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Posts tagged “Marcel Noebels

Game 29: T-Birds Drop Heartbreaker to Winterhawks

Hello again T-Birds fans!   Sorry for the delay in posts, but I’ve been pretty busy the last few days and haven’t found time to throw together a blog post for either of the games I have left to write about.  I’ve finally found some now, though, and I can do a quick one about the Portland game last Saturday.  Let’s start off with a photo of goalie Calvin Pickard making yet another routine save shall we?

Pickard makes a glove save on a Portland shot early in the first period.  This was one of his 52 saves on the night.

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

Center Colin Jacobs tries to get a shot past Portland defenseman Joe Morrow (middle) and goalie Keith Hamilton.

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

Center Brendan Rouse tries to get the puck away from the boards despite being checked into them by Portland defenseman Taylor Aronson.

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

Right wing Marcel Noebels takes a shot on the Portland goal.

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

Pickard holds strong as a puck slides in from Portland center Craig Cunningham.

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

Noebels takes the puck away from Portland’s Aronson at center ice.

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

Jacobs (right) waits for a pass from center Travis Toomey (left) beside the Portland goal late in the period.

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

Toomey (left) battles with Portland’s Hamilton for a puck in front of the Portland goal in the second period.

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

Toomey (right) chases after a rebounded puck with Portland defenseman William Wrenn.

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

Toomey (right) chases after a rebounded puck with Portland defenseman William Wrenn.

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

Noebels has the puck stolen from him in front of the Portland goal by Portland’s Wrenn.

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

Ever wonder what it’s like to be right on the glass while players are being checked about six inches in front of you?  Well, it’s something like this…

Portland center Ryan Johansen is checked into the boards by Seattle’s Noebels (behind Johnasen).

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

Defenseman Erik Bonsor puts a hit on Portland left wing Brad Ross early in the third period of the game.

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

Defenseman Ryan Button controls the puck.

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

Center Tyler Alos tries to send a loose puck into the Portland goal, but is defended by Portland’s Aronson.

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

Alos tries to rein in a puck knocked away from him by Portland left wing Sven Bartschi.

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

Center Connor Sanvido brings the puck up ice and into the T-Birds’ attacking zone.

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

Defenseman Brenden Dillon tries to block a clearance by Portland center Brendan Leipsic.

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

Pickard makes a diving save to prevent the Winterhawks from extending their lead in the third period.

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

Button jumps on the celebration pile after a Toomey goal that evened the score at 3.

And unfortunately that’s where my photos from the game end.  As you may remember, Portland snuck one past Pickard with just thirty seconds left in regulation to steal that second point and the win.  The T-Birds played pretty well, though, giving hope to ending the season on a good streak and maybe even finding themselves in the playoffs…
I hope to have photos from last Tuesday’s Everett game up in a few days.  As always, feel free to leave any comments or questions you may have in the comments section below.

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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Game 30: T-Birds, Noebels Storm Past Silvertips

Well that certainly was an exciting couple games, now wasn’t it?  On Saturday the T-Birds lost an absolute heartbreaker when Portland scored in the final thirty seconds of regulation, and on Sunday Marcel Noebels happened on a four goal effort, his first hat trick in the WHL.  For this post we’ll concentrate on Sunday’s game against Everett since I’ve gone through and worked up a few photos from it for the WHL website already…

Let’s start with the first period (naturally).  The T-Birds seemed a tad sluggish to begin with—the game against Portland certainly took a toll on them—and were on defense for much of the first period.  They did, however, manage to get the puck up ice often enough.

Center Connor Sanvido brings the puck up-ice while center Justin Hickman dodges past and cuts down towards the goal.

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

Despite defending for much of the period, the T-Birds still managed to earn 10 shots on Everett goalie Kent Simpson.

Right wing Burke Gallimore tries to slip the puck past Everett goalie Kent Simpson, but Simpson deflected the shot.

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

And here Gallimore gets another shot on Simpson, although is again blocked.

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

Center Luke Lockhart gets his chance in front of the Everett net but can’t bring in the puck to put it on goal.

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

And here’s our first shot of Mr. Noebels.  This time he gets rebuked, but it’s fair to say that Marcel came out on top in the end…

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

Note:  The Silvertips actually opened up the scoring with a power play goal about halfway through the period.  Naturally, my shot of it was blocked, which seemed to be one of the themes of the day for me (but more on that later).
Now we’ll move onto the second period…

And that’s it for photos from the second period!

What?  There are none from the middle part of the game?  Yeah, I noticed that, too.  I can’t tell you why, I just had a really bad game Sunday, which is too bad because the T-Birds played so well.  Anyway, to summarize the second period, Luke Lockhart evened the score at 1-1 with a powerplay goal 11 minutes in, and Marcel Noebels scored his first of the night just a minute after, also on a power play.

Anyways, for the third period I went to my normal spot between the benches, hoping to turn around my bad night and capture some photos of the T-Birds’ good one.  I did it, for the most part.  Check out some of what I got…

Goalie Calvin Pickard (bottom right) freezes the puck on his stomach while center Travis Toomey (right) tries to clear the puck before Everett right wing Parker Stanfield can put it in the net.

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

Left wing Chance Lund brings the puck from behind the Everett net early in the third period.

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

Possibly the most ironic part of that game (for me at least) was I got a photo that I really like on an otherwise lackluster night.  An Everett defender cleared the puck a bit into the period, and defenseman Ryan Button thought he had a chance at blocking the clearance, keeping the puck in Seattle’s attacking zone.  I managed to get a cool-looking photo of him falling to the ice and swinging for the puck.  He missed the puck but definitely earned his way onto the blog…

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

Defenseman Erik Bonsor skates up the ice with the puck.

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

And now that those are out of the way, let’s enter the Marcel Noebels portion of the night.  After the second goal (which came two minutes into the third period), I started to keep an eye out for him, knowing I’d need a good Noebels photo for the press release.  Here’s a nice portrait of him looking up ice at an Everett attacker.

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

And here’s Noebels’ third goal, an open-netter with four minutes to go.

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

It’s a hat trick, the first of Noebel’s WHL career!   Coming back to the bench, he raised his stick with a big grin on his face in celebration…

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

With his hat trick in hand, Noebels wasn’t about to take a break, however.  Two minutes later, he added to his already terrific night and scored once more, making it four on the night and 25 on the season.  Here he celebrates with defenseman Austin Frank…

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

And Lockhart(right) joined in on the celebration with Frank (left) and Noebels(middle).  Note the big grin still isn’t off Noebels’ face.  In fact, I bet it’s still there, a whole 24 hours after the game…

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

One more note:  Sorry for the lack of goal photos today.  It just so happens for three of my five goals, my view of the play was blocked by either a ref or a defender.  I can’t do much about it, although I really wish that hadn’t of happened Sunday night.  Oh well, that’s just the way it is…

Enough of the sad talk though, THE T-BIRDS WIN!  They keep their playoff hopes alive and are playing pretty good hockey right now, I recommend you get down to the ShoWare Center before the end of the year and get your hockey fix in!
Want to congratulate Noebels?  Want to commiserate with me about the horrible timing of referees and defenders?  Do so in the comments section below!

‘Til  next time, go T-Birds!

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Game 28 (Part 1): T-Birds Whack Bruins in Shootout

Hey T-Birds fans, it’s time for another edition of Bird Watching.  In this post, we’ll go through photos from the first period of the win against Chilliwack last Sunday?   Why the first period only, you ask?  Well, like the T-Birds, I had a pretty good game and ended up with about 50 pretty good photos that’ll be used.  Rather than put them all in one mega-post, I thought it best to break them over two posts.  With that, let’s see what happened in the beginning of the game, shall we?

We’ll start off with one of the T-Birds’ 22 shots on goal in the period, this one by right wing Burke Gallimore.

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

And on the other end of those 22 shots was Chilliwack goalie Lucas Gore, who managed to block them all.

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

Sunday was Mascot Night at ShoWare Center where mascots from all over the area joined Cool Bird at the game.  During the game, however, was all Cool Bird.  Here, he practices his drumming skills atop a follicly-challanged T-Birds fan’s head.

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/320th, Manual

Defenseman Travis Bobbee puts a big hit on Chilliwack left wing Mike Forsyth at center ice.

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

About five minutes into the game, Chilliwack center Steven Hodges found himself on a breakaway with only Seattle netminder Calvin Pickard between him and the goal…

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

After a successful poke check by Pickard, Hodges couldn’t stop himself from crashing into the Seattle goalie and earned a two minute charging penalty for his efforts.

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

Later on, center Travis Toomey found himself to the right of the Chilliwack goal with a loose puck in front of him.  Unfortunately he couldn’t place the blade of the stick on the puck and fire it onto the goal.

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

Shortly after it was center Luke Lockhart with the puck to the right of the net.  Instead of firing on the goal, though, he sent in a centering pass in hopes an onrushing teammate could bury it in the net.

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

Center Colin Jacobs sees his angle to the goal blocked by a diving Lucas Gore.

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

The first period was very much a battle between the two goalies.  As sad before, Gore blocked 22 shots for Chilliwack while Pickard stopped 12 of Chilliwack’s scoring chances, including this one pictured here…

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

And here’s one more of Gore’s blocks…

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

Right wing Marcel Noebels was injured in the first period during the 5-3 penalty the Thunderbirds killed off, but before that he had a couple of scoring chances, including this shot on goal.

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

(Note: this is the shot after Noebels’ shot on goal)

Noebels takes a shot on goal.

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

Speaking of the 5-3 penalty kill, and of Noebels, here he is going down to the ice, eliminating Chilliwack center Kevin Sundher’s chance at putting the puck on Calvin.

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

And here Pickard knocks a puck from Chilliwack right wing Robin Soudek away during the penalty kill.

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

Toomey tries to pass the puck to a teammate after being knocked down during a breakaway by Chilliwack left wing Ryan Howse.

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

Center Justin Hickman also had himself a breakaway during the first period, racing down the ice towards Gore and attempting to get his first WHL goal after getting his first point a few weeks ago.  As we know already, Hickman couldn’t quite get the puck through Gore, but I did get a couple of photos from the play.

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

Hickman tries to get a puck through Gore late in the first period.

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

And as I mentioned before, it was mascot night at ShoWare Center and they all gathered on the ice during the first intermission for a quick game of broomball.  20 mascots in all were in on the game, including Harry the Husky from my alma mater, the University of Washington.

Harry the Husky uses his broom as a guitar before the macot broomball game during the first intermission.

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

Another one of the mascots involved was the Mariner Moose, who’s shown here with our own Cool Bird.

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

Now let the (mascot) game begin!

Blitz (the Seahawks’ mascot) takes possession of the ball near the north goal in front of a bear from Mitzel’s American Kitchen.

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

A few of the mascots were quick learners in physical nature of hockey, including fights.  Here Rhubarb of the Tacoma Rainers takes part in an on-ice fight with Fido from the Seattle Animal Shelter.

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

At the end of the game, things deteriorated into a somewhat of a madhouse.  Blitz relapsed into his football experience by picking up the ball and running with it, something frowned upon in hockey.

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

And with that, the second period began.   Let’s hold off from those photos for next time, where we’re seeing the T-Birds’ comeback from 3-1!  As always, leave your comments and questions in the comments section below…

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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Game 26: T-Birds Iced by Winterhawks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Toomey sends Portland defenseman William Wrenn crashing into the boards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

­

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

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

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

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Game 27: T-Birds, Sutter Give Chiefs a Fight—and Win

First off, what a game last Sunday!  The T-Birds broke their eight game home losing streak in exciting fashion, coming back from a goal deficit to nab a win against Spokane, the number two team in the conference.  Throw in an amazing last-second save and Dave Sutter’s first fight of the year and that resulted in one loud and excited ShoWare Center.  (You may be wondering, “what happened to games 25 and 26?” Well I wasn’t at game 25, so there will be no post about Feb. 5th’s game against Spokane.  As for game 26, I ended up going through photos from this game first, so that post will come later in the week.  Sorry for being out of order)

Anyways, back to Sunday’s game against Spokane.  We’ll start with photos from the first period, naturally…  The first period was a very back-and-forth affair.  Both teams had scoring chances, both teams controlled the puck well, the only difference was Spokane got one past the red line in front of the net, and the T-Birds didn’t.  Onto the photos…

Right wing Burke Gallimore is held back from reaching the puck by Spokane left wing Levko Koper.

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

Right wing Marcel Noebels takes a shot on goal but Spokane goalie Mac Engel is there to block it from the net.

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

Gallimore has the pick knocked away by Spokane defender Tanner Mort.

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

Center Travis Toomey can’t get a stick on the puck, so he attempts to direct it into the goal with his foot.  The attempt was wide, however.

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

Center Connor Sanvido takes a shot on Engels from the face-off circle.  Engles blocked the shot.

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

Goalie Calvin Pickard deflects a Spokane shot on goal.

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

Pickard tries to stay with Spokane center Anthony Bardaro as Bardaro crosses in front of the net with the puck.  Pickard couldn’t and Bardaro buried a shot past him for a goal.

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

Defenseman Ryan Button hits the ice in an attempt to block a shot by Spokane’s Koper.

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

Gallimore takes a knee in order block a centering attempt late in the first period.

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

With the period ending, the score was still 1-0 Spokane.  For the second period, I moved down to the area behind the Spokane goal.  During the period, the T-Birds had a bit more shots on goal—16 as to 11 in the first—and they converted one of those shots as well.  I had a nice view of one of those attempts, this one by center Tyler Alos early on into the period, and got a good string of photos from it…

Center Tyler Alos gains possession and takes a shot on goal early in the second period.

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

Center Tyler Alos gains possession and takes a shot on goal early in the second period.

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


Center Tyler Alos gains possession and takes a shot on goal early in the second period.  The shot was blocked by Engel.

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

That wasn’t the only attempt, however, as other T-Birds got into the action in front of the Spokane net…

Center Luke Lockhart takes a shot on Engles.

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

Left wing Mitch Elliot (left) centers the puck by passing the puck to Alos, positioned in front of the Spokane net.

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

Despite my good location, I missed the photo of Toomey’s goal as my view of him was blocked by a Spokane defender during his wind-up (as usual).  So take my word for it when I say the T-Birds went into the third period in a one-all deadlock.  I took my usual third-period spot between the benches.  This would have given me a good view of Colin Jacobs’ goal early on to give the T-Birds a 2-1 lead, but wouldn’t you know it I was blocked from that photo as well, this time by Ryan Button.   Instead of the goal, I got a decent photo of him leaping in excitement originally (not posted), then he jumped onto the other players celebrating the goal, giving me a nice frame…

Button leaps onto the other T-Birds in celebration of Colin Jacobs’ goal early in the first period.

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

His excitement stayed with him while returning to the bench…

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

Pickard got into the celebration and broke out a new one, apparently based on the movie Rocky.

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

Being down a goal, Spokane started pressing the attack, leaving the T-Birds to defend and hold onto their lead.  Center Brendan Rouse did his part, checking defenseman Tanner Mort and separating him from the puck.

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

And now for what I think is the pivotal moment of Sunday’s game: Dave Sutter’s fight.  He’s really not much of a fighter—this was his first one all year—but he engaged in fisticuffs with Spokane left wing Colin Valcourt and came out victorious.  He got Valcourt’s helmet off first and landed a few punches…

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

…then took him to the ice.  A great victory for the Swiss defenseman!

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

That fight energized the fans—for the rest of the game ShoWare was rocking—and it really energized the T-Birds players.  They used the excitement generated from the fight as motivation to keep playing strong.

Left wing Chance Lund (left) and right wing Jacob Doty (right) encourage the rest of the team after Dave Sutter’s fight with Colin Valcourt.

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

Once play resumed again, the T-Birds were still under siege from the Spokane attack.  The Chiefs got 28 shots on goal, but Pickard didn’t let one through.

Pickard gets his leg pads in front of a Spokane shot during the third period.   He made 28 saves in the third alone, and 57 overall on the night.

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

Rouse clears the puck out from the defensive zone late in the game.

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

After withstanding a ten minute long offensive onslaught, during which the T-Birds killed off nearly two minutes of a 5-on-3 power play and added an empty-net goal by Burke Gallimore, the clock hit triple-zeroes and the game was final.  With their 3-1 win, the T-Birds snapped their eight game home losing streak and gained two points, which may turn out to be an important two points in the playoff race. Indeed, there was a lot to celebrate Sunday night, so the T-Birds met on the ice to enjoy their win.

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

That’s it for this blog post!  Tune in later this week for more photos and as always, let me know what  you think about my photos in the comment section below.

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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Game 24: T-Birds Greased by Oil Kings

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

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

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

Defenseman Erik Bonsor chases after the puck.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Defenseman Erik Fleming fires a shot towards the Edmonton goal.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

‘Til then, go T-Birds!


Game 23: T-Birds Drop Close One to Everett

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

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

Let’s get it started then…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jacobs begins to celebrate Dillon’s goal.

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

Jacobs’ celebration continues…

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

Fans join in on celebrating the equalizing goal by Dillon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jacobs brings the puck past Everett left wing Josh Winquist.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pickard knocks down an Everett shot late in the game.

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

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

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

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

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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Game 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 19: T-Birds Dropped by Giants

As we left off last time, you may remember me lamenting my broken 70-200mm lens, the one I use all the time.  Luckily I still have contacts with my former college paper, The Daily, and the photo staff there was more than willing to let me borrow one of theirs.  Thanks guys (and gals), I couldn’t have properly covered the Vancouver game without you!

Onto the actual game. Last Sunday completed the third game of the T-Birds’ second straight three-in-three weekend, where they played three games in as many days.   Overall, they had played six games in nine days, all the while traveling across the state, keeping up with school, AND practicing some days without games.  Needless to say it would be understandable if they came out and looked a little tired in the beginning. They weren’t, and center Travis Toomey proved it by scoring just 12 seconds into the game.  He collected the loose puck from the opening faceoff, brought it down the rink, fired a shot onto Vancouver goalie Mark Segal, and quickly put the rebound off Segal’s pads into the back of the net.

Center Travis Toomey fires a rebounded shot into the back of the net just 12 seconds into a Jan. 16 game.

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

And a quick score like that deserves a celebration, right?

The starting lineup celebrates Toomey’s quick goal.

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

Toomey wasn’t the only T-Bird to get an early shot on the Vancouver goal.  Left wing Chance Lund had this opportunity to increase the lead to 2-0.  Segal got his stick in front of the puck, however, and deflected it away from the goal.

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

Center Justin Hickman had been playing fairly well in the games leading up to the Vancouver game.  I was hoping he’d break through and get his first WHL goal that night as he got his first point, an assist, the previous home game.  He didn’t put one in the back of the net, but he continued to play his physical game…

Hickman slams Vancouver defenseman Tyler Hart into the boards, this time in the T-Birds offensive third.

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

Unfortunately the Giants were able to even up the score when Vancouver left wing  Spencer Bennett snuck one past goalie Calvin Pickard.  A quick note on the shape of this photo: you don’t often see many extremely horizontal photos in print as it’s a hard shape to fit stories around.  That extreme horizontal shape, though, is the best fit for this photograph.  It’s a good think no paper will be printing this, as this blog enables me to crop my photos any way I want.  Isn’t new media great?

Goalie Calvin Pickard can’t cross the goal fast enough to block Vancouver left wing Spencer Bennett’s shot from crossing the red line.

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

And there were some Vancouver fans that made the short jaunt down for the game Sunday.  They stood and cheered along with their team after Bennett’s goal.

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/640th, Manual

Here, right wing Jacob Doty carries his enforcer duties well by delivering a big hit to Vancouver center Andrej Stastny.

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

The T-Birds had plenty of chances to extend their lead in the first period.  Officially they had 12 shots on goal, converting two of them for scores.   There were many other good trips down the ice, however, that didn’t necessarily result in a shot.  This is one of them.

Right wing Tyler Alos lies entangled with Vancouver right wing Michael Burns in front of the net after Burns knocked Alos to the ice to prevent him from getting a shot off.

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

After getting back on his feet, Alos got a second chance at a goal when he found himself with the puck to the side of the Vancouver goal while Segal was down.  Unfortunately Burns was in a position to knock the puck away.

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

That ends the first period photo-wise (seemed like a lot, huh?).  Let’s move to the second!  This next shot could act as an ad for Reebok if I moved the frame up a bit.  Let’s just chalk this photo up to another wacky adventure in autofocus…

Defenseman Erik Bonsor chases down the puck during the second period.  Not like you could tell from the photo or anything…

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

During the media timeout around the halfway point of the second period, Cotton Eye Joe is always played to get fans up and dance around for a ride on the zomboni during the second intermission.  I like using that period to get fun fan shots, and these two T-Birds fans looked they enjoyed doing their thing on the big screen.

Canon 7D, 105mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/640th, Manual

As for actual gameplay, the Thunderbirds mustered eight more shots on goal.  Here, defenseman Ryan Button fires the puck towards the goal during a power play.

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

When I first saw this photo, I was scared I wouldn’t be able to use it.  The unedited version of this was very loose (in photographic terms, loose means lots of extra space around the subject to crop out).  I was afraid that I had shot this too lose and the photo quality of a zoomed, cropped photo wouldn’t be high enough for my tastes.  Luckily the grain here isn’t too bad as this really is a cool shot.  I really like the near-multiple reflections in the boards.

Defenseman Brenden Dillon slams Vancouver right wing Brendan Gallagher  into the boards during the second period.

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

That brings us to the end of the second period.  With one more period left and the score now 3-2, it was still anyone’s game.  Calvin Pickard knew this, and it looks like he came out of the intermission ready to play.

Pickard watches intently as Dillon battles Vancouver right wing Brendan Galligher (hidden) for the puck.

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

Pickard tried to keep the Thunderbirds in the game by fending off an onslaught of Vancouver shot early in the period, including this particular beauty…

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

About halfway through the period, though, the Giants snuck another goal past Pickard to take a two goal advantage.  Knowing this and knowing I had a nice photo of Calvin making a save, I decided to head down to the spot near section 112 that allows me a nice angle of the Vancouver goal seeing as the T-Birds would be pressing to get back into the game.  Just a minute after I moved, Toomey found the back of the net again for his second goal of the night and to cut the Vancouver lead to just one.  Unfortunately I didn’t get a useable photo of the goal, but I did get a cool celebration shot of two fans nearby…

Fans hi-five each other after Travis Toomey scored a goal to bring the Thunderbirds within one goal of the Vancouver Giants.

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

After Toomey’s goal, the T-Birds kept up the pressure on the Vancouver defense in an effort to draw even at four.  Here, right wing Marcel Noebels controls the puck while attacking the Vancouver goal.

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

Unfortunately they didn’t get another one past Segal and the game ended 4-3, snapping the T-Birds two-game home winning streak.   It was a good game, however, particularly when you consider the torrid schedule the players had been dealing with the last few weeks.

That ends this edition of Bird Watching.  Tune in next time for photos from the Kamloops game Tuesday Jan. 18!  As always, tell me how I’m doing in the comments section below.  Or, if you have something you’d like a photo of for the next game, let me know.  I’m open to suggestions!

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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Game 16: Thunderbirds Soar Past Rockets

Now that was fun to watch!  Last Friday’s (Jan. 7th) win against Kelowna was something special: it was just the T-Birds’ second home win since mid-November.  They’ve played well for the most part, but somehow found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard.  Against Kelowna, however, they out-shot the Rockets, out-defended (is that a word? I certainly hope so…) the Rockets and, most importantly, outplayed them.  All of those things combined to give the Thunderbirds a 3-1 win over the second place team in the BC division.  Let’s see how they did it…

Normally any photos of goalie Calvin Pickard are of him making a save or another outstanding defensive play.  Not this next one, however, as there weren’t too many shots for him to save in the first period.  Instead, here’s Calvin receiving an errant Kelowna clearance and knocking it towards a fellow T-Bird.

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

This next picture I’m putting in as a literary device (if a blog can be considered anything like literature): foreshadowing.  My, that glass bent an awful lot…

Defenseman Erik Fleming checks Kelowna defenseman Colton Jobke into the boards during the first period.

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

And here’s what the previous photo foretold; either that glass was shifted out of position or Jacob Doty hits really hard.   Either way, players generally don’t end up in the laps of fans with seats on the glass.

Right wing Jacob Doty checks Jobke into the boards near the south goal, shifting the plexiglass out of place.

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

Luckily the crack maintenance staff at the ShoWare Center quickly fixed the problem and play resumed in about five minutes or so.

Canon 7D, 190mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/640th, Manual

One of the hardest things to photograph in hockey, for me at least, is a save of a long-range shot.  I generally keep my lens following the puck; when it travels a long distance at high speeds, it’s very hard to see both ends of the play.  In order to do so, I need to point my lens toward the area the puck is heading, press the shutter halfway to engage the autofocus, and then press it down all the way to take the shot.  I often get out of focus images when I try to keep up with a speeding puck, but this time I didn’t.  What I got instead was this gem…

Calvin Pickard makes a save on a shot from the Kelowna Rockets in the first period.

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

What a great shot, huh?  What’s that, the top of Calvin’s head is missing?  That’s what happens when you speed-aim your camera: you don’t have time to correct the borders and you end up cutting off people’s body parts (photographically, of course, for I have not touched Calvin’s head in real life).  Photos with a partial head-ectomy are not how you advance in this industry; I need to do better if I want to get a head… err, ahead.

Done groaning now?  Good, let’s continue with the photos.  Here’s one of the Thunderbirds’ 16 shots on goal in the first period.

Jacob Doty (left) fires a shot at Kelowna goalie Jordan Cooke from point-blank range.

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

And here’s a shot of Doty fulfilling his other duties on ice: fighting and demoralizing the other team’s players…

Doty (right) and Kelowna right wing Jessey Astles exchange punches during a first period fight.  Both were slapped with five minute major-fighting penalties.

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

Travis Toomey has been playing well lately, putting five pucks in the back of the net since January 1st, and collecting one assist for a total of six points.  He scored one against Kelowna in the first period on Friday, but unfortunately I had a player blocking my view for that play.  I wanted to have a nice photo of him anyway, so here’s one of his other shots from the period.

Center Travis Toomey takes a shot on the Kelowna goal.  Although this one was successfully blocked, Toomey managed to score earlier on in the period.

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

And our last photo from the period came just after the second T-Birds goal of the period.  Unfortunately I missed the goal, but I did get a decent image of the fans; it’s just too bad I had their backs to me.

Thunderbirds fans celebrate the goal scored by right wing Burke Gallimore 12 minutes into the first period.

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/250th, Manual

In the second period, the Thunderbirds continued their offensive surge, throwing twelve more shots at the Kelowna goal.

Right wing Marcel Noebels watches as Kelowna’s Jordon Cooke stops Noebels’ shot early in the second period.

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

This was Noebels’ first game back from the World Junior Championships, where he scored once and provided two assists in Germany’s six games in the tournament.  Since returning (and as of Sunday night after the Chilliwack game), Noebels has put two more pucks in the back of the net.  Worth another photo, right?

Noebels fights of Kelowna defenseman MacKenzie Johnston while collecting a free puck.

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

I couldn’t decide whether to put this next photo up on the blog.  It’s a nice decent moment—one of the goal scorers on the night taking a shot on goal—and in pretty good focus, but that black stripe on the right is pretty obvious.  That stripe is one of the poles of the guardrails on the staircase leading behind the north goal.  Once I saw that on my images, I decided to move into the small space between the glass and the rail, but for this shot it was a move made too late… Something else to remember for next time.

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

And here’s another shot of Noebels.  It’s funny how I go entire nights without a decent photo of some people only to get three or four keepers the next night…

Noebels tries to catch up to an errant puck, outracing Kelowna right wing Shane McCoolgan (left) and left wing Brett Bulmer (right).

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

Late in the second period, center Charles Wells found himself on a breakaway with no one but Kelowna’s Jordon Cooke between him and a goal.  Kelowna defenseman Mitchell Chapman dove in an attempt to trip up Wells, though, and knocked the T-Birds’ center off balance.

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

Being brought to his knees, though, didn’t prevent Wells from his attempt to score.  He took a shot at Cooke from the ice.  Unfortunately, Wells wasn’t rewarded with a goal, although Chapman earned two minutes for tripping.

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

Shortly after, the period ended.  As the Thunderbirds went back to their locker room, this young fan offered a high five and words of encouragement.

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.5, 1/1250th, Manual

Now time for the third period!  I wanted to spend a bit of it shooting from the upper level again.  I’d be able to get photos of plays on both ends of the ice and I didn’t think I’d had such a good first period image-wise.  Being up there, though, allowed me to get an unblocked view of Noebels’ goal halfway through the period.

Noebels puts a puck past Jordan Cooke and into the Kelowna goal to increase the Thunderbirds’ lead to 3-1 halfway through the third period.

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

Shortly after the goal, I moved to the handicap seating in section 112.  It offers a good view of the ice at the south end of the building and is where many other photographers sit during the first and third periods.  I didn’t get many good photos from that position (or at all in the third period), but here’s one I kind of like…

Center Colin Jacobs passes to Marcel Noebels in the third period.

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

And unfortunately that’s it for game photos.  For some reason I got fewer good photos than normal, but I think the ones posted are a bit better than normal.  I guess I went for quality and not quantity.   Oh well, we’ll see what happens with the next game!

Have any questions for me?  Want to say something about one of the photos on here (or not on here)?  Want to have an in-depth conversation on the importance of maple syrup on the global economy?  Feel free to post in the comments section below!

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!