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Posts tagged “Luke Lockhart

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!

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Game 21: T-Birds Can’t Come Back, get Dropped by Kelowna

For the second game in a row, the Thunderbirds scored in the third period come within one goal of tying the game.  They couldn’t possibly pull off another amazing comeback again, could they?  Unfortunately not, seeing as Kelowna put two pucks in the back of Seattle’s empty net to ice (feel free to groan over that one) the game, which ended 6-3.

“But Kyle,” you must be thinking, “why are you starting with the third period.  There were two whole periods before the third; you should start at the beginning.”

Well fine then.  Let’s start at the beginning…

Ok, more like a few minutes into the first period…

Center Travis Toomey (left) checks Kelowna defenseman Damon Severson into the boards behind the Rockets’ goal.

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

Shortly after that check, Toomey found himself in a position to test out Kelowna goalie Adam Brown.  He never got that opportunity to, however, as Severson knocked the puck away from Toomey just before the shot went off.

Toomey (left) has a shot blocked by Kelowna’s Damon Severson in the first period.

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

Colin Jacobs seemed to be passing in front of my lens all night last Friday against Kelowna (although I didn’t end up using too many of those photos).  He had a nice night, scoring two goals and getting another point by assisting with Lockhart’s score.  Let’s start out the many photos of Colin with this simple frame of him racing down the ice.

Center Colin Jacobs (right) heads down the ice with Kelowna right wing Mitchell Callahan in pursuit.

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

Speaking of Lockhart’s goal, let’s check out the shot that produced the rebound Lockhart fired into the back of the net, shall we?

Center Luke Lockhart takes a shot on the Kelowna goal.  Lockhart would fire the rebound that came off Rockets’ goalie Adam Brown into the net for the first goal of the game.

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

As you may remember from a couple of earlier posts, I’m still not used to players (goalies not included) being able to stop the puck with their hands.   That said, I’m always looking to make a cool photo of that as it’s a good opportunity to capture a clear shot of a player’s face since he’ll be looking up while grabbing the puck.  Another opportunity to get this photo came against Kelowna when Rocket defenseman Colton Jobke leapt into the air to catch a puck.  I just this photo was in better focus.  And not so noisy (no, not the noise you can hear… noise in a photograph is the grain or speckles that are created into a photograph due to high ISOs and other factors)…

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

The first period wasn’t spent all on offense by the T-Birds; they had to play a good deal of defense, too.  Here, Erik Bonsor knocks a puck away from an attacking Kelowna player.

Defenseman Erik Bonsor (left) knocks the puck away from Kelowna right wing Jessey Astles during the first period.

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

Defenseman Brenden Dillon (right) clears a loose puck from in front of an open Seattle net  before Kelowna right wing Shane McColgan can knock it in for a goal.

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

Since all of the suites were sold out that night, I shot the first period from the top row of the stands near the blue line in front of the visitors’ bench.  This ensured I could see the whole ice and not have to shoot from behind a net, but I did have to shoot over fans, something that isn’t very easy for me since I am by no means considered tall.  Every once in a while I’d have a shot blocked by fans coming down the stairs, something you just have to deal with.  A couple of them also left their seats a minute or so before the first period ended— presumably so they wouldn’t have to wait in line for concessions or the restroom—but happened to miss Jacobs’ first goal of the night, which came with just eighteen seconds left in the period.  Unfortunately I had my shot of the actual goal blocked, but people walking up the stairs did provide a nice foreground frame of Jacobs’ celebration…

Jacobs celebrates his first goal of the night, which came with just eighteen seconds left in the period.

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

For the second period, I started out behind the Kelowna goal hoping to get some good shots of the T-Birds coming towards me on offense.  There were three of them I liked, so I’ll share them with you now…

Bonsor fires the puck towards the net and past Kelowna defenseman Zak Stebner during a power play in the second period.

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

Center Justin Hickman (right) battles for possession of the puck with Kelowna defenseman Mitchell Chapman in the corner beside the Kelowna goal.

Canon 7D, 63mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Right wing Burke Gallimore (right) holds back Kelowna defenseman Damon Severson while bringing the puck down the ice towards the Kelowna net.

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

Later on in the period, the Rockets were awarded a power play and I decided to venture down to the handicapped seating below section 116 for a better angle on the action.  I was rewarded for that move as I got this photo of Calvin Pickard blocking the net from a Kelowna attacker.

Goalie Calvin Pickard (right) prepares to block Kelowna defenseman Zak Stebner’s shot on goal.

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

For the third period, I returned to the box between the benches after a few games away from it since I was giving a job shadow to a few high school students.  Even though I loved showing those guys (and gals) the basics of shooting sports, it was nice to return to the box for the third period.  Unfortunately I didn’t get many great photos from there, but there were a few that I don’t mind sharing with you… like this one of Colin, who has a very good view of the puck…

Jacobs watches as the puck drops to the ice after it was cleared from Kelowna end of the ice early in the third period.

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

Bonsor stretches out in an effort to knock the puck away from Kelowna left wing Evan Bloodoff in the third period.

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

Pickard gets a drink of water during a break in the action.  On the night, Pickard faced 36 shots on target, stopping 32 of them.

Canon 7D, 125mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/640th, Manual

And as our last photo, let’s show Lockart claiming possession of the puck during a faceoff, shall we?

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

Sorry for the short post and relative lack of photos this time around.  It seems that I didn’t have a very good game last Friday.  Hopefully that’ll turn around tonight as the T-Birds take on the Portland Winterhawks.  If you’re coming to the game, don’t forget your teddy bears to throw onto the ice after the T-Bird’s first goal!  It’s Teddy Bear Toss night!

‘Til tonight, go T-Birds!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and…

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

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

and even…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Til next time, go T-Birds!

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Game 18: T-Birds Fly Past Silvertips

Last Friday night (Jan. 14), the Thunderbirds hosted Everett for just the second time this season (a fact that surprises me, especially considering we’ve played Tri-City three times before January).  That game, broadcast to the entire region by FSN Northwest, was another well-played home game, giving the Thunderbirds two straight 3-1 wins.  The building was electric for Everett and the tv cameras and everything, so I was amped up before the game started.  I was asked to get photos of the combined choir that sang the national anthem last night, so I spent the player introductions and pregame out on the ice, where I found this cool shot…

Center Luke Lockhart (middle) is bathed in a spotlight while being introduced to the crowd.

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/500th, Manual

Onto the game!  You will notice I don’t have any photos from above this time.  This is because as I was heading to my spot to shoot for the first period, my 70-200 lens (my primary one and the one that allows me to zoom in on the ice from the suite level) learned about gravity the hard way and decided to tumble to the concrete floor of the top level.  It had “a major impact”, as the guys at the camera repair shop would later say, and wouldn’t focus on anything.  I’d have to shoot the entire game with a 50mm prime lens (that means it doesn’t zoom in or out; its focal length is fixed at 50mm), a real challenge for me since I depend heavily on the added distance the 70-200 gives.  Enough with the technical talk, though, you’re not here for that.  Let’s move onto game talk and game photos…

One of the things I was looking for Friday night was photos of the two players the Thunderbirds recently traded for, defensemen Mitch Spooner and Ryan Button.  Since this was their first home game as Thunderbirds, I wanted to build up a couple of stock images for them.  Luckily Spooner was involved with the defense early on in the first period…

Newly-arrived defenseman Mitch Spooner fires the puck out of the T-Birds defensive corner and towards center ice.

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

Spooner tries to shove Everett left wing Ryan Harrison off balance and away from the puck.

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

This next shot isn’t normally a photo I’d take or publish in this blog—I much prefer to put action that shows the puck or a nice moment that most fans generally can’t see—but it is a decent-looking portrait of Colin Jacobs.  Chalk this one up to using that 50…

Center Colin Jacobs (right) and Everett left wing Tyler Maxwell chase after a cleared puck.

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

And here are the same two players fighting over possession.  Funny how that turned out…

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

For the first period, the shots on goal for each team were about even as Seattle had 15 and the Silvertips had 13.  Here, the Seattle defense clears out one of those shots…

Lockhart (left) clears a loose puck after an Everett shot in the first period.

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

The biggest difference is that Seattle got two past Everett goalie Kent Simpson while Seattle netminder Calvin Pickard stopped all 13 shots taken on him.

Goalie Calvin Pickard puts a glove between the net and the puck after an Everett shot.

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

That does it for the first period, but before moving onto the second period, let’s focus on the first intermission.  We had a special intermission show: a proposal!  After the lucky lady scored a goal, the goalie popped off his mask, got on one knee (or is it one pad here), and popped the question…

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/5.6, 1/500th, Manual

And it’s a yes!  Congratulations you two, I hope you have a great life together.  Judging from the looks on your faces in the next photo, it’ll be a happy lifetime at that!

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/5.6, 1/500th, Manual

Ok, now we can move onto the second period.  I was again near the side of the north goal for that period.  This time, however, it was the Thunderbirds shooting at this goal.  Take, for example, this photo…

Newly-arrived defenseman Ryan Button takes a shot on goal during a power play in the second period.

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

The Thunderbirds again put 15 shots on the Everett goal.  Silvertip goalie Kent Simpson blocked 14 of them, including this particular shot.

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

There was one that went in, however.  Center Justin Hickman earned his first WHL point by assisting left wing Chance Lund with his goal about halfway through the period.  The two raised their hands in celebration of the goal.

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

Fans celebrated in a similar fashion, including this particular fellow named Erik…

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

Center Connor Sanvido also had a good chance at his first of the season when he faced a loose puck in front of the Everett goal.  Everett defenseman Ryan Murray, however, got his stick in front of Sanvido’s and eliminated the opportunity for a shot.

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

That didn’t stop Sanvido, though, as he continued to jostle with Murray until the puck slid past the goal.

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

As I mentioned earlier, the game was broadcast live on Fox Sports Northwest.  I got this gem during the second intermission of play-by-play voice Ian Furness and T-Birds Assistant General Manager Colin Campbell.

Ian Furness (left) interviews T-Birds Assistant General Manager Colin Campbell. 

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

Now for the third period!  I split time between the handicap seating area near section 112 and Calvin’s Corner (which was unused).  I don’t really like the photos I got from the handicap section, so here’s another photo from in front of the north goal.  This was a particularly hard-fought faceoff…

Players pile on top of each other during a faceoff in the middle of the third period.

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

Late in the game, Everett pulled Simpson in an attempt to catch up to the T-Birds.  The Silvertips pulled an all-out attack, but the Seattle defense pulled out all the stops to keep the score at 3-1.

Defenseman Erik Bonsor hits the ice in an effort to block the path to the Seattle goal.

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

The Silvertips didn’t get a single goal, yet needed two to force overtime.  You know what that means: SEATTLE WINS!

The Thunderbirds rush onto the ice to celebrate the win over Everett with goalie Calvin Pickard.

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

That’s it for this blog post, T-Birds fans.  Tune in a bit later in the week for photos from Sunday’s game against Vancouver and to see if I managed to survive without my broken lens.

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!


Best of Part One: The Top Photos So Far…

It seems like just yesterday since we were back here on Bird Watching, now doesn’t it?  Anyways, I promised you a post containing my best (and favorite) photos from the season so far, so let’s get going!

17) For the first shot of the day (and seventeenth best shot so far) we’ll go all the way back to October 26 for a game against Tri-City and a shot of center Colin Jacobs on the bench during a shootout.  I think this shot is typical of many photos of Jacobs I’ve taken; in most of them there’s either a big smile or intense expression on Jacobs’ face.  That really adds to the emotion of the photograph and helps our understanding of what’s going on in it.

Center Colin Jacobs is all smiles after left wing Marcel Noebels (background) converts his shootout attempt against the Americans.  Despite the successful conversion, the T-Birds fell in the shootout, 2-1.

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

16) Let’s stay in that same game against the Americans for shot number 16.  In the first 33 games of the season, the T-Birds had three of their four home games against Tri-City, and each one was a hard-hitting matchup worthy of the rivalry.  There were many notable hits between the two teams, and one of the better photos I’ve got of them happens to be this one, where two Thunderbirds combine to make an American sandwich…

Right wing Jacob Doty (left) and center Connor Sanvido (right) sandwich Tri-City defenseman left wing Marcus Messier in the first period of an Oct. 26 game against Tri-City.

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

15) With number 15, I decided to go with a shot from the KING 5 taping that occurred October 12 at ShoWare Center.  KING 5 sent reporter Christie Johnson down to learn more about hockey and the Thunderbirds.  The clips that were filmed went out live during the morning news broadcast, and the four players there (Luke Lockhart, Brenden Dillon, Burke Gallimore, and Michael Salmon) had to arrive early in order to meet with the KING 5 crew.  I snapped this gem during a break in shooting…

Center Luke Lockhart (right) and right wing Burke Gallimore (top) rest on the ice during a break between takes.

Canon 7D, 50MM, 1600 ISO, f/3.5, 1/800th, Manual

It’s not the best technical photo from the shoot, but I do find it quite humorous and there’s something charming about it so I decided to use it over the other photos from the tv shoot.

14)  After each win, the team would always skate out to the goalie (normally Calvin Pickard, but Michael Salmon has taken over between the pipes on occasion) and celebrate the win.  They did this a bit over the first half, as the T-Birds have accumulated 15 wins so far this year.  Normally these shots aren’t that exciting as everyone is facing inwards, but I got lucky with this one when Jacob Doty looked backwards (with his helmet off! What luck!) during the celebration.

Jacob Doty joins the rest of the Thunderbirds in celebration of their Nov. 19 victory over the Spokane Chiefs.

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

13)  I’m always looking for new angles to shoot from.  Seeing something from a different vantage point can make the most typical of things seem new or exciting.  I was allowed to shoot the Red Deer game on Nov. 2 from the catwalks above the ice.  I was up there for the pregame events, including the introduction of the Thunderbirds starters.

The Thunderbirds starters are introduced before the Nov. 2 game against Red Deer.

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/320th, Manual

12)  What would a look back on the Thunderbirds’ season be without talking about Calvin Pickard?  He’s been the T-Birds’ brick wall in goal for most of the season, saving an astounding 1169 shots so far.  His save percentage of .927 is good for second in the WHL, just a thousandth behind Darcy Kuemper of Red Deer.  Needless to say, Pickard’s been a major part of the team, and I had to include a photo of him in this countdown.  Here’s one of his 1169 saves, this one against Red Deer.

Goalie Calvin Pickard makes a stick save on a shot from the Red Deer Rebels on Nov. 2.

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

11)  As I’ve said before, I didn’t follow hockey before I started shooting for the Thunderbirds.  All I really knew about the game was that it was really fast and players were allowed to fight (with a five minute penalty, though).  Being one of the bigger teams in the league, the T-Birds have really thrown their weight around for the first part of the season, making sure to hit the opposing team and even fighting them if need be.   One of the bigger fighters on the team is Jacob Doty, who is frequently making sure the opposing team leaves the game black and blue.

Jacob Doty lands a punch on Prince George center Greg Fraser during a game Oct. 29.

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

10)  Once December rolled around, it was time to plan for the T-Bird’s Christmas Card.  It was up to me to shoot the photo that would be on the card, something I’ve never done before.  After scouting out the location and perfecting my exposure for the surroundings, the players arrived and we got down to business.  I’ll tell you right now this photo isn’t the best team photo ever taken, but I’m quite proud of it and the way it looked on the card, so I decided to put it on this list.

Happy Holidays from the Seattle Thunderbirds!

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1000 ISO, f/10, 1/25th, Manual

9)  I’m always looking for non-action photos to shoot.   Not only does it give me something to focus on while the game’s not being played, but it showcases particular events that might not have been seen by everyone.  One of my favorite detail shots from the half-year is this photo taken during a particularly chippy game against Medicine Hat.

Jacob Doty leans over and tries to intimidate the Medicine Hat player across from him before a faceoff at center ice during a Nov. 30 game.

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

8)  It’s not common to see a goalie get checked hard on a play, but it does happen on occasion.  When it does, it can make a cool photo to see the two players all sprawled out.  That happened in the Medicine Hat game; an action I thought was sure to lead to an all-out brawl between the teams.  It didn’t but it did lead to a cool photo…

Calvin Pickard is run into by Medicine Hat center Wacey Hamilton during a Nov. 30 game.

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

7)  One thing I have noticed through the first 33 games is that the Thunderbirds fans are pretty good at making noise.  When I went over to Kennewick for the Tri-City away game on Dec. 10, I was surprised at how quiet those fans were during part of the game.   To commemorate them, I’m always looking for photos of T-Birds fans to put in the blog.  Normally I have a requirement that they need to be in T-Birds gear, but I waived that Dec. 14 when the group in Calvin’s Corner kept yelling at Spokane goalie James Reid whenever he ventured to that side of the ice.

Fans in Calvin’s Corner try to get Spokane goalie James Reid to lose focus during a Dec. 14 game.

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

6)  This fan, however, showed his T-Birds colors well during the Medicine Hat game.  The more I look at this photo, the more I like it.  Not only is it taken at a cool angle (from the catwalks), but the look on his face—particularly that smirk—adds some nice emotion to it.  He looks proud to display that Thunderbirds scarf, and in turn I’m proud to call this photo one of the six best shots I took during the first half.

A fan displays a Thunderbirds scarf during a timeout in a Nov. 30 game against Medicine Hat.

Canon 7D, 150mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/400th, Manual

5)  Here’s my favorite photo of Calvin Pickard I’ve taken so far.  This might be ranked higher on this list—and would definitely be the best shot of a Calvin Pickard save—if this was in fact a save; this is actually a shot of a Tri-City goal.  I took this early enough in the play, however, for it to look like a decent photo Pickard doing well.  No matter what the result of the play, however, it’s a nice looking photo and nice enough to be number five.

Tri-City center Mason Wilgosh sneaks a shot past goalie Calvin Pickard during an Oct. 26 game.

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

4)  You may have noticed that so far all of the action photos on the list were either taken from above (the photos with a background that consists of ice) or from the box in between the benches (where the background is the goal or the boards around the rink).  Well, coming in at number four is my first action shot taken from behind the glass at one end of the rink (#7—the photo of the group in Calvin’s Corner—was taken from the side, but I don’t consider that an action photo).  It was taken fairly recently, at the game where I finally realized how to shoot from behind the glass ((Home) Game 12: Thunderbirds Unlucky Against Americans).  You’ll also notice that three of the top four photos were taken in December, further suggestion I’ve finally realized how to shoot hockey.  It took long enough, now didn’t it… 😛 Anyway, here’s number four!

Left wing Marcel Noebels evades an attempt to dislodge the puck by from Tri-City center Brooks Macek during a Dec. 11 game.

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

3)  When I saw number three happen I immediately became excited.  I immediately knew I had this really cool play when it happened; once the puck was cleared from the Seattle end and there wasn’t a danger of missing a play, I chimped the photo (photographer jargon for looking at the LCD screen) to see if I really had got it.  A wide smile crept along my face once I had; I think that was the most excited I’ve ever been over a photograph.  It really is a cool photograph, and important, too.  Check out this goal-saving grab Dave Sutter made on the puck.

Defenseman Dave Sutter saves a goal by grabbing the puck out of the air just before it crosses the red line during a game against Medicine Hat Nov. 30.

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

2)  I remember telling you I had a portfolio-worthy shot during the blog post I first shared number two with you.   It is also one of the few head-on offensive shots I’ve taken this year since I haven’t found much success shooting through glass yes.  I’m really happy with the way this shot turned out, although I do wish the shot featured in the photo was just as successful. 

Left wing Chance Lund takes a shot on the Tri-City goal during a Dec. 11 game.

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

1)  And now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for and the best shot I’ve taken so far this year…  As I said before, three of the top four photos were taken in December, and we can expand that out to a whopping eight of the top ten.  That means throughout the year I’ve really improved my hockey shooting, so it’s only natural to guess my top photo is from December, right?   Well it’s not from December.  Or November.  Or even October for that matter.  That’s right, the single best photo I’ve taken came from the one home game in September and the first regular season hockey game I’ve ever shot.  Crazy, right?  I’ll let you see the photo before I talk about why I picked this as number one…

Colin Jacobs celebrates a goal in front of the Portland bench during the home opener against the Winterhawks Sept. 25.

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

This photo shows just about everything you need to know about that opening night game: that the Thunderbirds were fired up and playing well enough to celebrate (visible in Jacobs’ face) and it shows some dejection in the Winterhawks’ player behind Jacobs.  Furthermore, the spotlight on Jacobs makes him jump out at the viewer and the stick and shoulder in the foreground give a nice frame to Jacobs to really draw your eye to him.  That is why I’m calling this the best photo I’ve taken this season, and a photo I’m proudly displaying in my portfolio.

Well there you have it: the top 17 photos of the Thunderbirds’ season so far!  What plays will there be for me to capture during the second half?  Find out tonight when the Thunderbirds take on the Spokane Chiefs at 7:05 at the ShoWare Center!  I’ll be there, will you?

Do you agree with my selections? Did I miss something that deserves to be in this post?  Let me know in the comments section below while you wait for 7:05 to come!

‘Til tonight, go T-Birds!


(Home) Game 12: Thunderbirds Unlucky Against Americans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Noebels controls the puck in the Tri-City half.

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

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

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

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

Til’ next time, go T-Birds!

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Game 11: Thunderbirds Topped by Medicine Hat

After a wonderful sports weekend for me—the T-Birds got four points, the Seahawks won handily, and the Huskies made their first bowl game in eight years with a big win in the Apple Cup—it’s time to get back to work on the photoblog.  For this entry we’ll look back at the game against the Medicine Hat Tigers.

I thought the T-Birds played pretty well during that game: they got off 30 shots  (the most they’d had in a handful of games), they held one of the higher scoring teams in the league to three goals, and they got back to a more physical game than we’ve seen since the Eastern road trip.  Combined with me shooting from the rafters for two periods, those all came to produce an enjoyable game, not only for me but for the fans as well (although I’m not sure you guys really cared that I was shooting from the rafters).  So let’s take a look at some photos from it, shall we?

We’ll start off with a photo of a save, something we’ve seen a lot this year.  This save, however, is a bit different: this one was made by defenseman Dave Sutter rather than goalie Calvin Pickard…

Sutter blocks a shot by Medicine Hat in the opening minutes of Tuesday, Nov. 30’s game.

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

As I mentioned before, the T-Birds played pretty physically, making sure to hit the Tigers often.  The hard checks started early, in fact,  as center Tyler Alos knocks Medicine Hat defenseman Scott McKay to the ice shortly after the Sutter block pictured above…

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

And here’s one of the typical saves we see: one by Calvin Pickard.  Here he’s making a stick save of a shot from Medicine Hat right wing Cole Grbavac.

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

Now as you all know this is my first year following and learning about hockey.  I like to think I’m picking it up well—I’m no longer thinking of it as a faster version of soccer, for one—but there’s still things I find odd and that throw me about the game: how players can use their hands to stop or even catch the puck.  For some reason I think it’s odd to see the puck flying though the air past the red line and all of a sudden be caught by someone or to see a player bend down and stop a puck sailing along the board with his hands.  Why am I talking about this you ask?  Well for one thing it’s about 2 am as I’m writing this and my thoughts aren’t as lucid as normal at this time, but the main reason is I have a photo of defenseman Scott Ramsay stopping a puck along the boards with his hand which I will show you now…

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

And to go even weirder on you guys, here’s a photo of a couple of fans with food I took from above.  I must have been really hungry when I took this photo.  To be fair, though, that burger looks mighty tasty…

Canon 7D, 140mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/200th, Manual

For the first ten minutes or so, I was on the catwalks just off the ice on the south end of the building, meaning I was just above and to the right of the Medicine Hat goal.  That meant any play that happened along the right side of the goal I had a nice view of.  That includes this chance right wing Jacob Doty had on goal.  Note: the random black lines are from the net behind the goal and above the boards.  Yes it played havoc on my focus, but I did luck out with some things focused properly…

Doty has the puck knocked away from him by Medicine Hat left wing Kale Kessy near the Tigers’ goal in the first period.

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

Halfway through the period, I moved down to my vantage point above the Seattle goal in hopes of some cool saves from Calvin.  He didn’t make me wait long as he made this gem shortly after I got down there.

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

When the puck was up the ice and down by the Medicine Hat goal, I’d take a step and a half behind me and shoot from about above the hashmarks.  This gave me a nice view of center ice to about the far crease and allowed me to get this shot of center Luke Lockhart trying to disrupt Medicine Hat defenseman Matthew Konan’s pass.

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

It seems like since the Eastern swing, the refs had been focusing on stopping fights before they happened.  I don’t remember seeing any fights in the last three weeks; confrontations were broken up before they could escalate.  Last Tuesday, however, we had a very large scuffle (not a full-blown fight, however) by the Seattle net.   Luckily I was in position to capture it…

Center Justin Hickman (top middle) shoves Medicine Hat’s Kessy  (middle right) while Ramsay lands a punch on Kessy’s chin.   Sutter and Medicine Hat left wing Dylan Bredo are also involved in the fracas.  Both Ramsay and Kessy received two minute penalties for their involvement in the situation.

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

After the refs got everything straightened out, play resumed.  Soon after, the Tigers controlled the puck at the Seattle end.  In fact, Medicine Hat nearly earned a shot on goal here, but center Travis Toomey knocked the puck away before Pickard had a chance.

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

Just after that shot, the Tigers managed to get the puck in behind Calvin but still in front of the goal.  Sensing an oncoming Medicine Hat player, Sutter made a goal-saving grab for the puck and caught it.  I caught the play on film, about which I was very excited about.  Check out the play for yourself…

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

That awesome photo of Sutter grabbing the puck (I think that might be my best photo this year; it’s easily in the top three at least) ends photos from the first period.  A lot happened in it, seeing as half the photos from this game are from the opening period (by the way the score’s 1-0 Medicine Hat.  In all the excitement my photos I forgot to mention the goal.  Oops.).   So on to the second  period!

I spent all of that period along the catwalk that runs above the team benches. That’s where I got this shot of Gallimore trying to force the puck past Medicine Hat goalie Tyler Bunz.  Bunz wasn’t having it, however, and blocked the puck’s passage of the red line.

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

You can classify this next photo as nothing else but good luck and taken at the right time.   It shows right wing Marcel Noebels (top), center Luke Lockhart (bottom) and Medicine Hat defenseman Thomas Carr (middle) all going after the puck.  Their sticks somehow align themselves, however, into a triangle and the puck is nearly dead-center in that triangle.  Who knew geometry was used in hockey?

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

From the catwalk over the benches, I had a nice view of fans in the middle and tops of each section.  It just so happened that one of the fans below started showing off a Thunderbirds scarf during a timeout in the second period.  Too bad we can’t see all of his face, but it’s still a pretty cool shot…

Canon 7D, 150mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/400th, Manual

Let’s just skip ahead to the third period now… The Medicine Hat Tigers scored three minutes in to make the score 2-0.  Before the faceoff at center ice to open play again, right wing Jacob Doty made sure to talk smack to the Medicine Hat player next to him.

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

Doty later continued his duties as a bruiser by checking Kessy into the boards.

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

Later on in the third period, Noebels found himself on a breakaway to the goal with only the goaltender in front of him.  Medicine Hat defenseman Sebastion Owuya tried to get back to Noebels and the puck, but ended up falling to the ice and sliding into Noebels, knocking him down.

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

Noebels buried the penalty shot that resulted from that play, cutting the lead to 3-1.  There was still plenty of hockey left to be played, though.

Before the faceoff that resulted from Noebels’ penalty shot, Doty was again jawing at a Medicine Hat player, this time being Cole Grbavac.

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

With all the hard checks and the smack talk from both sides (I’ve only shown Doty, but players from both sides were doing it), I was expecting a fight to finally break out.  After  Medicine Hat center Wacey Hamilton ran into Calvin Pickard and was called for interference, I was sure there’d be a last-minute fight.

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

One never materialized, however.   What did happen is the T-Birds pulled Pickard with a few minutes left in an attempt to score a couple goals and equalize the game.

Center Colin Jacobs (left) fires a slapshot towards the goal in hopes that Noebels can tip it into the net.

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

Unfortunately the T-Birds didn’t get anything else past Bunz and the game ended 3-1.  It was an entertaining game, though, and one I had a lot of fun shooting.  And, as you all know, they went on to win their next two games.  So that was nice…

As always, let me know what you liked, didn’t like, etc., in the comments section below.  Or you can debate the merits of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo.  Your choice.

Til next time, Go T-Birds!

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Game 10: T-Birds Cooled off by Kootenay Ice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Game 8: T-Birds Tipped by Everett

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Passed the puck fairly well…

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

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

Checked the Silvertips often…

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

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

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

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

Hustled to un-controlled pucks…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Til next time, go T-Birds!

 

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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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