The Official Photoblog of the Seattle Thunderbirds

Posts tagged “Lethbridge Hurricanes

Calvin Pickard: The Energizer Bunny in Pads

Monday night, 10:44 pm:  I’m writing this blog post in the dark, seeing as the wind storm that’s rolling through the area finally won its battle with the local power lines and my house lost power.  Not much from my preferred working environment has changed though; sure it’s a tad dark, but I can still type this up on my laptop, listen to music on my ipod (right know it’s Human by the Killers, in case you’re wondering), and still text friends and family on my cell phone.  It’s nice to know that even though I depend on electricity for so much, I can live without it (in short doses, though;  I’m SOL when my batteries run out).  Batteries are the fail-safe of today’s society, and they really should be appreciated more; they help keep everything running when the power goes out, and they have saved untold hardship and lives just because they’re a great fail-safe.

By now you’re probably thinking “this is a photoblog about a hockey team, why are you writing about batteries, Kyle?”  If so I don’t blame you, but trust me I’m heading somewhere with this…

Batteries are a lot like a goalie in hockey.  More specifically, batteries are like a reliable goalie in hockey, one who can be depended to immediately and effectively defend the net if something gets behind the defense, much like how batteries are called upon once the electricity stops flowing.  Since batteries have a near 100% effectiveness, this goalie has to be nearly perfect, saving 93 percent of the shots that come at him.  Hmm, a dependable, reliable goalie that saves nearly every shot taken on him? Why, that sounds a lot like our own Calvin Pickard, doesn’t it?

Say hi to the readers, Calvin!

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

As you may have just now guessed, this post is dedicated to our fearless netminder, the man who never met a shot he really liked and never met a puck he couldn’t stop. He backs up the Thunderbirds defensive line and is probably the best goalie in the WHL right now.  In fact, for the next two days he’ll represent the WHL in the Subway Super Series, two games that pits a team of WHL stars against a team of Russian junior stars. Since the Thunderbirds have a few well-earned days off after their eastern road trip (in which they did quite well, taking 8 of a possible 12 points) and Pickard is playing in the series, it seems like a great time to have a post saluting our never-stopping netminder. Here are 15 photos of Pickard doing what he does best: backing up the T-Birds and looking good while doing it…

Pickard stops a shot from a diving Lethbridge left winger Jacob Berglund during a game Oct. 1 against the Hurricanes.

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

Pickard goes down to stop Lethbridge center Cam Braes.

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

Picarkd attempts to block a shoot-out attempt by Tri-City right winger Jacob Holland on  Oct.  26.

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

Pickard watches as defenseman Brenden Dillon steals the puck from Prince George center Nick Bounassisi Oct. 29.

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

Pickard re-directs a shot towards teammate and T-Birds center Luke Lockhart.

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

Pickard tracks the puck while center Colin Jacobs (left) and PG center Charles Inglis fight for it during the Oct. 29 game against the Cougars.

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

Pickard prevents Red Deer left winger John Perrson from redirecting the puck into the Seattle goal Nov. 2.

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

Pickard stretches out to make a save against Red Deer.

Canon 7D, 85mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/640th, Manual

Pickard makes yet another stop against Red Deer.

Canon 7D, 75mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

See the previous cutline.  Just know that he made 46 saves that night.

Canon 7D, 73mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Pickard makes another sprawling save against the Rebels on Nov. 2.

Canon 7D, 175mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/2000th, Manual

Pickard passes the puck to defenseman Dave Sutter during the third period of the game against the Rebels.

Canon 7D, 135mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Pickard, Sutter (left) and Red Deer right winger Daulton Siwak (top right_ all have a nice view of the puck before Pickard falls on it for another save).

Canon 7D, 155mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

And let’s end this post the best way I know how: with a picture of Calvin celebrating a win!

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

Hopefully you enjoyed this look at Calvin Pickard, and be sure to tune in to the Subway Super Series against the top Russian junior players.

Til next time, go T-Birds (and WHL)!

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Mid-Road Trip Photo Break

Hello everyone!

Sorry I haven’t posted anything in a week, but there hasn’t been anything new to post.  I’ll try to get some extra content during the next home stretch to give you something new to look at while I’m not following the Thunderbirds on the road.
To try and make up for my lack of posts, how about more game photos?  I have some form the first two home games I’d love to share with you all.

These first few are from the home opener September 25 against Portland.

Center Charles Wells skates up the ice with the puck during the Sept. 25 home opener against Portland.

Canon 7D, 185mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Defenseman Brenden Dillon controls the puck during the Thunderbirds’ 4-1 victory over the Winterhawks.

Canon 7D, 165mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual


The Thunderbirds celebrate a goal in the 3rd period of their home opener Sept. 25 against the Portland Winterhawks.

Canon 7D, 165mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual


Ok, so there were only three from the home opener.  I had a bad game that night (unlike the T-Birds with their 4-1 win), and didn’t get too many great photos.   Oh well, it happens and I’m used to it.  The next game, the game October 1 against Lethbridge, however, was much better for me.  I feel some of these were good enough to go into the game post if they matched the theme I picked for it better.

Rightwinger Jacob Doty takes the puck past the center line during a game against Lethbridge Oct. 1.

Canon 7D, 170mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual


Center Colin Jacobs has a clear view of the puck after being knocked to the ice during an Oct. 1 game against the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Canon 7D, 185mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

This next photo I nearly used in the game thread.  I ended up going with one a few frames and about a second later (I love having a camera that takes 8 frames per second).

Hurricane leftwinger Jacob Berglund takes a shot on goal with Thunderbird defenseman Ryan Aasman (behind) in pursuit.  T-Birds goalie Calvin Pickard blocked the shot and the T-Birds won the game 3-2 via a 2-0 shootout win.

Canon 7D, 170mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual


Rightwinger Marcel Noebels battles Lethbridge defenseman Mike Reddington for the puck during a game Oct. 1

Canon 7D, 155mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual


Goalie Calvin Pickard saves a shot by Lethbridge leftwinger Max Ross.

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th,


Now for this next photo, I’m not quite sure why I’m including it.  It’s not the best photo ever, there’s just something about it that draws my eye every time I pass it.  I figure that has to mean something, so I decided to include it in this blog.  Let me know what you guys think of it in the comments section below…

Center Colin Jacobs tries to get past Hurricane defenseman Daniel Johnston.

Canon 7D, 115mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

This next photo was taken just a few frames after the previous one.  Maybe that’s why I included that picture just before, to tell how that possession ended?  Yeah, that’s it… That’s the excuse I’ll use!

Jacobs and Johnston race for the puck after Johnston knocked it away.

Canon 7D, 105mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Now this next one is a pretty cool photo.  It would be even better if Wells was over to the right more and not directly behind the goal, but I still think it’s pretty good.  I like how you can see the puck a few inches away from Anderson.  Someday I’ll get Pickard in a cool photo like that.

Seattle center Charles Wells watches as Lethbridge goalie Brandon Anderson  blocks a shot in the second period of a game Oct. 1.

Canon 7D, 78mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Erica, you said you wanted to see more celebration shots.  Well here’s one for you.  Let’s call it a continuation from the last post…

Leftwinger Chance Lund, Rightwinger Burke Gallimore, center Travis Toomey, and defenseman Brenden Dillon celebrate  Toomey’s goal in the third period of a game Oct. 1 against Lethbridge.

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

I had a decision to make with this next photo.  I had a frame where Lund was in focus by the net and the one below where Bonsor is in focus in the foreground.  I think they’re about equal quality, I just decided to go with the Bonsor pic because the puck is closer to him than it is to Lund.

Seattle defenseman Erik Bonsor attempts a pass to Chance Lund.

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

This next photo isn’t an action shot, but nice nonetheless.  It’s an environmental portrait of sorts of Dave Sutter.  While in the box between the benches, I need to remember to grab a few shots of the Thunderbirds’ bench.  I figure you guys would like to see that and I have a responsibility to show you that area since I have access to it.  So keep reminding me to look over my right shoulder while on the ice, okay?

Defenseman Dave Sutter listens to Coach Rob Sumner before the overtime period.

Canon 7D, 85mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Lastly, who doesn’t love more Calvin Pickard shots?  Here’s Calvin making a save during the shootout in the Lethbridge game.

Goalie Calvin Pickard saves a shootout attempt by Lethbridge’s Cam Braes.

Canon 7D, 120mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Since both Gallimore and Noebels hit their attempts and Pickard blocked both of Lethbridge’s, the Thunderbirds ended up winning the shootout and the game.  So let’s celebrate another T-Birds victory, shall we Calvin?

Pickard celebrates saving a shootout attempt by Lethbridge’s Dylan Tait, the play that clinched a victory and two points for the Thunderbirds.

Canon 7d, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

That’s a resounding yes from Pickard!

That’s it for this post, ladies and gentlemen.  As always, thank you for reading and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
Til next time, go T-Birds!


Game 2: T-Birds Weather the Storm

For the second (home) game of the season, the Thunderbirds played host to the Lethbridge Hurricanes.  It was the only time this year that the ‘Birds and the ‘Canes would face off, and the players seemed intent on being as hitting each other as much as possible because of it.  It was easily the most physical hockey game I’ve seen (although that number is quite low).  Because of that, I’ve decided to focus on the hits for the first half of this post.

The hits started early as shortly into the first period, Lethbridge defenseman Brennan Yadlowski (left, 9) tried to start a shoving match with T-Birds center Travis Toomey (middle, 37).  Despite having his helmet knocked off, Toomey couldn’t retaliate as he was quickly wrapped up by an official.

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

There were, though, a couple fights during the first period.  The first one was between Thunderbirds rightwinger Jacob Doty and Hurricanes center Neil Tarnasky.  Unfortunately the referee was in between me and the two fighters throughout the whole thing and ruined every shot taken during it, but I did manage to get a frame when they were finally separated.

Canon 7D, 195mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

The second one, between T-Birds leftwinger Chance Lund and Hurricanes defenseman Derek Ryckman, came after T Lund put a hard check on ‘Canes right winger Alex Kuvaev.  Ryckman hit Lund in response, and the fight was on.  Thankfully the referees were off to the side throughout the fight so I got plenty of good shots during it.  Here’s my favorite one, where Lund seems to land a good shot on Ryckman’s chin.  Maybe I should start taking boxing photos to improve my fight shots…

Canon 7D, 175mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Hits didn’t come merely in fights, though.  The whole game featured a lot of hard checks by both sides.  Here, Seattle defenseman Dave Sutter forces a Lethbridge player into the glass while pursuing the puck…

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And here Seattle defenseman Dustin Baecker forces Yadlowski into the glass, preventing him from racing after the puck.

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

It wasn’t just Seattle players throwing their weight around, Lethbridge got a few good checks in as well.  Here Hurricanes defenseman Cason Machacek throws Thunderbird center Brendan Rouse to the ice.

Canon 7D, 195mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Despite all the hits, the two teams still managed to threaten the goal a few times.  In the first period the Thunderbirds managed to earn 13 shots on goal while Lethbridge had 9.  Here, Seattle rightwinger Burke Gallimore tries to sneak the puck past Lethbridge defenseman Daniel Johnston and goalie Brandon Anderson.

Canon 7D, 125mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And here Thunderbird center Connor Sanvido takes a shot on Anderson.

Canon 7D, 105mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Late in the first period, Lethbridge leftwinger Jacob worked his was in front of the net and tried to sneak the puck past Seattle goalie Calvin Pickard.  Pickard, though, was ready for it and blocked the shot.

Canon 7D, 175mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

All of these photos are from the first period, where I was standing along the top row of suites for 10 minutes and inside a suite for the other 10.  Overall, 9 photos I’ll use in this post are from the first period when I was along the top, 10 or so are from the third are from the third period when I was between the benches, and just one from the second period when I was shooting through the glass behind the Lethbridge goal.  This points to two things: 1) not much happened in the second period—which is true—and how hard it can be to shoot through the glass since there’s a not-quite clear barrier between the lens and the action.  Mainly, though, it just goes to show me where I have room for improvement.  Once I learn to select positions along the glass at either end of the rink, I’ll get better photos from those positions.  Until then, I hope you enjoy this photo of T-Bird center Luke Lockhart passing to a teammate…

Canon 7D, 78mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Onto the third period!  It seems like just a second ago we were just on period 2, doesn’t it?  Anyways, just over a minute into the period, Toomey found himself on a breakaway with no one between him and the goalie.  He calmly aimed and fired 15 feet or so away from the goal and scored!  Being between the two benches, I had a great view on the play and expected to have a pretty decent shot of it.  I’ll share it with you now…

Canon 7D, 115mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

Amazing! Spectacular! What a photo!

Yeah, this is a typical occurrence in photography: a random object that has no place being in the frame but is and ruins the photo.   I guess I can take comfort in the fact it wouldn’t have been a great photo anyway: the goalie’s leg is cut off, only Toomey’s back is visible, and the puck is hidden behind the stick.  But still, it’s pretty annoying to have to have a random stick block your shot… (What’s that?  I shouldn’t complain because I get to sit between the benches?  You’ve got me there, I’ll stop now.)

I did get something good from that goal, though.  In his celebration Toomey rolled out to the right, giving me a clear line of sight to shoot the reaction.  Here’s one of them…

Canon 7D, 108mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

After Toomey’s goal came a series of pretty good defensive plays (or at least a series of good shots of defensive plays).  Since I can’t think of a better way of introducing them to you, I’ll just post them and you can decide for yourself if they’re good or not.

Canon 7D, 110mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

Canon 7D, 98mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

Canon 7D, 175mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

Being right beside the team bench, I can hear some of what’s said in the bench (a lot of which I can’t repeat on this blog) and have a good view of coach Rob Sumner.   Here’s a photo of Coach Sumner instructing a player during a break in the action.

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Up just 1-0, The Thunderbirds really could have used another score or two to really put the game away.  Apparently rightwinger Marcel Noebels thought that as well, seeing as he buried a shot from distance past the goalie Anderson and into the net.  My photo of the goal isn’t good—you can’t tell what’s going on and it’s very cluttered with players—so instead I’ll show you Noebel’s high-kicking celebration.

Canon 7D, 108mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Now that the Thunderbirds were up 2-0 with six minutes to go, things were looking pretty good.  The Hurricanes, however, didn’t give up and kept pressing the attack, hoping to shoot themselves back into the game.  Finally, they pulled Anderson in favor of having a sixth attacker and the move seemed to pay off as they snuck two past Pickard in the last two and a half minutes.  Here’s a photo of the first goal from Lethbridge by leftwinger Jacob Berglund.

Canon 7D, 185mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

With the score tied 2-2, we were now heading into overtime.  It was a defensive extra period, as there were only three shots on goal in extra time, all three by the Thunderbirds.  None went into the net, however, and a shootout would decide who would escape with two points.

In the shootout, Gallimore shot first for the T-Birds…

Canon 7D, 120mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

I’m not exactly sure what happened with the shot.  From my picture, it looks like it may have deflected off Anderson’s glove and into the goal, but I’m not confident in that guess.  What I do now is that it eventually crossed the blue line between the pipes and gave the T-Birds an early lead in the shootout.

First up for Lethbridge was leftwinger Max Ross.  He did not convert his shot, though, as Pickard followed the puck all the way to his left leg pad and blocked it.

Canon 7D, 140mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Up next for the Thunderbirds was Marcel Noebels.  He also converted his shootout goal, and then Calvin Pickard blocked the attempt from Lethbridge leftwinger Mitch Maxwell.  The T-Birds won the shootout 2-0!

Of course, everyone rushed out to Pickard to celebrate the win with him.

Canon 7D, 108mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Blog note:  The T-Birds are now on a two-week road trip and I won’t be following the team much—if at all—on the road this season.  My question is, what do you want to see on the photoblog for the next two weeks?  Give me any suggestions in the comment section.  Of course, if you want to critique my work, that’s fine too!

Till next time, Go T-Birds!