The Official Photoblog of the Seattle Thunderbirds

Posts tagged “Michael Salmon

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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Netminding 101

Wednesday, Jan. 12, there was a special guest down at the ShoWare Center: Steve the Producer from KISW 99.9 FM.  Steve will be tending the net for the Thunderbirds’ celebrity game February 26 but wanted to avoid repeating his “ten goals in one period” performance he had in his last celebrity game a few years ago.  If I remember correctly, he said he was still burned from all the red lights that went off behind him.  To ensure that he would not be burned again by the dreaded red lights, he enlisted the help of T-Birds goalies Calvin Pickard and Michael Salmon and received a crash course in becoming a brick wall between the pipes.

Before all the lessons, though, Steve had to get out all his gear, and boy was there a lot of it…

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/250th, Manual

And here’s a nice photo of him lacing his skates (I don’t know why I like those photos; I also got one of Christie Johnson lacing up when she was at ShoWare)…

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/200th, Manual

About then, one of the on-air talents of his show, Vicky Barcelona, arrived to catch Steve’s training on video.  She sat in the locker room chatting with him while he finished gearing up…

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/200th, Manual

The pair had brought two video cameras, one for Vicky to hold and one to hopefully get a cool angle on some of the action.  He tried to find a way to connect it to his neck guard, but quickly decided it wouldn’t survive a direct hit from a puck…

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/160th, Manual

He was finally ready to head out onto the ice!  Unfortunately the ice wasn’t ready for Steve the Producer, though, as he had to put the goal he’d be protecting into place on the ice.

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

Since the camera couldn’t be attached to Steve’s neckguard, Vicky tried to attach it to the boards behind the net.  I’m not sure if it worked or not, but if it did, I bet they got some cool footage from it.

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/890th, Manual

Once the net was in place and the video camera was taped up, Calvin and Michael were ready to come out and teach Steve how to tend goal.  Before they got started, however, introductions were made and the two T-Birds got a feel for Steve’s past goalie experiences…

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

And Steve had to film a quick intro to the video for his blog, http://blogs.kisw.com/stevetheproducer/.

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

After the intro was filmed, Michael and Calvin took a couple shots on Steve to see what he needed to work on.  After seeing that and consulting with him, the trio thought it would be best to work on Steve’s butterfly drops (note: I think I remember that term, I’m sorry if I’m a tad off on it).  In this picture, Michael (left) demonstrates the proper knee position for the butterfly while Calvin helps Steve get his knees into a similar pose.

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

Next they worked on sliding across the face of the goal while keeping the leg pads facing out.  This time it was Calvin who demonstrated the proper techniques.

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

In a drill to test this new skill, Michael and Calvin took shots on Steve after passing the puck amongst each other.  Here it’s Michael firing on the net.

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

Being goalies, Calvin and Michael don’t get much of a chance to score a goal.  It was nice to see them be able to get one into the net themselves.  Calvin was so excited over getting one in he couldn’t help but celebrate…

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/3,2, 1/1250th, Manual

Then came a lesson on defending the net when the attacking player is behind it.  Here, Calvin demonstrates how he uses his stick and pads to stop a puck from slipping though on the ice.

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

Since I was on the ice for all of this action (I didn’t have to worry about 12 players in pads flying all around me) I decided to try and get some photos I wouldn’t have a chance to make during a game.  During the drill for defending against an attack from behind the net, I placed my camera on the ice, aimed it at Steve, and fired away from a low angle.  This was my best shot from trying that out.  Unfortunately I cut off the right half of Michael’s body.  It’s still a decent shot, though; it could have turned out much worse.

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

To wrap things up, Michael and Calvin took shots on Steve, testing everything he’d learned during the lesson.  He did a good job and made a good amount of saves, including this one he made while falling down.

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

After they were done, Steve taped a closing for his videoblog, thanking the two Thunderbirds for showing him the ropes.

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

While recovering from the extreme workout, Steve asked for some stretching tips.  During this, Vicky got a close up of the sweat pouring off Steve’s head.   I particularly like the shot on Vicky’s video camera…

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

To end everything, he asked for a photo of the three goalies together, and I happily obliged.

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/4, 1/640th, Manual

A special thanks to Steve and Vicky for coming down and spending part of the day with us.  I had a blast shooting this, and I hope they enjoyed their time with the Thunderbirds.  If you want to catch Vicky and Steve on the morning, tune into the BJ Shea Show on KISW 99.9 FM between 6 and 10 AM.

Don’t forget to come out to the ShoWare Center tomorrow and watch the T-Birds renew their rivalry with the Everett Silvertips at 7:30.  If you can’t make it to Kent, be sure to watch the game on Fox Sports Northwest as the network will be airing it live!

‘Til then, go T-Birds!


Game 13: T-Birds Fall to Chiefs

Welcome back to Bird Watching where in this edition, we’ll take a look at photos from the game Dec. 14 against the Spokane Chiefs (yes I know I’m running massively behind, but I should be able to catch up soon).  Before we dive into the Spokane photos, though, I’d like to remind you all to check out the video T-Birds videographer Nicholas Kocan made from the Christmas card photoshoot a few weeks ago.  It gives a good look into how we managed to fit 23 hockey players and one bird onto half a carousel (without it breaking, might I add) long enough to grab a photo.  There are even some clips of me in action in there, something I’m not used to seeing since I’m normally behind the lens!  In case you missed it, here’s the video link: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1248832318432&oid=88453342812&comments.

Now onto the photos! The T-Birds were again without goalie Calvin Pickard who was trying out for the Canadian National Junior team for the upcoming World Junior Championships.  Between the pipes for Pickard was backup goalie Michael Salmon, who was making just his third start of the year.  Salmon and the T-Birds played well in the first period, keeping even with the Chiefs at one goal apiece and Salmon made more than a few nice saves and plays on the puck.  Here’s one of them now, where he (center), along with defenseman Dave Sutter (left), and left wing Marcel Noebels (center left) blocked an early attempt from Spokane.

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

Just a bit later he made another save, this one unassisted.   Need help finding the puck in this one (like I originally did)? Hint: look in the crease in Salmon’s leg pad.

Goalie Michael Salmon stretches his leg out to block a shot from Spokane left wing Colin Valcourt in the first period.

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

The Thunderbirds didn’t just play defense in the first period; they were on offense for a good portion of the period and earned 10 shots on the Spokane goal.  Here’s one of those shots, this one by Marcel Noebels.

Left wing Marcel Noebels takes a shot on Spokane goalie James Reid.  Reid blocked the attempt with his stick.

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

Here’s a shot of a nice play by defenseman Scott Ramsay.  Despite having falling to the ice, Ramsay was still able to get his stick through Spokane center Kenton Miller’s feet and poke the puck away.  The angle I have for this isn’t the best (behind the goal and to the left of it would have produced the best shot of the play), but I still like the photo.  Check it out for yourself…

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

A bit after Ramsay’s poke, Seattle scored their first goal.  Center Travis Toomey collected a rebound off James Reid and buried it in the back of the net, tying the score at 1-1.  Unfortunately I didn’t get the goal itself—I couldn’t find the puck during the rebound—but I did get the celebration afterwards.

Center Travis Toomey (back) and right wing Burke Gallimore (front) celebrate Toomey’s goal late in the first period.

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

True to the rivalry between the Thunderbirds and the Chiefs, there were three fights during the game.  The first one came 18 minutes in, and it featured Scott Ramsay and Spokane left wing Darren Kramer.

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

Now for the second period.  The Thunderbirds earned 14 shots on goal, two of which I’ve captured below.

Marcel Noebels takes a shot on Spokane goalie James Reid early in the second period.

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

Defenseman Brenden Dillon fires a slapshot towards the Spokane goal before Spokane center Steven Kuhn can block the attempt.

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

Left wing Mitch Elliot (right) has the puck stolen by Spokane right wing Matt Marantz before Elliot while approaching the Spokane goal.

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

And here’re a few more photos from the second period.  And yes, this is the second game in a row where I’ve gotten good stuff from behind the glass.  Dare I say it I’ve finally figured out how to shoot this lovely game?

Charles Wells (left) and Travis Toomey (right) battle for the puck with Spokane defenseman Tanner Mort.

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

Burke Gallimore uses his stick to prevent Spokane’s Matt Marantz from getting to the puck.

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

That night, there was a group in Calvin’s Corner, a section of seats to the left of the north goal that sits right on the glass.  When there’s no group in that section, I’ll generally sit in there with the other photographers since it offers a good view of the north half of the ice and the T-Birds bench.  Anyways, the group in Calvin’s Corner was an active one that night. Here’s a shot of them yelling at James Reid for him to go back to his goal…

Canon 7D, 195mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/500th, Manual

And here’s one of them voicing their opinions of Spokane players while the Chiefs went back to their locker room for the second intermission.

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/500th, Manual

Thanks for being so loud that night, Calvin’s Corner.  You guys were great!

With that second intermission over, it’s on to the third period.  I took my usual third period spot—between the benches—and started firing away.  Unfortunately, so did the Spokane Chiefs.  Here’s one of their goals during the period, where Spokane left wing Collin Valcourt snuck a goal past Michael Salmon.

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

Here’s a small series of photos (two to be exact) of Burke Gallimore doing everything possible to avoid Spokane defenseman Reid Gow, who was lying on the ice after knocking the puck away from Gallimore.  Gallimore gets some pretty good air on his jump over Gow; I’d rate it about a 7.5, don’t you think?

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

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

Here, defenseman Erik Bonsor knocks the puck away from Spokane right wing Mitch Holmberg.

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

The third period wasn’t an easy one for the Thunderbirds.  They allowed Spokane to take 15 shots on goal, of which five of those shots ended up in the net.  After the last goal, Michael Salmon was pulled.  While skating back to the bench, center Colin Jacobs had some words of encouragement to the T-Birds’ netminder.

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

Now, apparently to keep me from getting a big head, the Photo Gods decided to have the Chiefs block my view down the ice with their sticks.  Naturally, my autofocus picked the sticks to focus on instead of the players beyond them.  This photo wasn’t an intentional artsy-type photo; it was just an accident.  You can barely tell that Mitch Elliot is checking a Spokane player into the boards.

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

Being down big didn’t keep the T-Birds from fighting back.  Here, Burke Gallimore sends a late shot towards the Spokane goal.

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

That’s It for the Spokane game.  Now a couple of blog notes…

Hopefully I’ll be getting the photos and video up from my trip to Kennewick for the Tri-City game there on the 10th up just after Christmas.  That’s the next post going up.  Also, there won’t be any shots from the Portland game on the 18th, unfortunately.  I was shooting at Seattle U during that game so I missed all of it.  Don’t worry, however, for I will be at the game on the 28th and will have shots from that soon after.

Also, is there anything different you guys want to see?  Do you have an angle you’d like me to shoot from or is there a story you’d like me to tell?  I want to hear some feedback from you as to where I should take this blog.  Let me know in the comments section below!

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!


(Home) Game 12: Thunderbirds Unlucky Against Americans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Noebels controls the puck in the Tri-City half.

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

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

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

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

Til’ next time, go T-Birds!

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Game 10: T-Birds Cooled off by Kootenay Ice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Game 4: Thunderbirds go to Shootout vs. Americans

I was hoping to get this post up yesterday, but unfortunately some errands unexpectedly came up and I couldn’t get it done before work.  Have no fear, though, as I’m off today and can spend it all on the blog!

Tuesday night’s game against the Americans was a well fought game, I thought.  As always with these ‘birds, the outcome wasn’t decided until after they played five extra minutes and took three extra shots on goal.  Unfortunately, the Americans slipped two shoot-out attempts past Calvin Pickard while only one of the T-Birds found the back of the Tri-City net.

We’ll start, however, before all of that; even before the game started.  Before the game, equipment manager Jason Berger brought out the pucks for pre-game warm-ups and formed the letters W,H, and L with them. Director of Media Relations Ian Henry told me about the pucks and asked for some photos, so I happily obliged.  I got three frames of the design that I really liked, but this one stood out above the other two.

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/1.8, 1/60th, Manual

Having shot the pucks, I had nothing to do until the players came out for warm-ups.  Normally I don’t shoot that seeing as I’ll be getting the same photos during the game, but I needed to get some photos of backup goalie Michael Salmon for a newspaper in his hometown of Red Deer, Alberta.  I took a couple nice shots of Salmon but couldn’t decide between the two.  I’ll let you guys see both of them and decide what one’s better…

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

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

Now for in-game photos.  I wanted to go back up and shoot from the suite level again for the first period.  I like the angle it gives, I just wanted to do something different from the game against Calgary.  The nice thing about shooting from the suite level is that I have a great view of most of the ice and bench area.  That view allowed me to get this photo of Head Coach Rob Sumner during a timeout in the first period.

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

I like this photo because you get to see the play designed.  Taken from any other angle, the players would be blocking the view of the whiteboard, but this time I was high enough to see over the players.

Remember a couple of posts ago when I said that there’d be games in college I’d get great photos of the opposing team and not the Huskies?  Well that happened to me again Tuesday.  I seemed to get many photos where you could see Americans players well, but the T-Birds guys had their back to me.  These next three are good examples of that.  Oh well, at least the pictures show the T-Birds doing well and having success…

Center Connor Sanvido has a shot blocked by Tri-Cities goalie Drew Owsley in the first period.

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

Rightwinger Jacob Doty (left) and Sanvido (right) sandwich Tri-Cities center Justin Messier in the first period.

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

Defenseman Travis Bobbee knocks a Tri-Citiy Americans player to the ground.

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

And to close out first period photos, how about a good ole’ Calvin Pickard save?

Goalie Calvin Pickard (middle) blocks a shot while center Luke Lockhart (right) and Tri-Cities leftwinger Justin Feser fight for the rebound.

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

Due to a terribly stupid operator error, most of my shots from the second period were not useable and were only worthy of being deleted.  So let’s forget the second period ever happened, assume the score magically changed to 2-2, and move onto the third, shall we?  Ok? Okay!

Since this was the third period (wow, it just seems like seconds ago we were in the first, where does the time go?)I went to my typical spot in between the benches, and was rewarded for going in between the benches by a shot of Luke Lockhart scoring a goal to take a 3-2 lead.

Lockhart tries to slip a slapshot past the Tri-City defense in the third quarter.  The puck did find it’s way to the back of the net, giving Lockhart his second goal of the evening.

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

And as always, a goal shot deserves a celebration shot…

Lockhart (right) and right wing Burke Gallimore celebrate Lockhart’s third period goal.

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

That lead, however, wasn’t a permanent one.  Just a few minutes later, the Americans evened up the score with this goal.

Tri Cities center Mason Wilgosh (left) gets a shot past Seattle goalie Calvin Pickard during the third period of a WHL game in Kent, WA, Oct. 26.

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

A bit after that goal, there was a small dust-up between Marcel Noebels and the Tri-Cities’ Spencer Humphries.  I couldn’t see the fight or what caused it since it took place in a corner I can’t see from between the benches, but I did get an important shot of the aftermath: Marcel Noebels being escorted off the ice.  He got more penalty minutes than what was left in the game and so was taken off the ice (note: he was eligible, though, to return in overtime).

Linseman David Tise escorts Seattle rightwinger Marcel Noebels off the ice after Noebels received a 10-minute miscondcut in the third period.

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

Here’s an attempt on goal by Travis Toomey.

Seattle center Travis Toomey (left) can’t knock the puck past Tri-Cities goalie Drew Owsley in the third period.

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

Luke Lockhart had a good game having scored two goals.  Since he had one of the better games, I tended to get more good photos of him. Here’s two of those…

Lockhart (right) runs into Tri-City left wing Justin Feser during the third period.

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

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

Now onto the overtime period where I got my best photos from the game. Both teams had some good chances in overtime, but neither could punch it through.   I’ll just let my photos describe it to you, as they’re a good representation of what happened.

Seattle goalie Calvin Pickard (right) blocks a shot while defenseman Dave Sutter (left) and Tri City right wing Jordan Messier fight for the rebound in the overtime period of a WHL game Oct. 26 in Kent, WA.

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

Seattle left wing Marcel Noebels (right) and Tri Cities defenseman Zachary Yuen fight for the puck during the overtime period of a WHL game Oct. 26 in Kent, WA.

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

Seattle defenseman Erik Bonsor (right) disrupts the possession of Tri-City defenseman Zachary Yuen.

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

Seattle center Charles Wells skates past Tri-City right winger Patrick Holland in overtime.

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

Tri-City goalie Drew Owsley stops a Thunderbird attack late in the overtime period.

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

Now that overtime is over, it’s time for the shootout!  There was really only one good photo from the shootout that I got, and thankfully it shows what happened in it.  So it is with great sorrow that I end with this photo of Pickard not being able to save a shootout attempt.

Tri-City right wing Patrick Holland slips a shoot-out attempt past Pickard.

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

You know what, I really hate ending with that photo.  So instead, let’s see some of Center Colin Jacob’s infectious smile…

Center Colin Jacobs is all smiles after Noebels converted his shootout attempt.

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

If you got this far, thanks for reading!  As always, I’d love to hear any comments, questions, criticisms, quandaries; anything you want me to know or answer, I want to hear it.

Oh, and Erica and Erik?  It was great meeting you Tuesday night!

Til next time, go T-Birds!


There’s Nothing Better than the Sound of Slapshots in the Morning…

Remember last post when I promised to find ways to get new content on the blog during road trips?  If you don’t I’ll give you time to go find it…

Got it now?  Good.  And if you didn’t go check, trust me it’s there.   Just a few hours of writing that post, I found out that King 5 would be taping some news segments about the Thunderbirds early Tuesday morning (October 12th).  Having shot a live tv show before last February when College Gameday was at the University of Washington, I knew I could get some nice shots of the taping so I committed to wake up early and head down to the ShoWare Center for the morning’s events.

When I got to the ShoWare Center, the players were in the locker room getting their gear on while the King 5 crewpeople were finishing setting up the camera and discussing the day’s takes.  Since all of the takes would take place on the ice, reporter Christie Johnson would be on ice skates to move around most easily.   Since the players weren’t out of the locker room yet, I snapped a few frames.

King 5 reporter Christie Johnson laces up her skates before taking the ice to file reports from the ShoWare Center early Tuesday morning.

Canon 7D, 50MM, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/100th, Manual

I really like this shot.  A lot.  For one thing I have a thing for darker photos, and also the hallway between the rink and the main concourse (by section 108) had some very nice side-lighting (where the only light source for a photo comes from the subject’s side).  Overall, I thought this photo was a decent starting image and a good omen leading into the rest of the morning.

Defenseman Brenden Dillon was the first of the participating T-Birds (right winger Burke Gallimore, defenseman Luke Lockhart, and goalie Michael Salmon were the other three players that showed up), so he got to do the first teaser with Christie.  Little did he know that Christie had experience in figure skating and wanted to open up with one of those moves for the tease…

Defenseman Brenden Dillon, along with Christie Johnson, shows off his figure skating skills during a teaser for an upcoming segment on King 5.

Canon 7D, 70MM, 1600 ISO, f/5, 1/400th, Manual

Don’t worry, Johnson didn’t force anymore figure skating moves on the guys; they quickly moved on to half-speed plays, and even a mock face-off.  Here, Johnson takes a shot after “winning” one of those face-offs.

Reporter Christie Johnson skated with a few T-Birds early Tuesday morning.  Here, they include her in a mock play after a faceoff.

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

Johnson and her photographer Jim had the segments planned out for the most part before the morning started, so there wasn’t a lot of time spent designing what would be on camera.  After a few minutes of Christie and Jim explaining their visions, there’d be one or two run throughs of the shot to nail down the details of a shot and so that both the players and Christie knew their assignments and timings.  Here’s a photo of Christie explaining the plan for a teaser that included a check into the boards.

Johnson plans out the next take with right winger Burke Gallimore (left), defenseman Brenden Dillon (center), and center Luke Lockhart (right).  Goalie Michael Salmon was also part of the shoot, but is hidden behind Lockhart in this photo.

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

Here is a continuous set of shots that show part of the teaser.  That’s Burke Gallimore in grey and Brenden Dillon in blue who are smashing into the glass in front of Christie.


Canon 7D, 50MM, 1600 ISO, f/4.5, 1/400th, Manual (all photos)

This next photo might just be my favorite from the day.  Not only had the guys had been good sports for the camera, but they had to get up pretty early to do so (they arrived before 5:45 am).  They were understandably tired and so during a break between live takes, Luke and Burke decided to take it easy right out there on the ice.

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

During the time in between live takes (and while the T-Birds players were relaxing), Jim and Christie would consult with producers back at the King 5 production room.  Instead of having to call someone in the studio, though, they merely had to talk through their microphones (the same ones used while taping) in order to be heard.  In addition, Christie could look through the camera so as to “look at” the producers while talking to them.  For whatever reason, I thought this to be somewhat interesting.  So of course I snapped a photo.  What else would I do?

Christie Johnson talks with producers back at King 5 studios through her hidden microphone and by looking at the camera.

Canon 7D, 75MM, 1600 ISO, f/4.5, 1/400th, Manual

After the 40 or so minutes after the first live segment, the second one aired.  For this, Christie asked Thunderbirds head coach Rob Sumner a few questions about the T-Birds’ season so far.  There was also a quick explanation about how to check a guy into the boards.  Since you can scroll up and find plenty board-checking above, here’s a shot of Christie talking to the Coach.

Christie Johnson interviews head coach Rob Sumner during a segment that aired Tuesday morning.

Canon 7D, 70MM, 1600 ISO, f/4.5, 1/400th, Manual

I had been trying all morning to get a cool photo of Christie talking into the camera while still being able to see Jim (photographers always take pictures of other photographers; it’s just something we do), but I hadn’t seen anything good.    Finally, during the segment with Coach Sumner, I got what I wanted.   You can see the camera and everything.  Hey, even photographers deserve to be recognized every now and then…

Christie Johnson opens a segment.

Canon 7D, 70MM, 1600 ISO, f/4.5, 1/400th, Manual

The last segment was all about slapshots.  In it, Luke Lockhart explained how to hit one, Michael Salmon explained what it’s like to try and stop one, and Christie Johnson even attempted to take one.

Luke Lockhart goes through the basics of a slapshot.

Canon 7D, 50MM, 1600 ISO, f/4.5, 1/640th, Manual

Christie Johnson asks Michael Salmon about facing slapshots coming at his head.  “I try not to think about the speed [of the pucks,]” he said.

Canon 7D, 50MM, 1600 ISO, f/4.5, 1/640th, Manual

The T-Birds players taught Johnson the basics of a slapshot, which she’s practicing here.

Canon 7D, 50MM, 1600 ISO, f/4.5, 1/640th, Manual

Once Christie got her shot off, Burke, Luke, and Brenden unleashed a volley of slapshots at Michael.  Despite the multiple pucks coming at him seemingly at once, he did well to block many of them.

Salmon got a leg pad in front of this slapshot.

Canon 7D, 50MM, 1600 ISO, f/4, 1/500th, Manual

After the slapshots, there was just one more thing to film as a possible space-filler in the noon broadcast.  For this, Christie met Luke in a face-off and once again “won” it.  She seems to be pretty good at those…

Christie Johnson takes one final faceoff before signing off from the ShowWare Center.

Canon 7D, 70MM, 1600 ISO, f/4, 1/500th, Manual

After that segment was completed and the producers okayed it, all the taping was done.  After cleaning up all the pucks shot at Michael, Christie got a picture with Coach Sumner and the guys.

Johnson wanted a photo of everyone involved for her own blog, http://www.christiejohnsonking5.blogspot.com.

Canon 7D, 50MM, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

If you didn’t catch the segments live, here’s a link to them on King 5’s website.

http://www.king5.com/video/featured-videos/On-the-ice-with-the-Seattle-Thunderbirds-104794044.html

A special thanks to Christie, Jim, and everyone else at King  5 that helped with the broadcast from ShoWare Center.  I had a blast shooting it, and I hope you guys have enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look at how it was made.

And as they say in show business, that’s a wrap!

Til next time, go T-Birds!


Opening Night pt. 1

Finally it had arrived!  I was looking forward to the Thunderbirds’ home opener ever since I started shooting for them mid-August.   Over the last month I’ve shot a few practices and exhibition games, but in many ways the home opener was the first hockey game I’ve covered.  Sure I had shot a few exhibition games and practices, but regular season games that actually count in the standings, I’ve found, are completely different.  Having all the fans there, having the festivities that go on before and during regular season games really add to the atmosphere of games, and I couldn’t wait to experience it for myself and capture it for you all to see.

Since we’re talking about the festivities around the game, it only seems natural to begin with a picture from the Party on the Plaza .  Before the game, there was a celebration outside of ShoWare that had music, a beer garden, and even inflatable play areas for the younger fans.  After surveying the plaza, I decided to head over to the inflatables and get photos of kids playing.  A few minutes later, I snapped this frame of a young T-Birds fan coming down a slide.

 

A young T-Birds fan enjoys a slide during the Party on the Plaza

 

Canon 40D, 50mm, 640 ISO, f3.5, 1/4000th, Manual

Happy with my slide photo, I wandered around the party and snapped a few more frames of the outdoor celebration, but nothing useable.   Happy with the photos I got from outside, I decided to head inside and wait for the gates to open.  I had in my head a cool idea for a photo of fans piling into the arena, but I quickly realized with my equipment (more specifically lack of a working wide-angle lens) my vision wouldn’t be possible.  I decided to focus on a single fan receiving one of the wooden train whistles that were handed out.  After a few minutes not getting a useable photo (weird facial expressions, blocked subjects, the usual…) I finally stumbled across a decent frame. Naturally, I forgot all my journalistic responsibilities and didn’t get this woman’s name.  In this business, however, you try to use your best frames, and this is the best photo I had from the gates.

 

Fans received train whistles upon entering the ShoWare Center and were told to blow them at various points throughout the game.

 

Canon 40D, 50mm, 800 ISO, f3.2, 1/250th, Manual

After clearing my memory cards onto my computer, I headed down rink side to wait for the ice to be cleared.  Once the players’ warm-ups were finished and the ice was zambonied, the photographers were let out on the ice.  I was weary of walking out on the ice and falling on face in front of everyone as I’m not the most graceful person in the world, but I’m happy to report I stayed upright out on the ice.  While waiting for the team to be introduced, Charles Cortes of the Kent Reporter and I noticed that the Thunderbirds’ helmets were lined up atop the wall.  Never missing an opportunity for detail shots, we both snapped a few frames of the helmet line.  This is my version of it, which I am quite happy with.

 

The Thunderbirds helmets are lined up near the bench prior to the start of the game.

 

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1250 ISO, f2.8, 1/50th, Manual

A few minutes later, the lights dimmed and a short highlight video from last year played on the video screens: the players were about to be introduced!  The green lasers and smoke machine used in the introductions made cool effects for in the background.  I’ll share a few of my favorite player intros with you now…
Here’s goaltender Calvin Pickard acknowledging the crowd (you knew I had to include him…)

 

Pickard was the first player introduced before the game.

 

Canon 7D, 180mm, 1250 ISO, f2.8, 1/640th, Manual

And here’s left winger Chance Lund coming out of the tunnel

 

And now Chance Lund makes his way onto the ice.

 

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/500th, Manual

While the lasers did make for some cool background effects, they could be distracting, as well.  Or, in this case, they could be shining straight into the lens when I release the shutter.  If you look closely, you can see left winger Mitch Elliot.  (hint: you have to look very closely)

 

Green lasers are cool to look at. Not when they're shining right in your eye, though.

 

Canon 7D, 150mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/500th, Manual

And last but not least is backup goaltender Michael Salmon, who shows us that you don’t need fancy lasers and fog to make a good-looking photo.

 

With Michael Salmon, the entire Thunderbirds squad is now on the ice.

 

Canon 7D, 150mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/500th, Manual

Once the Thunderbirds were introduced and the Winterhawks were on the ice, it was time to honor T-bird legend Glen Goodall.  Goodall gave a short speech and, after the national anthem, dropped the ceremonial first puck.  Of course, I completely forgot about the puck drop and was walking towards the door off the ice while when the puck was dropped.  Luckily the Thunderbirds had another photographer who was more on top of things to cover that moment.  Since there’s no good photo of the first puck from me, I’ll leave you with a photo of Glen during his speech.

Thunderbird great Glen Goodall returns to speak to fans and drop the ceremonial first puck.

Canon 7D, 195mm, 1600 ISO, f3.2, 1/1600th, Manual

Since this post ran much longer than I expected, I’ll have put up some game photos in the next post.  Stay tuned to the Photo Blog for more updates throughout the season.  Again, if you have any comments/questions/concerns/ideas for me, just post it in the comments section below.  And thanks for reading!