The Official Photoblog of the Seattle Thunderbirds

Posts tagged “Marcel Noebels

T-Birds Outlast Everett in Shootout

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Brian Liesse, Washington Prep Sports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Honey carries the puck over the center line.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pickard stops a shot from Everett left winger Joshua Linquist.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Road Trippin’ with the Thunderbirds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Til next time, Go T-Birds!

Kyle


T-Birds fall to Giants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Mid-week T-Birds Photo Break

T-Birds fans, it’s Kyle back with you now.  I’d like to thank Brian for taking over for the Brandon game and sharing his wonderful photos with us.  It’s always nice to get a different perspective on the games every once in a while, and that’s what he’ll be providing this blog.

As for tonight, I wish I had a full 20+ image post in store, but alas grad school rears its’ ugly head and I’m afraid I’ll I have time for tonight is 12.  Hopefully that will be enough to whet your guys’ appetites, but I also do have to save some photos for the upcoming Eastern road swing. Let’s check some shots out from last Sunday’s home game against Everett (I promise I’ll have a more-extensive post or series of posts on the Everett home-and-home weekend later)…

Center Luke Lockhart fires the puck past Everett left winger Jordan Boyd.

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

 Center Tyler Alos takes a shot, but it is turned away by Everett goalie Kent Simpson.

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

Goalie Calvin Pickard (middle) deflects an Everett shot on goal wide for defenseman Braedon Laroque (right) to collect.

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

Right winger Branden Troock tries to steal a puck back from Everett defenseman Austin Adam.

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

Center Connor Sanvido can only watch as his shot on goal gets blocked by Everett’s Simpson.

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

Center Tyler Alos reaches to knock the puck away from Everett center Ryan Harrison.
Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1250
Defenseman Jared Hauf races after the puck.
Canon 7D, 1600 ISO, 98mm, f/2.8, 1/1250
Alos and center Justin Hickman (left) are involved in a scrum for the puck along the boards.

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

Troock (center) and left winger Burke Gallimore (left) skate up the ice to threaten the Everett goal in the third period.

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

Right winger Marcel Noebels fires a shot onto the Everett goal late in the third period.

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

 Center Brendan Rouse (center) and Everett right winger Cody Fowlie (left) jostle for possession of the puck.

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

And, for the last photo in this quick post, I’ll show you a shot I’ve been wanting to get for over a year now. It’s about time I actually get a photo of someone catching the puck…

Alos grabs a puck from mid-air late in the third period.

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

Alright, unfortunately that’s it for this blog post.  I promise I’ll go more in depth in my next one.  Also, I have photos from last Friday’s victory at Everett (I made the short jaunt up I-5 for that one) up in the next few weeks as well.

Til next time, go T-Birds!


Wheat Kings Rule T-Birds in Cotton Debut

Hello all,

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

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

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

Nikon D5000 50mm f/2 1/125th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian

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


T-Birds Dice Up Saskatoon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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2011/2012 Season Opener: New Beginnings and Familiar Faces

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

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

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

and a couple of inflatable bouncy-toys.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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


Last Weekend of Games Leaves T-Birds Short of Playoffs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which Jacobs promptly buried into the net! Tie game!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now for the Tri-City game on Sunday…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

While Brenden Dillon won Defenseman of the Year.

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

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

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

And Calvin Pickard and Brenden Dillon shared the MVP honors.

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

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

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

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

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

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

As always, go T-Birds!

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Game 33: T-Birds Fly Past Bruins with More Overtime Magic from Gallimore

Alright, I’m slowly getting bogged down in games I haven’t posted photos from (I still have some to show you from the Everett game March 5), so bear with me while I play catch-up (which I’ll be doing for a bit after the season ends) on this blog.  Meanwhile, let’s celebrate a great 5-0 win over Kelowna with some photos from another great win: last Friday’s 3-2 overtime win over Chilliwack.

For a few weeks now, the Thunderbirds have huddled around Calvin’s goal just after coming onto the ice for the first period.  I’ve tried to get a good shot of them every game, but since the lights are out I haven’t had much luck; any photo is either to dark or has motion blur since I took it with a very slow shutter speed (which doesn’t freeze action well and creates motion blur).  Last Friday, however,  I got lucky when a spotlight moved across the huddle at the same time I released my shutter…

The Seattle Thunderbirds huddle up before their game against the Chilliwack Bruins on Friday, March 11, 2011.

Canon 7D, 110mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/30th, Manual

Left wing Marcel Noebels and Chilliwack defenseman Jeff Einhorn watch the puck fall to the ice early in the first period.

Canon 7D, 180mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Defenseman Austin Frank knocks down Chilliwack center Kevin Sundher in order to regain possession of the puck.

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

Throughout the course of the game, the Thunderbirds put an incredible 58 pucks on Chilliwack goalie Lucas Gore, and Gore stopped all but three of them.   Here he’s making a glove save on one of the 22 shots he faced in the first period, and to steal a baseball term sno-coning the puck with the glove (that means I timed my shutter right!)

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

Gore couldn’t keep that last save in his glove, however, and it fell loose in front of the net.  The puck eventually found its’ way to T-Birds’ center Tyler Alos, who saw a clear lane to the goal…

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

And fired the puck into the back of the net while skating past Chilliwack’s Gore.

Canon 7D, 190mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Center Brendan Rouse tries to separate Chilliwack right wing Robin Soudek from the puck in the T-Birds’ defensive end.

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

Chilliwack goalie Lucas Gore and defenseman Tyler Stahl can only watch as a Seattle shot crosses dangerously in front of the Chilliwack goal in the first period.

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

Recently one of the T-Birds’ communications interns commented how I haven’t submitted a photo of a hit for the press release at all this year.  I told him I never have too many good photos of hits, and ironically enough I got a few pretty good ones during the Chilliwack game, including these next two shots…

Center Chance Lund is pushed out of position to reach the puck by Chilliwack defenseman Mitch Topping.

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


Defenseman Erik Bonsor knocks Chilliwack’s Sundher to the ice in an attempt to take the puck away from the Bruins.

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

And to close out the photos from the first period, let’s see one of the few Chilliwack scoring chances in the first…

Goalie Calvin Pickard (left) prepares to stop a shot from Chilliwack right wing Robin Soudek.

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

At the first intermission, the score was 2-1 Thunderbirds.  Colin Jacobs added another goal for the T-Birds with two and a half minutes left while Chilliwack opened the scoring with a power-play goal from Soudek halfway through the period.   For period two, let’s move down to just behind the Chilliwack net…

Center Connor Sanvido follows a loose puck towards the Chilliack goal in the second period.

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

Right Wing Burke Gallimore reaches to knock the puck away from Chilliwack’s Stahl, but doesn’t quite have the reach.

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

Center Luke Lockhart tries to find the loose puck and sweep it into the Chilliwack goal in the second period of play.

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

Unfortunately most of the rest of my second period photos had bad puck marks in them since the clean spot I found on the glass was ruined after a pile-up in front of me about halfway through the period.  So that does it for the second period, where Chilliwack evened the score at two all.  Onto the third period, where I took my typical spot amongst the players between the benches. ..

Travis Toomey seemed to be involved in most of the offensive action early in the third period.  I say that because the first four photos of the third period involve him, and they cover three different plays as well…

Center Travis Toomey tries to get through defenseman Brandon Manning and get into a good position in front of the Chilliwack net early in the first period.

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

Toomey sees a shot of his go slightly to the right of Chilliwack goalie Lucas Gore.

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

Toomey looks for a loose puck in front of the Chilliwack net after a T-Birds’ shot on goal was blocked.

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


Toomey and Chilliwack right wing Dylan McKinlay battle for a loose puck in front of the Chilliwack goal.

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

Enough of Toomey for now, let’s check back in on Calvin, who’s now deflecting a shot from Chilliwack left wing Roman Horak.

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

Left wing Mitch Elliot brings the puck up-ice along the boards with Chilliwack’s Persley hot in pursuit.

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

Luke Lockhart tries to stop a loose puck from leaving the Thunderbirds’ zone but is knocked down by Chilliwack right wing Dylen McKinlay.

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

In the last part of the third period, Pickard came up big with a couple of nice saves.  While Chilliwack still only got nine shots on goal in the period, the T-Birds found themselves playing in their defensive zone more than during the rest of the game.

Pickard uses his stick to block the net while watching a centering pass from Chilliwack slide on by in the third period.

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

Defenseman Travis Bobbee tries to poke check the puck away from Chilliwack’s Sundher.

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

Pickard scrambles back to cover the net while defenseman Brenden Dillon takes control of a puck heading for the Seattle goal late in the third period.

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

Now for overtime!  Since neither team scored in the third, we headed into the extra five minutes still tied at two.   Toomey tried to end the game early in the overtime period, however, when he tried to send a shot up over Gore’s leg pads, but the puck just didn’t get high enough.

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

A minute and a half into the overtime period, Gallimore again found himself in space to the right of the Chilliwack net.  Like the last game against the Silvertips, Gallimore wound up and fired a slapshot towards the goal, and like the last game the puck hit the back of the net.   Unfortunately I couldn’t swing my camera over to him in time to get the shot, but I did get the celebration of his second straight game-winning goal in overtime…

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

That shot earned Gallimore a hug from Toomey…

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

Also after the game, Pickard went over to Chillwack goalie Lucas Gore and congratulated him on his 55 save performance that earned him the first star of the game.   I thought that was pretty classy of Pickard, so let’s see a photo of it…

Canon 7D, 175mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

And that’s it for this post!  With just three games left in the season, the T-Birds are still in the playoff race.  They need points from each game—including two wins—and a little help from either Everett or Prince George to make it in, but with the way Seattle has been playing recently, I wouldn’t be shocked to see them in the playoffs.

Keep coming back here for photos of the final games of the season, T-Birds fans, and as always tell me what you think in the comments section below.

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!


Game 32: T-Birds Beat Silvertips with Gallimore’s Late Heroics

T-Birds’ fans, there’s just two weeks left in the season, but six games are yet to be played.  The T-Birds are just three points out of the last playoff spot in the western conference, making each game important.  One of the teams the T-Birds have a chance at passing for a playoff spot is their rivals from just up the road, the Everett Silvertips, and wouldn’t you know it, the ‘Tips came down to the ShoWare Center last Saturday…

The game started off great for the ‘Birds.  Not even a minute in, center Travis Toomey found himself in good position to give the T-Birds an early lead.  Unfortunately, his shot would hit the post and bounce away from the net…

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

And towards a group of other T-Birds, including defenseman Brenden Dillon, who would bury it in the back of the net for a Thunderbirds’ score!

Just a bit later, Toomey would tried to steal the puck away from Everett center Landon Ferraro while Ferraro was still in Seattle’s offensive zone.

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

The number of shots in the first period was pretty balanced: the Thunderbirds earned 13 shots on goal, while the Silvertips put 11 pucks on goalie Calvin Pickard.  Pickard stopped all but one of those shots, including this one here…

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

Center Luke Lockhart tries to redirect a puck into the Everett goal, but can’t get to it before Everett goalie Luke Siemens knocks it away from the net.

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

Center Brendan Rouse battles for the puck with Everett left wing Tyler Maxwell near the face-off circle in Seattle’s zone.

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

Nearly halfway through the period, the T-Birds found themselves on a power play after Everett right wing Cody Fowlie got called for tripping.  The power play had nearly been killed off until Toomey found himself in front of the Everett net while the puck was also heading towards goal…

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

Toomey raised his stick and redirected the puck, having been originally shot by Rouse, into the net, giving Seattle a 2-1 lead they’d hold for the rest of the period.

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

And now for the second period!  Instead of my spot behind the net the T-Birds shoot at, I sat in Calvin’s Corner in an attempt to find clearer glass and different photos than I’d been getting.  And get a different shot I did, as in this one it looks as though right wing Burke Gallimore is being held up by Everett defender Chad Suer instead of being knocked to the ice like you’d expect…

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

In the second period, the Thunderbirds again earned 13 shots on goal but couldn’t get anything past the red line.  Everett’s Siemens blocked all of them, including this one by Seattle right wing Marcel Noebels.

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

Toomey again found himself in front of the Everett net with a loose puck in the second period, but this time it was poke-checked away before he could put a stick on it for yet another scoring opportunity.

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

During the second period, Everett snuck one past Pickard to even the score at two-all.   There was also a minor scuffle between Dillon and an Everett player with just a few seconds left in the period, but no penalties or anything else resulted from it.  Tensions clearly weren’t worked out, though, as just seven seconds into the third period Dillon and Everett’s Ferraro dropped gloves and squared off against each other.  After a fairly one-sided beatdown by Dillon, the two fighters were sent to the penalty box for five minutes to cool off, but here’s a photo of the fight.

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

Center Luke Lockhart is upended after taking a shot on Everett’s Siemens in the third period.

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

Defenseman Erik Bonsor tries to take the puck away from Everett right wing Scott MacDonald.

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

Lockhart takes Everett’s Ferraro down to the ice while defending him late in the third period.

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

During the period, Pickard faced nine more shots from the Everett attack and stopped all nine of them.  Unfortunately Seattle couldn’t get one past Siemens either (not one that wasn’t disallowed, anyway), so we headed into overtime, where Pickard was forced into action early…

Pickard makes a save in the beginning of the overtime period.

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

Gallimore protects the puck from Everett defender Ryan Murray during the overtime period.

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

And Pickard was called upon again soon afterward to make a game-extending save…

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

With just fifteen seconds before the shootout, Burke Gallimore found himself in space and with a decent angle on the goal.  Furthermore, Toomey was once again in front of the goal, looking to tip in a centering pass for the game winner.  With all this in mind, Gallimore wound up for a slapshot towards the goal…

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


And unleashed a nice shot that didn’t need any help from Toomey, for it found an empty space to cross over the red line and win the game for Seattle!

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

What a shot! With just seconds before overtime, Burke Gallimore—who had missed the previous night’s game at Portland since he was back home attending the funeral of his grandfather—fired a great shot past the Everett defense and clinched two vital points in the playoff chase for the Thunderbirds… This deserves some celebration, no?

I got many photos of Gallimore celebrating, but I had a tough time deciding what one to go with for the press release.  You be the photographer: Let me know what one I should have gone with below in the comments section.

Our first choice is a full-body shot of Gaillimore with Dillon hanging on behind him…

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

And the second one is a cropped version of the first, emphasizing Gallimore and eliminating some extraneous information…

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

The third one is the one I ended up using and is close to being one of my favorite shots I’ve taken this entire year.  It has many great qualities in it: Gallimore (who scored the game-winning goal) extending his arms wide and looking upwards; Dillon (who scored once and assisted Gallimore on the game-winner), and beautiful lighting around both their faces—there’s even a glint coming off Gallimore’s visor!  What’s wrong with it, though?  Only another terrible case of referees in the background ruining a shot.  Is that ref enough to ruin this image?  Let me know below!

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

And the fourth and final one is one I submitted to the WHL website.  It’s similar to the third photo, although Gallimore’s arms aren’t as extended anymore and his eyes are closed.  It’s past the peak moment, which I captured in the photo above, but it doesn’t have that ref in the background.  Tell me, is this better than celebration photo three?  Or either of the first two?

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

And let’s leave off with a photo of the entire team surrounding Gallimore and celebrating their two points…

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

Alright, that’s it for this blog post!  Let me know your opinions about those celebration photos or any other picture I posted tonight, and I’ll see you Friday when the T-Birds take on Chilliwack in another crucial game in the playoff race!

‘Til then, go T-Birds!