The Official Photoblog of the Seattle Thunderbirds

Posts tagged “Mitch Elliot

First Half Recap

Happy 2013 T-Birds fans!

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this thing (And in other breaking news, ice is cold), so perhaps a quick recap is in order. Since I have so many games unposted, I’ll post some of the best photos I’ve taken since early November. Sound good? Good, I’m glad you agree…

Early Jan Post001

Defenseman Shea Theodore brings the puck up the ice during a game Nov. 16 against Medicine Hat. Theodore has 27 points on the year, eight goals and 19 assists.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 125mm, f/2.8, 1/2000

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Left winger Alexander Delnov crosses the Thunderbirds logo at center ice during a game Nov. 16 against Medicine Hat.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 115mm, f/2.8, 1/2000

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Delnov and center Connor Honey celebrate a goal in the second period of a Nov. 16 game against Medicine Hat. For much of the first half, the Delnov, Honey, and Roberts Leipsbergs line led the way for the Thunderbirds. The members of the DHL line are currently the top three points-scorers on the squad, with Honey leading the way at 33, Lipsbergs one behind at 32, and Delnov in third with 30.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 85mm, f/2.8, 1/1600

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Left winger Riley Sheen stretches out to block a puck during a game Nov. 17 versus Spokane.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 150mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

And, coincidentally enough, let’s look at a similar photo of Sheen attempting to knock down a puck during the same game.

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Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

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Defenseman Jesse Forsberg dives to interrupt a shot from Everett defenseman Landon Oslanski while Seattle goalie Brandon Glover prepares to make the save during a game Nov. 27.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 100mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

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Center Justin Hickman celebrates a goal late in the third period of the Nov. 27 game against Everett. Hickman’s goal clinched the 5-3 victory for the Thunderbirds.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

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Delnov checks for defenders as he brings the puck up-ice during a game Dec. 1 against Kelowna.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 170mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

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Center and T-Birds captain Luke Lockhart fires a shot towards the goal during the Dec. 1 game against Kelowna. Lockhart had one assist on the night as the T-Birds downed the Rockets 4-2.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 93mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

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Glover makes a save during the Dec. 1 game against Kelowna. Glover has played in 36 games for the Thunderbirds, holding an 89.8% save percentage while facing1,237 shots on the year so far.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 125mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

 

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Lockhart drops to one knee in an effort to block a puck during the Dec. 8 game against Portland. Lockhart has put up 25 points on the year, 14 goals and 11 assists in addition to his duties as team captain.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 155mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

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Left winger Mitch Elliot grapples with Victoria center Brandon MaGee during a dust-up late in the game Dec. 6 versus Victoria.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

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Defenseman Evan Wardley shoves Everett left winger Mitch Skapski as Skapski advances down-ice during a game Dec. 28.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 75mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

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Glover sends a puck flying after blocking an Everett shot during Dec. 28’s contest against the Silvertips.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 93mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

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Forsberg takes a knee in an effort to block a passing lane during Dec. 28’s matchup with Everett.  Forsberg has tallied 20 points on the year so far, scoring four goals while assisting 16 others.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

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Theodore attempts to push Everett center Carson Stadnyk off the puck during the Dec. 28 game against Everett.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

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Glover makes a save during a game Jan. 5 against Spokane.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 93mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

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Right winger Branden Troock and Spokane left winger Carter Proft trade punches during a fight late in the game Jan. 5. Both earned five-minute fighting majors for their involvement in the fight.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

So now I’m caught up with the blog, thankfully! And I have even more exciting news: after every game,  we’ll be posting a photo gallery on the Thunderbirds’ Facebook page! Now you won’t have to wait the days or—let’s face it, the months sometimes—to see photos from some games, it’ll just be an hour or so! What that means for this blog is as of now undetermined, but I’m sure I’ll figure something out for it.

That’s it for this edition of Bird Watching, fans. Thanks for reading and as always,

Til next time, go T-Birds!


T-Birds Open 2012-13 Home Slate

Greetings again, T-Birds fans! I’ve finally found a bit of time so why don’t I revisit the Thunderbirds’ home opener against Portland last Saturday? Does that sound like a good idea to you guys? Well I certainly hope so.

As with the two other home openers I’ve seen, the T-Birds hosted a Party on the Plaza before the game started. There was a bouncy castle for the younger fans, a beer garden for the older ones, and face painting for everyone, along with other booths. Since you can’t really go wrong with a photo of kids having fun on bouncy castles, I headed there first and waited for a photo opportunity to arise. It didn’t take long for me to get this gem…

A young fan gets assistance in departing a bouncy castle at the Party at the Plaza outside the ShoWacre Center.

Canon 7D, 800 ISO, 28mm, f/2.8, 1/5000

 

As mentioned before, there was a face painter outside available to paint the logo of a certain hockey team on the body of anyone who wished to employ her services.

Canon 7D, 400 ISO, 37mm, f/4.5, 1/250

I stuck around outside to finish up a couple of photos I had to take, and then headed inside to prepare for the player introductions before the game started. Here are a couple of photos from those…

Defenseman Jesse Forsberg rushes onto his new home ice while being introduced to the Seattle crowd. Forsberg came over from Prince George in August.

Canon 7D, 2500 ISO, 90mm, f/2.8, 1/400

Surprisingly and a bit to my dismay, I didn’t catch any laser or flare in my lens, which would have made those photos stand out from the other introductions. Nevertheless, I found a nice way to make a good, somewhat unique photo during introductions by shooting without the aid of the spotlight. Here’s what I’m talking about…

Left wing Alexander Delnov, from Moscow, Russia, is introduced for the first time to Thunderbirds fans.

Canon 7D, 2500 ISO, 70mm, f/2.8, 1/400

While the pregame festivities were great to watch and everything, the main draw of the night was (obviously) the game against the rival Portland Winterhawks, so let’s check out some action shots from the first period!

Defenseman Shea Theodore fights through a check by Portland center Nic Petan.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 110mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

As you would expect from a Seattle/Portland matchup, the game quickly turned chippy with physical play all around the rink and plenty of pushing and shoving after the whistle. Here T-Birds’ left wing Riley Sheen (left) and right wing Seth Swenson (right) are involved in a small dust-up with Portland’s Adam De Champlain.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 115mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Center Connor Sanvido controls the puck in front of the Portland bench during the first period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 165mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

About seven minutes into the game, the Thunderbird found themselves on their second powerplay of the night. Barely 10 seconds into the advantage, Seth Swenson powered a loose puck past Portland goalie Cam Lanigan to give the T-Birds a 1-0 advantage in the first. I didn’t get a good frame of the goal, unfortunately, but I did get a decent photo of the resulting celebration.

Sheen is all smiles after Swenson scores his first goal of the year on a power play in the first period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 120mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Delnov chases down a loose puck while in the neutral zone during the first period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 175mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

That’s it for photos from the first period. Let’s move onto the second!

As we’ve previously established, the game turned very physical quickly. It came as no surprise when, nary two minutes into the second period, left wing Mitch Elliot and Portland right wing Joe Mahon dropped gloves and earned themselves a five-minute fighting major, but not before Elliot forced Mahon down to the ice.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 170mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Center Tyler Alos slides a centering pass through the reach of Portland’s Kirill Vorobev and towards the Portland goal.

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

Theodore controls the puck in the Portland zone during the second period.

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

The Winterhawks scored two goals in the second period, taking a two score lead into the third period. For the third period, I moved to my typical spot between the benches to get photos unblocked by the glass, where it looks like my efforts paid off…

Defenseman Jared Hauf brings the puck up the ice early in the third period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 110mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Theodore slides a pass up the ice and into the neutral zone.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 155mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Center Justin Hickman brings the puck past an offscreen Portland defender.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 80mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Right wing Branden Troock battles with Portland center Preston Kopec for a puck in the Portland zone.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 105mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Forsberg knocks away a puck heading for the Seattle goal in the third period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 125mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Delnov attempts a back-door shot on the Portland goal, but Portland’s goalie Cam Lanigan makes the save.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 155mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

And, since it’s a Seattle/Portland game, why don’t we end the blog on a shot of another fight? Deal? Deal.

Defenseman Taylor Green and Portland right wing Joe Mahon prepare to land punches on each other late in the game.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 90mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

And that’s it for this edition of Bird Watching! The Thunderbirds return to the ShoWare Center Saturday night, October 6 for a game against those [sarcasm]beloved[ens] hated rivals directly to the north, the Everett Silvertips. I’ll be there, will you?


So it Begins! Training Camp 2012-13

Hello once again Thunderbirds fans, and welcome to the 2012-13 season! I’m team photographer Kyle Scholzen and I’m back for another year behind the camera for everyone’s favorite hockey team! Once again, I’ll be taking photos at most of the Thunderbirds’ games, team events, and perhaps a few other activities, bringing you guys a bit closer to the action on and off the ice. Let’s start out the new year off with a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into Training Camp Check In!

August 22 was training camp reporting day for old, new, and future Thunderbirds players. On the list of things to do for players were take updated headshots, film introduction videos, and participate in fitness testing, among other things. I was there to document some of the goings-on, so let’s see some of the photos from the day!

Camp attendee Austin Adamson holds up a sign with his name before filming his player introduction video. Players held up signs with their names on them prior to taping to help with player identification during post-production.

Left winger Mitch Elliot (left) chats with general manager Russ Farwell after taking his photos and filming his intro video. Elliot is returning for his fourth year manning the left wing for the T-Birds.

Center Brayden Low is all smiles while recording his introduction video. On Check In Day, the players filmed the videos played each game while the starters are being introduced. In order to get the five or 10 seconds of screen time, the players are told to stand still for 30 seconds. It may sound easy, but staring at a camera for 30 seconds always seems longer than it really is.

Tristan Simm puts on pads before having his headshot taken.

At the time this photo was taken, most campers had arrived at the ShoWare Center and checked in. Seventy players attended the team’s five-day training camp in an effort to make the preseason roster.

Mathew Barzal, the team’s first-round draft pick this past May, dons pads and a Thunderbirds jersey in preparation for his headshot before the start of training camp.

Once all the photos were taken and videos filmed, it was time to move into the weight room for some fitness testing…

New Thunderbirds defenseman Jesse Forsberg takes part in the vertical jump during fitness testing at the beginning of training camp. Forsberg spent the last three years with Prince George and was acquired early in August.

Camp attendees loosen up their legs on stationary bikes after doing the leg press exercise during fitness testing.

Short post today I know, but there’ll be plenty more once the season begins! Although the regular season doesn’t start until September 21 at Portland, the T-Birds’ home slate actually begins with a preseason tilt against Everett this coming Friday, Sept. 14! I’ll be there, will you guys?

Like what you see? Have any comments or suggestions for the blog this year? Say so in the comments section below!


T-Birds Dice Up Saskatoon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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T-Birds Give Grand Performance on Pink the Rink Night

The third weekend of the 2011-2012 season brought about two home games for the Thunderbirds, against the Prince Albert Raiders on Friday, Oct. 7, and the newest WHL team, the Victoria Royals (formerly of Chilliwack) the next day.   Since it’s freshest in my memory, why don’t we examine the game against Victoria first?

The game started off quickly, with the T-Birds scoring just one minute into the opening period.  I had just enough time to get situated and my camera settings set up before center Tyler Alos sent a centering pass into Justin Hickman, who calmly finished the scoring play.

Center Tyler Alos (right) centers the puck towards Justin Hickman (left), who sent it past Victoria goalie Braden Gamble for the first T-Birds goal of the night.

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

In case you didn’t notice in that last picture, yes, the ice was pink on Saturday.  It was “Pink the Rink Night” at the ShoWare Center to raise awareness of breast cancer and the ShoWare Center’s maintenance staff took that literally, putting chemicals in the ice to turn it pink.  I knew it would be a rare event and make for an interesting photo from above, so I focused on getting an action shot with an entirely pink background.  Just a few minutes into the game, I succeded…

Alos blocks the passing lane in front of Victoria defenseman Hayden Rintoul, forcing Rintoul into a back-pass.

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

Six minutes into the game, the Thunderbirds found themselves on a power play after Victoria’s Kade Pilton got called for roughing.  Just five seconds into the power play, Dave Sutter found himself in a great shooting position, and he promptly took advantage of it, scoring his first goal of the season…

Defenseman Dave Sutter fires the puck past the Victoria goalie during a power play in the first period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 165mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

40 seconds later, the T-Birds added to their 2-1 lead with a goal by Mitch Elliot.  That goal was the T-Birds’ third of the game, which led to this interesting photo…

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 200mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

That’s right; the first three T-Birds goals came on three shots on goal, giving them a shooting percentage of 100% for over seven minutes of action.  I certainly haven’t seen that before in my hockey-watching days.

One of the (relatively) new players on defense is youngster Jared Hauf.  He played three games as an under-ager for the T-Birds last year, but I didn’t get any good photos of him.  My goal in the first five or so games of this new season was to get a couple decent photos all the new people to have some in case we need a photo of one of them.   Luckily, I got a nice photo of Hauf going down to the ice in order to keep Victoria center Kevin Sundher from shooting the puck into the Seattle goal.

Defenseman Jared Hauf blocks Victoria center Kevin Sundher from the puck directly in front of the Seattle net.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 135mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Also playing a lot more is Connor Sanvido.  He got the start at left wing against Victoria, and worked his way into this blog post with this beauty of a photo…

Left wing Connor Sanvido stretches to reach a loose puck in front of Victoria right wing Austin Carrol.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 150mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Alos is upended before he can take a shot on Victoria goalie Keith Hamilton in the first period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 100mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

That’s it for first period photos, and the score was still set at 3-1 in favor of the Thunderbirds.   Onto the second period!

Left winger Mitch Elliot fires a shot towards the Victoria goal early in the second period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 62mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

 

Early in the second period, the T-Birds found themselves on the offensive, and Burke Gallimore had a great shot on goal.  It was knocked down by Hamilton, but it was awfully close to crossing the blue line for a score.  Burke thought it was in, and raised his stick in triumph…

Right winger Burke Gallimore raises his stick in triumph after a shot on goal.  The puck nearly crossed the line, but was saved just before counting as a score.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 30mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

I thought center Luke Lockhart had a decent game on Saturday.  He assisted Sutter’s goal and he was constantly in the action all throughout the night.  He was also in front of my camera a lot, like he was for this shot on frame in the second period.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 59mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

For his efforts in the game, Dave Sutter was named the second start of the game.  We already saw how he contributed on offense, now check out his defense as he fights to take the puck away from Victoria’s Rintoul.

Canon 7D, 1250 ISO, 200mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

In the second period, the Royals got one back, cutting the T-Birds’ lead to 3-2.  Now for some third period action!

A shot from left winger Chance Lund gets blocked by Victoria’s Hamilton early in the third period.

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

The story of the game was undoubtedly Branden Troock.  The right winger missed all of last year due to injury and played in just his second competitive game in two years Saturday night.  That didn’t stop him from scoring the last two goals for the Thunderbirds, including the game-winner.  Although I didn’t get a good shot of his first goal, I had a window to his celebration, which was just as good…

Left winger Branden Troock celebrates his first goal of the season with center Luke Lockhart.

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

As I’m writing this blog, I’m realizing that Tyler Alos has been in a lot of photos so far.  So what’s one more? He deserves it…

Center Tyler Alos tries to get in front of Victoria’s Kade Pilton’s pass in the third period.

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

Left wing Connor Sanvido and Victoria defenseman Jesse Pauls race for a puck in the third period.

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

Sanvido hits the ice while trying to reach a puck in front of Victoria’s Pauls.

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

Lockhart gets tangled up with Victoria’s Sundher while they both dash for the puck.

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

These last three photos were evidence of how much Victoria pressed in the middle of the third period in an effort to tie up the game.  It worked, briefly, as they notched it up at four by scoring two third period goals.  That result wasn’t going to hold, though, if Branden Troock had anything to say about it…

Troock fires a shot past Victoria’s Hamilton after stealing the puck from a Victoria defender deep in the Victoria zone.

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

That goal put the T-Birds up 5-4, giving Troock something else to celebrate…

Troock celebrates his second goal of the game, one that gave the T-Birds the lead with three minutes left to play in regulation.

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

The last three minutes were more of Victoria pressing, having pulled the goalie for the last two minutes or so.  The T-Birds did well, though, and didn’t let Victoria score again.  They threw themselves in front of Victoria shots and battled for pucks.  It was a tough-fought three minutes, as evidenced by this photo of Hickman and Victoria left wing Jamie Crooks on the ground after they both scrambled for a loose puck.

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

Those three minutes ended with no other goals, and the Thunderbirds earned their first win of the year.  It was time to celebrate around goalie Calvin Pickard!

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

What a game!  It certainly was exciting at the end there, and it was nice to see the T-Birds win their first game for Coach Konowalchuk.  Also, it was great to see Troock play so well in just his second game since the 2009-2010 year.

Tell me what you thought of the game, or of the pictures, in the comments section below.

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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2011/2012 Season Opener: New Beginnings and Familiar Faces

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

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

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

and a couple of inflatable bouncy-toys.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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


Last Weekend of Games Leaves T-Birds Short of Playoffs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which Jacobs promptly buried into the net! Tie game!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now for the Tri-City game on Sunday…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

While Brenden Dillon won Defenseman of the Year.

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

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

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

And Calvin Pickard and Brenden Dillon shared the MVP honors.

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

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

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

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

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

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

As always, go T-Birds!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That shot earned Gallimore a hug from Toomey…

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

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

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

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

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

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!


Game 28 (Part 2): T-Birds Whack Bruins in Shootout

When we last left off, 20 mascots were running around on the ice with brooms and attempting to play broomball.  Eventually they were cleared off the ice and the main attraction of the night—a hockey game with players in skates instead of overly-large feet and heads—resumed.  As always for the second period, I took up a position behind the opposing goal, hoping for another good offensive period…

…and didn’t find it in the first photo.  But hey, it takes place in the T-Birds’ offensive third so that counts for something, right?

Left wing Chance Lund tries to pry the puck away from Chilliwack left wing Curt Gogol early in the second period.

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

But that first photo was just an aberration as in this next photo, left wing Mitch Elliot takes a shot on the Chilliwack goal.

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

The T-Birds found themselves on a power play about four and a half minutes into the period.  They successfully converted this time when center Travis Toomey fired a shot past Chilliwack goalie Lucas Gore.  Unfortunately there was a Chilliwack defenseman blocking my shot of Toomey and the celebration traveled away from me, so I didn’t get anything good from the goal.  The only thing I did get after the goal, however, is a photo of Cool Bird celebrating the now-level game.

Canon 7D, 28mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/320th, Manual

Center Luke Lockhart positions himself to get the rebound from a Chance Lund slapshot.  Lockhart caught up with the puck and fired on goal, but Gore blocked it from going between the pipes.

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

And here Lockhart goes behind the net in order to get a pass off to Lund, who’s positioned right in front of the Chilliwack goal.

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

Center Justin Hickman tries to knock Chilliwack center Steven Hodges away from the puck after the T-Birds’ defense cleared it from their own defensive zone.

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

Late in the second period, a fight broke out between right wing Burke Gallimore and Chilliwack center Brandon Magee.  I did not see what caused the tussle—I was watching the puck and at the time of the fight it was in front of the goal and to my right, not along the boards and to my left like the fight was—but both players quickly got support from their respective teammates in it.  Pretty soon (I think it was) all five skaters from each team were involved in some way in the string of fights caused by Gallimore v. Magee.  Here’s a photo showing each individual match-up.

Fans at ShoWare Center saw a multi-fight melee at the end of the second period were seemingly everyone but the goalies were trying to punch someone wearing a different-color jersey.

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

In all, 72 minutes were dished out to seven players, four of them being T-Birds.  The four Thunderbirds who received penalty minutes for their part in the altercation were sent to the locker room since less than two minutes remained in the second period, and I got a photo of them skating off the ice… From left to right its center Travis Toomey, Gallimore, defenseman Ryan Button (who’s furthest from me), and center Brendan Rouse.

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

And with that little bit of excitement, the period ended.  Chilliwack added two more goals in the period, bringing the score to 3-1 in favor of the Bruins.  For the third period, I headed onto the ice and between the benches in order to get a clearer view of the third period action where hopefully the T-Birds could produce another comeback…

Center Colin Jacobs tries to poke the puck away from Chillwack right wing Blair Wentworth near center ice early on in the third period.

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

Center Justin Hickman (middle) is flanked by fellow center Tyler Alos (background. left) and Elliot (foreground, right) while skating down the ice with the puck.

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

Later in the possession Hickman found himself in position to take a shot on goal, but was denied by Gore.

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

About halfway through the third period, Elliot found himself right in front of the net when Toomey knocked the puck towards Mitch.  Elliot took a bit of a windup and then proceeded to bury the loose puck past Gore and into the back of the net to cut the Bruins’ lead to one.  I managed to get the entire play, and I’ll give you the series of five photos now…

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

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

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

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

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

And of course he had to celebrate his fifth goal of the season…

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

In the third period, the T-Birds very much controlled the game, earning a whopping 25 shots on goal while limiting the Bruins to just 11.  They were able to end Chilliwack possessions early and at times threw their weight around, including this photo where Alos shoves Chilliwack’s Hodges away from the puck.

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

Button is upended by Chilliwack left wing Jamie Crooks in the attacking third of the ice.

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

Jacobs brings the puck past a Chilliwack defender during a Seattle power play.

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

Late in the power play, Brendan Dillon fired a shot towards the Chilliwack goal.  After Toomey redirected it, Colin Jacobs finished the play by powering it into the back of the net.  My view of Jacobs during his shot was blocked, but I did have a nice view of Dillon’s pass that earned him an assist.

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

And of course Jacobs had to celebrate the game-tying goal…

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

And here’s goalie Calvin Pickard celebrating Jacobs’ goal.

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

And with the game tied, the T-Birds had to stop the Bruins from scoring for two more minutes in order to get into overtime.  That effort was helped by this interception of a Chilliwack pass by defenseman Travis Bobbee.

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

And in the closing moments of the game, Button had a decent opportunity to put the T-Birds up and prevent the Bruins for earning a point.  He didn’t convert, however, and lamented his chance when regulation ended.

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

In the overtime period, the Bruins actually outshot the T-Birds six to four.  None of those attempts were successful however, as Pickard made six of his 37 saves in the overtime period.  Here’s one of them…

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

For the shootout, the T-Birds bench got their rally helmets on (flipped their helmets around) in an attempt to will the team to victory.  Here’s right wing Jacob Doty sporting the backwards helmet.  I think they may be onto something here… it was obviously successful.

Canon 7D, 125mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

After the first shooters for both teams both converted their chances.  Second up for Chilliwack was center Kevin Sundher.  Before Sundher could take a shot, however, Pickard poke-checked the puck away, ending the attempt.

Canon 7D, 100mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Second up for the T-Birds was Jacobs, who didn’t allow the puck to be poke-checked away and instead converted his attempt.

Canon 7D, 98mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

The third shooter for Chilliwack, left wing Roman Horak hit the post during his attempt, sealing the win for the T-Birds.  The team rushed onto the ice to celebrate the two points, many still wearing their rally helmets.

Canon 7D, 105mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

There was a lot of celebration and numerous hugs on the ice after game, including this exchange between Pickard and Toomey.

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

With those two points over the Bruins, the team directly above them in the standings, the T-Birds’ playoff chances grew a bit stronger that night.  It will surely take more than this single win to propel the T-Birds into the playoffs, but the way the team came back from a two-goal deficit suggests that the last few weeks of the season will have plenty of intrigue…

And that’s it for this time!   I appreciate any and all comments you have on this post or any other one; just leave one in the comments section below!

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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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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