The Official Photoblog of the Seattle Thunderbirds

Posts tagged “Kyle Verdino

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 .

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 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).


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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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!