The Official Photoblog of the Seattle Thunderbirds

Posts tagged “Portland Winterhawks

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?

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T-Birds Fall to Portland in Teddy Bear Toss Game

Well now, isn’t this a pleasant surprise? Another edition of Bird Watching! I do have to apologize for the long breaks in between this post and my last one; my quarter is very busy with three classes and a lot of work at Seattle University. But I have the time now, and I’ve got the photos from an always-special game: the annual Teddy Bear Toss game!

Every year, many (if not all) WHL teams hold a Teddy Bear Toss game where fans bring teddy bears to donate to charity—the Thunderbirds give the bears to the WARM 106.9 Teddy Bear Patrol which gives them to local firefighters and other emergency responders to give to children in times of crisis. The best part about the Teddy Bear Toss, though, is seeing all the bears thrown onto the ice after the first T-Birds goal. But before we see the bears thrown to the ice, the players must be introduced…

The Thunderbirds’ starting lineup is introduced to a capacity crowd at the ShoWare Center Jan. 28.

Canon 7D, 2500 ISO, 40mm, f/2.8, 1/640

A couple of stuffed animals have great seats for the beginning of the game. They didn’t even get to watch a full period, however, as Connor Honey opened the scoring for the Thunderbirds with seven minutes left in the period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 80mm, f/2.8, 1/800

Before that, though, the Thunderbirds had a couple of other decent shots on goal…

Defenseman Dave Sutter takes a shot on the Portland goal early in the first period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 73mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Center Connor Sanvido watches as Portland goalie Mac Carruth saves his shot in the first period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 90mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

As said before, Connor Honey put the Thunderbirds on the scoreboard with his first goal as a Thunderbird. Just as the celebration started on the ice, the teddy bears went flying…

Fans toss their stuffed animals onto the ice after Connor Honey’s first

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 53mm, f/2.8, 1/800

Here’s a cool shot I got while the stuffed animals were being thrown on the ice. I like this photo a lot because while you can still see the fans, including a couple bears that hadn’t been thrown over the boards yet, you can also see the ice starting to get littered with animals in the reflection off the glass. It all made for a nice shot.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 30mm, f/2.8, 1/800

 

Being a Seattle/Portland rivalry game, the match was littered with hard hits and checks into the board. Here are a couple photos of those hits including part of a Luke Lockhart string…

Center Justin Hickman is about to slam Portland defenseman William Wrenn into the boards in the Portland zone during the second half.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 28mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Center Luke Lockhart jostles for position with Portland defenseman Troy Rutkowski.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 28mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

The jostling turned into a good ole-fashioned check later on…

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 28mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Unfortunately I wasn’t in position to get Honey’s first WHL goal, but I did have a nice viewpoint on what could have been his second…

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 40mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 32mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Portland’s William Wrenn blocks a shot late in the second, resulting in a loose puck in front of the Portland net.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 35mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

And we’ll move to the third period, where I took my normal spot of between the benches. Although I missed left winger Chance Lund’s goal, I did get a good shot of him celebrating with Hickman…

Chance Lund and Justin Hickman celebrate Lund’s goal in the third period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 155mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

For that weekend of games, center Justin Hickman wore a wireless microphone for Q13 Sports. I wanted a photo that showed the mic and ended up with this beauty. Unfortunately, I cannot tell where it is on him. Can you spot the microphone?

Justin Hickman returns to the bench after a shift during the third period.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 135mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Here’s newly-acquired right winger Dillon Wagner escaping from being pinned into the boards by Portland defenseman Derrick Pouliot. Wagner, a former Winterhawk, was claimed off waivers back in early January.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 195mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

During warm-ups before the game, I noticed something different about the Thunderbirds players: they weren’t wearing the typical dark blue helmet, they were sporting white lids for this game. I’m not sure when exactly the white helmet entered the Thunderbirds’ unifomr options, but it certainly does look pretty slick. Here’s a shot of the helmet on the bench, as modeled by right wing Seth Swenson.

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

Right winger Branden Troock tries to get at a rebound in front of Portland’s Marruth in the third period.

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

And for our last photo, let’s check out one final hit by Justin Hickman…

Hickman stands up Portland defenseman Joseph Morrow late in the game.

Canon 7D, 2000 ISO, 135mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Unfortunately that’s it for photos for this post. Hopefully it won’t take me so long to post again, and I hope to see you all down at the ShoWare Center real soon!

‘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 29: T-Birds Drop Heartbreaker to Winterhawks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Defenseman Ryan Button controls the puck.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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Game 26: T-Birds Iced by Winterhawks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Toomey sends Portland defenseman William Wrenn crashing into the boards.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Game 22: T-Birds, Teddy Bears Fall against Portland

Teddy Bear Toss night had finally arrived!  After going over to Kennewick for Tri-City’s Toss, I was looking forward to our own night to throw bears on the ice for charity, and last Saturday happened to be that night.  The T-Birds’ opponent that night was the Portland Winterhawks, a team the Thunderbirds have found plenty of success against so far this season.  Would the T-Birds be able to vanquish their rivals from the south again?  Would the T-Birds fans donate a tremendous amount of bears to charity?  Would Kyle manage to not screw up the Teddy Bear Toss photos?  Find out in this edition of Bird Watching!

To begin the photos, let’s check out yet another shot of Colin Jacobs making a face while I’m trying to get a photo of him.  In my three years of sports shooting, there’s always been one person who can never give me a straight face while I’m shooting his or her sport.  At the UW, it was one of my friends from the gymnastics team who’d always give me a weird face, and this year it’s Jacobs.  While going through my photos after a game, I can always enjoy a nice chuckle whenever Jacobs pops up because he’ll always make a face.  See for yourself…

Center Colin Jacobs makes a pass while being shoved by Portland center Ryan Johansen during the first period.

Canon 7D, 155mm, 2000 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

It being Teddy Bear Toss night, fans came to the game with stuffed animals in hand in hopes of a T-Birds goal and a chance to throw the furry toys onto the ice.  Until then, fans had to hold onto their donations and store them anywhere there was space.  Some fans, like this one, ended up sharing a chair with their bears.

A fan watches the action on the ice alongside two stuffed animals that will later be tossed onto the ice.

Canon 7D, 70mm, 2000 ISO, f/2.8, 1/125th, Manual

Before the T-Birds could score a goal and make it rain teddy bears, they had to make sure Portland didn’t get a goal of their own.  Goalie Calvin Pickard made sure the Winterhawks wouldn’t get the first score on this play…

Canon 7D, 148mm, 2000 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

It wasn’t just Portland controlling the puck for the first period; Seattle got 14 shots on Portland goalie Mac Carruth, including this one by right wing Burke Gallimore.

Canon 7D, 145mm, 2000 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Even Cool Bird had a bear to throw onto the ice for Teddy Bear Toss night…

Canon 7D, 145mm, 2000 ISO, f/2.8, 1/400th, Manual

Thanks to passes by Tyler Alos and Colin Jacobs, center Travis Toomey found himself with the puck in space in front of the Portland goal.  He coolly fired the puck past Carruth for a score and promptly celebrated the feat with center Tyler Alos (bottom).

Canon 7D, 180mm, 2000 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

And with that goal, the teddy bears began to fall from the stands and onto the ice!

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

While bears were seemingly falling from the sky, I took the time to run down to the ice level (and I mean run: I nearly ran over a few suite attendants in my mad dash) to get some on ice photos of the beary special activities.  Anyone up for a game of 5,000-bear pickup?

Thunderbirds staffers pile bears onto tarps for easier transportation off the ice.

Canon 7D, 48mm, 2000 ISO, f/2.8, 1/640th, Manual

The players even helped with the cleanup.  Here, defenseman Dave Sutter (foreground, right) and left wing Chance Lund (background, left) organize the bears into piles.

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

Assistant Director of Operations Joey Ravotti tosses teddy bears onto a tarp in an effort to clear the ice of bears.

Canon 7D, 33mm, 2000 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

Every sort of bear-collecting device imaginable was used to pick up the donated bears off the ice and transport them into the depths of the ShoWare Center for counting and packing.  Here, T-Birds staffers—and even Cool Bird himself—pack an SUV full of stuffed animals.

Cool Bird carries an armful (and also a beakful) of teddy bears to an on-ice transport car during the Teddy Bear Toss.

Not every bear tossed made it to the ice, unfortunately.  This furry friend got caught up in the protective netting above the glass at the south end of the rink.

A fan uses Marcel Noebel’s stick to attempt to dislodge a bear stuck in the netting above the ice at the ShoWare Center.

Canon 7D, 33mm, 2000 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

A bit after play resumed, a ShoWare maintenance worker climbed the boards to free the stuck bear.

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

And that does it for an exciting first period.  With the score tied at one, we’ll move onto the second period of action…

And let’s start out that action with a shot of Gallimore trying to get the lead back for the T-Birds with a shot on Carruth, which ended up being blocked.

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

As is true for all games against US division foes, this game featured plenty of hard hits that elicited groans from not only the players being hit, but from the fans as well.

Chance Lund knocks Portland right wing Ty Rattie to the ice after Rattie attempted to dislodge the puck from Lund’s possession in the second period.

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

Center Luke Lockhart wins a faceoff against Portland’s Johansen.

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

For this next photo I had a lot of trouble deciding what crop to use.  I could have cropped it so just Calvin and the Portland attacker were shown, but I ultimately decided that defenseman Erik Bonsor was just too important in the photo as he’s knocking the puck away from the Portland player and Calvin wasn’t involved in the play at all.  What do you think?  Should I have cut off the left side up to Rutkowski and just showed Calvin and him?  Let me know in the comments section below!

Defenseman Erik Bonsor knocks the puck away from Portland defenseman Troy Rutkowski, eliminating the chance of a shot on Seattle goalie Calvin Pickard on the play.

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

As usual, I didn’t get as many second period photos as first or third, so let’s just move on, shall we?

Center Brendan Rouse (center) and Portland right wing Ty Rattie compete for a puck while Seattle left wing Mitch Elliot watches on in the beginning of the third period.

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

In the third period, the T-Bird offense was firing on all cylinders, earning a whopping 22 shots on goal in the period, just one less than they had in the first two periods combined.  Here’s one of those shots, this one by center Tyler Alos.

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

In fact, for long amounts of time Calvin Pickard was relegated to puck-chaser often times as Portland sent many clearances down the ice.  Here, he’s retrieving a clearance so the offense can generate more scoring opportunities faster.

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

Center Justin Hickman continued his physical play, checking Winterhawks into the boards often and without warning.  Here, he crushes his latest victim, Portland defenseman Joe Morrow, into the glass in the north end of the rink.

Canon 7D, 173mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Lockhart is brought to his knees while scrapping for the puck with Portland defensemen Rutdowski (left) and Morrow (right).

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

During a Seattle powerplay late in the game, Portland used their timeout to plan how to kill the penalty.  The Thunderbirds also used this time to strategize and earn a goal or two that would get them back into the game.

Head coach Rob Sumner talks with his players during a time out late in the third period.

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

 

During that power play the Thunderbirds did get a goal from Marcel Noebels to bring the score to 2-4.  Unfortunately my view of the actual goal was blocked, but I did get a celebration shot with Noebels (center), Toomey (left) and Lockhart (right).

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

Fans showed their support to Noebels and the rest of the team by standing and cheering on the T-Birds after the goal.  One fan even bore the flag of Germany, Noebels’ home during the offseason.

A fan waves a German flag in support of Marcel Noebels after Noebels scored a third period goal.

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

And let’s end the game photos with a shot of Lockhart stealing the puck away from Portland left wing Nino Niederreiter…

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

Alright, that’s it for this post.  I hope you enjoyed the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them!  And a note:  T-Birds fans tossed a whopping 5,031 bears onto the ice and collected for the WAMR 106.9 Teddy Bear Patrol!  That’s a great number, good job guys (and gals)! The bears will be given out to local fire and police departments to give to children in times of crisis, so thanks for helping with that great cause!
Have any questions for me?  Comments?  Suggestions?  Let me know in the comment section below!

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!


Best of Part One: The Top Photos So Far…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Holidays from the Seattle Thunderbirds!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Til tonight, go T-Birds!


Mid-Road Trip Photo Break

Hello everyone!

Sorry I haven’t posted anything in a week, but there hasn’t been anything new to post.  I’ll try to get some extra content during the next home stretch to give you something new to look at while I’m not following the Thunderbirds on the road.
To try and make up for my lack of posts, how about more game photos?  I have some form the first two home games I’d love to share with you all.

These first few are from the home opener September 25 against Portland.

Center Charles Wells skates up the ice with the puck during the Sept. 25 home opener against Portland.

Canon 7D, 185mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Defenseman Brenden Dillon controls the puck during the Thunderbirds’ 4-1 victory over the Winterhawks.

Canon 7D, 165mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual


The Thunderbirds celebrate a goal in the 3rd period of their home opener Sept. 25 against the Portland Winterhawks.

Canon 7D, 165mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual


Ok, so there were only three from the home opener.  I had a bad game that night (unlike the T-Birds with their 4-1 win), and didn’t get too many great photos.   Oh well, it happens and I’m used to it.  The next game, the game October 1 against Lethbridge, however, was much better for me.  I feel some of these were good enough to go into the game post if they matched the theme I picked for it better.

Rightwinger Jacob Doty takes the puck past the center line during a game against Lethbridge Oct. 1.

Canon 7D, 170mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual


Center Colin Jacobs has a clear view of the puck after being knocked to the ice during an Oct. 1 game against the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Canon 7D, 185mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

This next photo I nearly used in the game thread.  I ended up going with one a few frames and about a second later (I love having a camera that takes 8 frames per second).

Hurricane leftwinger Jacob Berglund takes a shot on goal with Thunderbird defenseman Ryan Aasman (behind) in pursuit.  T-Birds goalie Calvin Pickard blocked the shot and the T-Birds won the game 3-2 via a 2-0 shootout win.

Canon 7D, 170mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual


Rightwinger Marcel Noebels battles Lethbridge defenseman Mike Reddington for the puck during a game Oct. 1

Canon 7D, 155mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual


Goalie Calvin Pickard saves a shot by Lethbridge leftwinger Max Ross.

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th,


Now for this next photo, I’m not quite sure why I’m including it.  It’s not the best photo ever, there’s just something about it that draws my eye every time I pass it.  I figure that has to mean something, so I decided to include it in this blog.  Let me know what you guys think of it in the comments section below…

Center Colin Jacobs tries to get past Hurricane defenseman Daniel Johnston.

Canon 7D, 115mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

This next photo was taken just a few frames after the previous one.  Maybe that’s why I included that picture just before, to tell how that possession ended?  Yeah, that’s it… That’s the excuse I’ll use!

Jacobs and Johnston race for the puck after Johnston knocked it away.

Canon 7D, 105mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Now this next one is a pretty cool photo.  It would be even better if Wells was over to the right more and not directly behind the goal, but I still think it’s pretty good.  I like how you can see the puck a few inches away from Anderson.  Someday I’ll get Pickard in a cool photo like that.

Seattle center Charles Wells watches as Lethbridge goalie Brandon Anderson  blocks a shot in the second period of a game Oct. 1.

Canon 7D, 78mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Erica, you said you wanted to see more celebration shots.  Well here’s one for you.  Let’s call it a continuation from the last post…

Leftwinger Chance Lund, Rightwinger Burke Gallimore, center Travis Toomey, and defenseman Brenden Dillon celebrate  Toomey’s goal in the third period of a game Oct. 1 against Lethbridge.

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

I had a decision to make with this next photo.  I had a frame where Lund was in focus by the net and the one below where Bonsor is in focus in the foreground.  I think they’re about equal quality, I just decided to go with the Bonsor pic because the puck is closer to him than it is to Lund.

Seattle defenseman Erik Bonsor attempts a pass to Chance Lund.

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

This next photo isn’t an action shot, but nice nonetheless.  It’s an environmental portrait of sorts of Dave Sutter.  While in the box between the benches, I need to remember to grab a few shots of the Thunderbirds’ bench.  I figure you guys would like to see that and I have a responsibility to show you that area since I have access to it.  So keep reminding me to look over my right shoulder while on the ice, okay?

Defenseman Dave Sutter listens to Coach Rob Sumner before the overtime period.

Canon 7D, 85mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Lastly, who doesn’t love more Calvin Pickard shots?  Here’s Calvin making a save during the shootout in the Lethbridge game.

Goalie Calvin Pickard saves a shootout attempt by Lethbridge’s Cam Braes.

Canon 7D, 120mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Since both Gallimore and Noebels hit their attempts and Pickard blocked both of Lethbridge’s, the Thunderbirds ended up winning the shootout and the game.  So let’s celebrate another T-Birds victory, shall we Calvin?

Pickard celebrates saving a shootout attempt by Lethbridge’s Dylan Tait, the play that clinched a victory and two points for the Thunderbirds.

Canon 7d, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

That’s a resounding yes from Pickard!

That’s it for this post, ladies and gentlemen.  As always, thank you for reading and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
Til next time, go T-Birds!


Opening Night pt. 2

We left off with me scrambling off the ice after Glen Goodall dropped the ceremonial first puck (again, I didn’t fall on the ice, I’m so proud!) .  In addition to missing the ceremonial puck drop, though, I also missed the drop to begin the game.  For the first period I wanted to shoot from the upper level of ShoWare to get above the glass, so I was running up and around to my vantage point.  After missing just half a minute of action, I settled into my position by a couple of suites and started to fire away.

The nice thing about being up high is that you can shoot above the glass instead of through it.   That makes the photos clearer since there’s nothing to ruin the camera’s focus.  I’ll give you an example…

 

Jacob Doty checks a Winterhawk into the boards, which mess with my focal point.

 

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

This photo of right winger Jacob Doty checking a Winterhawk into the boards is slightly out of focus.  If you look close, you can see that the glass is the focal point of the photo, not the players even though that’s what I was focusing on.  This fore-focusing is a result of having something—even though it’s translucent—in between the lens and the subject.   My focus was tricked into being wrong by the glass.

 

Calvin Pickard saves a shot in the first period.

 

Canon 7D, 165mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

The focus on this shot of a goaltender Calvin Pickard save is in focus, seeing as the glass doesn’t rise high enough to be in my line of sight.  When shooting from a high vantage point, I mainly shoot the goalie and the part of the ice not behind the glass and safety nets that hang behind each goal.  Unfortunately that takes away many shots from when the T-Birds are when offense, but I can make up for it when I head down rinkside and shoot through the glass there.

Speaking of going rinkside, I’ll share just one more photo before we head down there. During one of the timeouts in the first period, Cool Bird walked into one of the suites behind me with a t-shirt cannon.  As he was firing t-shirts into the crowd, I snapped a few frames.  I managed to press the shutter exactly when Cool Bird shot out a shirt.

 

Cool Bird shoots t-shirts into the crowd during a break from the first period action.

 

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/320th, Manual

For the second period, I went down to the edge of the rink behind the Winterhawks goal to get some shots of the T-Birds on offense.   Since I’m new to watching hockey, it sometimes is difficult for me to keep up with the speed of the game in front of the goal.  Until I can anticipate what’s going to happen better, I do have to take whatever shot I can get.  Here’s me  doing that: a photo of a face-off right in front of me.

 

Center Connor Sanvido takes part in a face-off in the second period.

 

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

The second period was a pretty good one for the T-Birds, offensively.  They scored two goals and had a good number of breakaway opportunities.  Here’s one of those breakaways, this one by center Travis Toomey.

 

Center Travis Toomey tries to get past the Portland defense in the second period.

 

Canon 7D, 120mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Speaking of goals, one of them happened right in front of me.  Unfortunately I didn’t catch it on film (figure of speech, I don’t use film anymore), but I did get right winger Marcel Noebels’ unique assist.  That just goes to show that you don’t need a stick to help your team win.

 

Marcel Noebels kicks the puck to Luke Lockhart for a goal in the second period.

 

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

And such a cool assist like that certainly deserves a celebration!

 

Noebels celebrates Lockhart's goal.

 

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

Noebels wasn’t the only one celebrating.  The ShoWare Center erupted after that goal, and fans got out of their seats and cheered on the Birds while the game was paused.

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Canon 7D, 175mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/500th, Manual

For the third period, I shot from the box between the team’s benches (another trip onto the ice where I didn’t fall, I getting good at that…).  That’s my favorite place to shoot since there’s no glass to look through and you can cover both ends of the ice pretty well.  Here’s one from the T-Bird’s offensive half.

 

Noebels fights with a couple of Winterhawks for control of the puck.

 

Canon 7D, 145mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And here’s one from when the T-Birds were on defense.  Defenseman Brenden Dillon wrestled the puck away from the Winterhawks’ Sven Bartschi on this play.

 

Defenseman Brenden Dillon wins the puck in the defensive half during the third period.

 

Canon 7D, 85mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

During the third period, the Thunderbirds clinched their first win of the season by scoring two more goals, one by right winger Burke Gallimore and the other by center Colin Jacobs.  You can see the photo of Jacob’s goal with the team’s story of the game at http://www.seattlethunderbirds.com/article/t-birds-take-down-winterhawks, so I won’t repost it here.  I will, however, post Jacobs’ reaction.

 

Center Colin Jacobs celebrates his goal late in the third period.

 

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

In the photo business, reaction shots are commonly called ‘jube’ (for jubilation).  I’d say that’s some pretty good jube shown by Colin right there, although it’s too bad the referee completely ruins the background.  Jacobs was clearly fired up by his goal as he was still celebrating while skating back to the bench.

 

Jacobs' celebration continues towards the bench.

 

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

Down by three, the Winterhawks spent the last five minutes of the game desperately trying to get one more goal.  Calvin Pickard didn’t let any garbage-time goals in, however, as he stopped anything that got through to him.

 

Pickard makes a late-game save to keep the score at 4-1 in favor of the Thunderbirds.

 

Canon 7D, 135mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And with that, the Thunderbirds won!  They beat the rival Winterhawks 4-1 and earned their first victory in the new season.   That’s it for this edition of the photoblog, but keep an eye on this space over the weekend for a post about the game against Lethbridge tomorrow.  I hope to see you all there!

Til then, go T-Birds!