo I was talking about.  I like how I caught a majority of them being held apart, making them more visible.

Fans slam together their thundersticks after a good play by the T-Birds.

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

And that’s it for the first period.  Let’s move down behind the Portland goal and see what kind of offense the T-Birds can muster up in the second, shall we?

Why, here’s some great offense right here?  Who doesn’t like an assist?

Center Brendan Rouse centers a pass that would eventually find center Travis Toomey (in the background) and be put in the net for the Thunderbirds’ first goal of the night.

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

Center Justin Hickman shoves Portland’s Morrow out of the way while in front of the Portland goal.

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

Center Connor Sanvido skates after a loose puck in the T-Birds’ offensive zone in the second period.

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

Noebels takes a shot on goal that would eventually be saved by Portland’s Hamilton.

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

Toomey sends Portland defenseman William Wrenn crashing into the boards.

Canon 7D, 28mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/1250th, Manual

Defender Travis Bobbee reacts to being shoved backwards by Portland defenseman Taylor Aronson.

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

Lockhart stretches past Portland’s Rutkowski to fire a shot on goal.

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

And that’s it for the second period.  For the third period, I sat below section 112 (I think it’s 112 at least) and shot on the Seattle goal again. I had my worst third period ever, only getting two useable shots.  I’ll give ‘em to you now.  It won’t take long, trust me…

Lockhart beats Portland right wing Brad Ross to the puck and knocks it away from the Seattle defensive zone.

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

­

Rouse looks down-ice as two players jostle along the boards for the puck off-screen.

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

And that’s it for this post, T-Birds fans!  Don’t forget about  the Seattle-Chilliwack game Sunday at 5 pm at the ShoWare Center!  See you there!

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Game 24: T-Birds Greased by Oil Kings

Hello again T-Birds fans!  Sorry for the long time between posts lately, I’ve been busy with Seattle U. photos and have been dealing with computer problems.  It’s all fixed now, however, so I do have time for a quick post about Edmont0n.  A word of warning, though; I was without a 70-200mm zoom lens for that game, so I had just my 28-75mm lens and couldn’t get many close-ups.  I did get some, however, and here they are…

Left wing Chance Lund skates down-ice towards the Edmonton goal in the first period.

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

Defenseman Erik Bonsor chases after the puck.

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

Center Tyler Alos is checked against the boards in the offensive zone of the ice.

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

Right wing Marcel Noebels keeps the puck away from Edmonton defenseman Marek Hrbas while attacking the Oil King goal.

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

Noebels passes to an off-screen teammate in front of the Edmonton goal.

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

Alos takes a shot on Edmonton goalie Laurent Brossoit in the second period.

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/1250th, Manual

Noebels jostles for position to take the puck with Edmonton defenseman Mark Pysyk.

Canon 7D, 28mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/1250th, Manual

Center Luke Lockhart battles for control of the puck with an Edmonton player in the corner of the T-Birds’ attacking third.

Canon 7D, 47mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/1250th, Manual

Center Colin Jacobs skates with the puck past Edmonton center Travis Ewanyk.

Canon 7D, 28mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/1250th, Manual

Jacobs tries to find a better angle for a shot on goal during the second period.

Canon 7D, 28mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/1250th, Manual

Defenseman Erik Fleming fires a shot towards the Edmonton goal.

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

Two fans celebrate left wing Mitch Elliot’s goal just two minutes into the third period.

Canon 7D, 56mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/320th, Manual

Defenseman Mitch Spooner clears a puck from the T-Birds’ defensive zone in the third period.

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


Spooner eliminates an Edmonton attacker’s angle to the Seattle goal.

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

And here Spooner stops a shot aimed at the Thunderbirds’ goal.

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

Defenseman Austin Frank (right) blocks a centering pass from Edmonton center Colton Stephenson.

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


Sorry for the small amount of photos, but at least now I know I shouldn’t use only a short-range lens to cover a complete game.  So I have that going for me…
Anyways, the T-Birds take on Portland tonight at 7 at the ShoWare Center.  Come on down to Kent and cheer on them on!

‘Til then, go T-Birds!


Game 23: T-Birds Drop Close One to Everett

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

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

Let’s get it started then…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jacobs begins to celebrate Dillon’s goal.

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

Jacobs’ celebration continues…

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

Fans join in on celebrating the equalizing goal by Dillon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jacobs brings the puck past Everett left wing Josh Winquist.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pickard knocks down an Everett shot late in the game.

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

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

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

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

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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Game 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!