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Posts tagged “Rob Sumner

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 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!


Game 15: T-Birds Fall to Chiefs

Happy New Year T-Birds fans!  I do have to apologize for not putting up a new post for a new week; I’ve been quite busy with my other photography duties and with my grad school application, so time to update this has been limited.  I’ve finally found a few hours, though, so here’s a post from my last game, the Dec. 28 bout between the T-Birds and Chiefs!

The game was the highest-attended game this season with 6,125 screaming T-Birds fans packing the ShoWare Center to watch as the Thunderbirds take on Spokane.  There were so many tickets sold that night that the ticket office was forced to sell individual tickets to a suite since the lower bowl was sold out.  While making for a great atmosphere, this forced me out of my typical shooting spot in the first period and into the one owned by the T-Birds overlooking the south goal.  It gave me a great vantage point to shoot any Seattle shots on goal and Spokane goalie James Reid…

Spokane goalie James Reid makes a save on an early shot by the Thunderbirds.

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

But put me right in front the protective net which wrecked havoc with my focus.

Spokane defender Davis Vandane collects the rebound of a Thunderbird shot on goal.

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

Note: thanks to my location, I ended up with a lot of photos of Spokane from the first period.  I tried to cut down on those the best I can during editing but most of the photos from then have Chiefs as the more prominent player.  Next time I’m forced into that situation, I’ll be sure to find a new spot.

Center Travis Toomey has a centering pass blocked behind the goal by Spokane defender Brenden Kichton.

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

At least the net didn’t cover my entire view of the ice.  In this photo, left wing Mitch Elliot fights for the puck closer to center ice out from behind the protective netting.

Left Wing Mitch Elliot battles for the puck with Spokane right wing Mitch Holmberg (top) and defenseman Kyle Krzyzaniak.

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

The T-Birds outshot the Chiefs in the first period, 10-6.  Despite the additional shots, they didn’t get one past Reid or the Spokane defense.  Here’s a photo of Spokane defenseman Tyler Vanscourt (center left) falling on a loose puck in front of the Spokane net while Seattle right wing Burke Gallimore tries to knock it into the net.

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

Left wing Mitch Elliot is checked into the boards by Spokane center Steven Kuhn after getting a pass off to a teammate.

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

Right wing Tyler Alos fires a centering shot towards the Spokane goal.

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

For most of the first period, the T-Birds dominated play.  There were a few shots on goalie Calvin Pickard, but not many.  Spokane’s one goal in the period was definitely against the run of play…

Goalie Calvin Pickard can’t quite stop a shot from Spokane center Tyler Johnson late in the first period.

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

For the second period, I moved to my normal spot behind the north goal, where I got much better shots of the home team than in the first period.  Here’s a head-on shot of right wing Jacob Doty controlling the puck despite Spokane defenseman Davis Vandane’s best efforts to knock Doty over.

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

Here’s another straight-on shot of Doty, this time pursuing a loose puck down the ice.

Canon 7D, 135mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/1250th, Manual

The second period was just as tightly contested as the first.  The Thunderbirds still outshot the Chiefs, but the margin was cut to just one.  The T-Birds had plenty of chances, though, like Travis Toomey’s breakaway here.

Center Travis Toomey loses the puck to Spokane defenseman Corbin Baldwin while on a breakaway in the second period.

Canon 7D, 73mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/1250th, Manual

Center Brendan Rouse prepares to fire a shot past the Chiefs’ Vanscourt towards the Spokane goal.

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/1250th, Manual

Defenseman Brenden Dillon also fires a puck towards the Spokane goal.

Canon 7D, 125mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/1250th, Manual

And to finish of the second period, here’s a shot of left wing Chance Lund controlling the puck.

Canon 7D, 130mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/1250th, Manual

Since the crowd was the biggest all year, I wanted to get a nice, wide shot showing as many fans as possible.  Unfortunately the smallest lens I had with me was 50 millimeter, which doesn’t give a very wide shot.  To show you how crowded it was (and how narrow a 50mm lens is), here’s a shot of the crowd taken from the top row of seats at center ice.

A crowd of 6,125 packed the ShoWare Center to watch the Thunderbirds take on the Spokane Chiefs on Dec. 28, 2010.

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/640th, Manual

Also for that game, I had a yearbook student/photographer from Kentwood High School (my old school!) job shadow me.  He followed me everywhere during the game and even helped me with some shots of an advertisement I had to grab before the game started.  Since it was nice to have someone to talk to while shooting, and because I don’t have very many good photos from the third period, here’s a shot of him in action.  Thanks for coming, Danny!

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

I can’t decide if this next shot is as really what it looks like.  At a quick glance, it looks like defenseman Travis Bobbee is getting an elbow in the nose from Spokane right wing Blake Gal.  If you look closer, though, it seems that Gal’s elbow might be just in front of Bobbee’s face.  It doesn’t look like Bobbee’s reacting much to the possible elbow, but maybe we just can’t see the reaction.  In either case, it’s still a decent shot and worth a look or two.

Defenseman Travis Bobbee and Spokane’s Blake Gal fight for the puck against the boards during the third period.

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

In the third period, I shot from the handicap seating across from the Spokane bench instead of my typical spot between the benches.  In this section, I didn’t want to sit right on the glass and block not only other photographers but fans that paid for those seats, so I shot from a few feet off the glass.  This gave me a glare that made it difficult to see much action in the photo.  It did, however, lead to this cool shot of fans’ faces reflected when Toomey crashed into the boards near me.

Fans watch on as center Travis Toomey chases after the puck in the third period.

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

I need to remember to try and get a cooler shot of that, preferably when you can actually see the player’s faces amongst all the others.

From that vantage point, I had a nice view of the Thunderbirds’ bench and a great vantage point when head coach Rob Sumner gave instructions to Chance Lund during a timeout.

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

And lastly, here’s a shot of center Charles Wells skating down the ice near the end of the game.

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

That’s it for this game thread.  I hope you guys enjoyed it, and I’ll try not to wait a week before my next blog post, either.  As always, feel free to leave any comments or questions in the comment section below.

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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Game 10: T-Birds Cooled off by Kootenay Ice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Game 4: Thunderbirds go to Shootout vs. Americans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s an attempt on goal by Travis Toomey.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Til next time, go T-Birds!


Game 3: Thunderbirds Upended by Hitmen

Hello again everyone, and sorry for the delay in getting this post up.   Here’s the game thread for last Saturday’s overtime loss to Calgary.

It was a good hockey game that had a bit of everything: great-looking goals, last-second saves, and even a couple of pretty decent fights.   In fact the only thing missing from the game was a second point for the T-Birds, as that game was just their first overtime loss of the season.   So enough with the chit-chat, let’s get to the photos!

For this game I tried something different: I didn’t start out shooting from above the glass.  Eventually shooting from the same spots every game will get repetitive and you’ll start seeing the exact same shot as you did a game ago or two games ago.  So to break myself of that (and to keep it more exciting for me) I’ll change up my routine.  Today I spent the first two periods behind the glass, moving between spots behind the goal on the north side (the side where the players and zambonis get onto the ice) and right across from the T-Birds bench.  In any rate, I got luckier with the glass that night, as a number of photos I took from that spot are pretty clear and unaffected by the thick plexiglass.

Defenseman Erik Bonsor (right) battles with Calgary center Jimmy Bubnick for the puck early in the first period.

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

Now I’m going to teach you a trick that’s useful in all sorts of photography, but absolutely necessary in sports photos: cropping.  It’s needed in sports photography to focus in on the action and eliminate all dead space surrounding it that ruins the photo.  Let’s use a shot of Calvin Pickard making a save.

Goalie Calvin Pickard makes a save during the first period.

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

Now as you can see in the photo above, I was as wide as my lens would allow me to be (98% of my shots are taken with a 70-200mm lens).  Since I had Pickard centered in my shot for focusing reasons, there’s a lot of dead space on the left of the shot, and the players to the right merely distract from what’s going on.  So let’s take them out of there, shall we?

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

Now, by merely cutting out what I don’t want seen, we have a pretty nice shot of Pickard making a save.  It’s also now easier to see the puck in the middle of his pads.  Before, there was just too much distracting information for your eye to notice it.  With all of those distractions gone, however, the puck is much more visible.  Amazing, huh?

Onto the next shot now.  Here’s a photo of Brenden Dillon fighting Calgary’s Ben Wilson.  For whatever reason, I got numerous good shots of Dillon Saturday night.  I tried to get as many other players in the post as possible but apparently Dillon was working it for the camera that night.

Defenseman Brenden Dillon throws Hitmen defenseman Ben Wilson to the ice during a fight in the first period.

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

And here’s some more photos.  Sorry there’s no cool intro for them, but I can’t think of a good one right now.  Let’s just say they’re a good representation at how even the two teams played.

Bonsor keeps the puck away from Calgary leftwinger Justin Kirsch.

Canon 7D, 95mm, 800 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Center Luke Lockhart fights for the puck with the Hitmen’s Bubnick behind the Calgary goal in the second period.

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

 

I’m proud of myself for this next shot: I actually remembered something I had to look for during the game!  Media Relations Director Ian Henry told me to look for kids wearing the beanie given away before the game.  Well, I found a group of excited young boys during a break in play that seemed to really want to get on the jumbotron.  I’m not sure if they ever did or not, but they were dancing well enough to be put on there…

Young T-Birds fans dance during a break in the action in hopes of getting shown on the jumbotron.

Canon 7D, 145mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

I’m still looking for a good goal photo from behind the glass: one where you can see both the puck going into the net and the face of the player who got it.  I know I’ll get one eventually, but sometimes it’s hard for me to remember to concentrate on the player in front of the goal instead of the guy with the puck.  In the second period of Saturday’s game, though, I thought I might have had a chance when Luke Lockhart had a nice shot on goal.  Unfortunately, it was blocked by the Calgary defense and eventually cleared.  What turned out was still a nice photo, but unfortunately one of a great play for Calgary instead of for Seattle.

Lockhart battles with Calgary defenders to get the puck into the net in the second period.

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

Here’s another Brenden Dillon sighting.  He got an assist for a pass to Tyler Alos in the second period.  Of course I had to put this shot in…

Dillon passes to teammate Tyler Alos- who then put the puck in the back of the net- in the second period.  It was the first of two assists on the night for Dillon.

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

And here’s Alos acknowledging Dillon’s pass after the goal.

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

Here’s a photo of the second fight of the evening.  In it, rightwinger Jacob Doty took Calgary’s Cody Beach to the ice.  In fact, the two T-Birds fighters of the evening both took their opponents to the ice.  Even if it didn’t matter on the scoreboard, that was nice to see.

Rightwinger Jacob Doty (right) lands a punch on Calgary rightwinger Cody Beach during a second period brawl.

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

In college when shooting for The Daily, there’d always be games where I’d get better photos of the other team than I would of the Huskies.  Sometimes it would turn out ok because we’d run some of them as long as they made sense with the game story and every once in a while we’d send them to other school’s student paper.  When shooting for a team, though, there’s no spot for these photos to go.  That’s why I like having this blog; in it, I can put all my shots from a game.    I don’t have to worry about will it make sense with a story or is it a photo of the other team.    So I’ll throw in this photo of Calgary goalie Juraj Holly knocking away a shot by Chance Lund.  I thought Holly had a pretty good game and was pleased to have a photo of him.

Canon 7D, 1140mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

During the third period, I was in my normal third-period spot between the benches.  Despite what I said earlier about changing things up every once in a while, I thinkI’ll be spending every third period there so I know I’ll have some good pictures no matter where I am for the first two.  Anyways, I remembered to keep an eye on the T-Birds bench for any good photos there.  During one of the timeouts in the third, I found assistant coach Turner Stevenson talking with one of the T-Birds.  I remembered to take the photo, I just wish I thought to stand up.  That would have made Stevenson’s arm visible and made a much, much stronger photo.  I’ll get it next time, though…

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

And here’s another Dillon sighting.  He’s getting good coverage right now…

Dillon chases after the puck with two Hitmen in pursuit.

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

I like trying to get photos of players on defense.  It’s a side of the game that doesn’t produce quite so many images as offense or hits, but it’s still important to play good D.  Here, center Travis Toomey is covering a Calgary attacker well.

Toomey covers Hitmen center Chase Clayton late in the third period.

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

I think these next two photos would be great for a caption-writing contest.  In fact, if I ever get to give away something in a contest, that’s what I’ll do.  But until then, just enjoy them and that what you like about them.

Center Travis Toomey (right) and Calgary center Cody Sylvester both have a good view of the puck while battling for it in the third period.

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

Head Coach Rob Sumner discusses things with Coach Stevenson in the intermission between the third period and overtime.

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

And here’s the last of Brenden Dillon for the post.  But of course, it’s a series of photos.  Watch as he takes a slapshot towards the Calgary goal in overtime.

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

Canon 7D, 108mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Canon 7D, 110mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/800th, Manual

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

Overtime was just as hotly contested between the two teams as regulation was.  Let’s include a shot of Burke Gallimore trying to disrupt a Calgary player to prove that…

Rightwinger Burke Gallimore tries to disrupt a Hitmen’s handling of the puck during overtime.

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

That’s all the photos I have for you today.  I unfortunately didn’t get a good one from the game-ending goal, but that’s just the way it is sometimes.  I’ll do better next time, I promise.  As always, feel free to tell me what you like, don’t like, want to see more off, or any other comments you may or may not have in the comments section below.

Til next time, go T-Birds!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christie Johnson opens a segment.

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

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

Luke Lockhart goes through the basics of a slapshot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Salmon got a leg pad in front of this slapshot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Til next time, go T-Birds!


Game 2: T-Birds Weather the Storm

For the second (home) game of the season, the Thunderbirds played host to the Lethbridge Hurricanes.  It was the only time this year that the ‘Birds and the ‘Canes would face off, and the players seemed intent on being as hitting each other as much as possible because of it.  It was easily the most physical hockey game I’ve seen (although that number is quite low).  Because of that, I’ve decided to focus on the hits for the first half of this post.

The hits started early as shortly into the first period, Lethbridge defenseman Brennan Yadlowski (left, 9) tried to start a shoving match with T-Birds center Travis Toomey (middle, 37).  Despite having his helmet knocked off, Toomey couldn’t retaliate as he was quickly wrapped up by an official.

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

There were, though, a couple fights during the first period.  The first one was between Thunderbirds rightwinger Jacob Doty and Hurricanes center Neil Tarnasky.  Unfortunately the referee was in between me and the two fighters throughout the whole thing and ruined every shot taken during it, but I did manage to get a frame when they were finally separated.

Canon 7D, 195mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

The second one, between T-Birds leftwinger Chance Lund and Hurricanes defenseman Derek Ryckman, came after T Lund put a hard check on ‘Canes right winger Alex Kuvaev.  Ryckman hit Lund in response, and the fight was on.  Thankfully the referees were off to the side throughout the fight so I got plenty of good shots during it.  Here’s my favorite one, where Lund seems to land a good shot on Ryckman’s chin.  Maybe I should start taking boxing photos to improve my fight shots…

Canon 7D, 175mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Hits didn’t come merely in fights, though.  The whole game featured a lot of hard checks by both sides.  Here, Seattle defenseman Dave Sutter forces a Lethbridge player into the glass while pursuing the puck…

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

And here Seattle defenseman Dustin Baecker forces Yadlowski into the glass, preventing him from racing after the puck.

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

It wasn’t just Seattle players throwing their weight around, Lethbridge got a few good checks in as well.  Here Hurricanes defenseman Cason Machacek throws Thunderbird center Brendan Rouse to the ice.

Canon 7D, 195mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Despite all the hits, the two teams still managed to threaten the goal a few times.  In the first period the Thunderbirds managed to earn 13 shots on goal while Lethbridge had 9.  Here, Seattle rightwinger Burke Gallimore tries to sneak the puck past Lethbridge defenseman Daniel Johnston and goalie Brandon Anderson.

Canon 7D, 125mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

And here Thunderbird center Connor Sanvido takes a shot on Anderson.

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

Late in the first period, Lethbridge leftwinger Jacob worked his was in front of the net and tried to sneak the puck past Seattle goalie Calvin Pickard.  Pickard, though, was ready for it and blocked the shot.

Canon 7D, 175mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

All of these photos are from the first period, where I was standing along the top row of suites for 10 minutes and inside a suite for the other 10.  Overall, 9 photos I’ll use in this post are from the first period when I was along the top, 10 or so are from the third are from the third period when I was between the benches, and just one from the second period when I was shooting through the glass behind the Lethbridge goal.  This points to two things: 1) not much happened in the second period—which is true—and how hard it can be to shoot through the glass since there’s a not-quite clear barrier between the lens and the action.  Mainly, though, it just goes to show me where I have room for improvement.  Once I learn to select positions along the glass at either end of the rink, I’ll get better photos from those positions.  Until then, I hope you enjoy this photo of T-Bird center Luke Lockhart passing to a teammate…

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

Onto the third period!  It seems like just a second ago we were just on period 2, doesn’t it?  Anyways, just over a minute into the period, Toomey found himself on a breakaway with no one between him and the goalie.  He calmly aimed and fired 15 feet or so away from the goal and scored!  Being between the two benches, I had a great view on the play and expected to have a pretty decent shot of it.  I’ll share it with you now…

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

Amazing! Spectacular! What a photo!

Yeah, this is a typical occurrence in photography: a random object that has no place being in the frame but is and ruins the photo.   I guess I can take comfort in the fact it wouldn’t have been a great photo anyway: the goalie’s leg is cut off, only Toomey’s back is visible, and the puck is hidden behind the stick.  But still, it’s pretty annoying to have to have a random stick block your shot… (What’s that?  I shouldn’t complain because I get to sit between the benches?  You’ve got me there, I’ll stop now.)

I did get something good from that goal, though.  In his celebration Toomey rolled out to the right, giving me a clear line of sight to shoot the reaction.  Here’s one of them…

Canon 7D, 108mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

After Toomey’s goal came a series of pretty good defensive plays (or at least a series of good shots of defensive plays).  Since I can’t think of a better way of introducing them to you, I’ll just post them and you can decide for yourself if they’re good or not.

Canon 7D, 110mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

Canon 7D, 98mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1600th, Manual

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

Being right beside the team bench, I can hear some of what’s said in the bench (a lot of which I can’t repeat on this blog) and have a good view of coach Rob Sumner.   Here’s a photo of Coach Sumner instructing a player during a break in the action.

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

Up just 1-0, The Thunderbirds really could have used another score or two to really put the game away.  Apparently rightwinger Marcel Noebels thought that as well, seeing as he buried a shot from distance past the goalie Anderson and into the net.  My photo of the goal isn’t good—you can’t tell what’s going on and it’s very cluttered with players—so instead I’ll show you Noebel’s high-kicking celebration.

Canon 7D, 108mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Now that the Thunderbirds were up 2-0 with six minutes to go, things were looking pretty good.  The Hurricanes, however, didn’t give up and kept pressing the attack, hoping to shoot themselves back into the game.  Finally, they pulled Anderson in favor of having a sixth attacker and the move seemed to pay off as they snuck two past Pickard in the last two and a half minutes.  Here’s a photo of the first goal from Lethbridge by leftwinger Jacob Berglund.

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

With the score tied 2-2, we were now heading into overtime.  It was a defensive extra period, as there were only three shots on goal in extra time, all three by the Thunderbirds.  None went into the net, however, and a shootout would decide who would escape with two points.

In the shootout, Gallimore shot first for the T-Birds…

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

I’m not exactly sure what happened with the shot.  From my picture, it looks like it may have deflected off Anderson’s glove and into the goal, but I’m not confident in that guess.  What I do now is that it eventually crossed the blue line between the pipes and gave the T-Birds an early lead in the shootout.

First up for Lethbridge was leftwinger Max Ross.  He did not convert his shot, though, as Pickard followed the puck all the way to his left leg pad and blocked it.

Canon 7D, 140mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Up next for the Thunderbirds was Marcel Noebels.  He also converted his shootout goal, and then Calvin Pickard blocked the attempt from Lethbridge leftwinger Mitch Maxwell.  The T-Birds won the shootout 2-0!

Of course, everyone rushed out to Pickard to celebrate the win with him.

Canon 7D, 108mm, 1600 ISO, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Blog note:  The T-Birds are now on a two-week road trip and I won’t be following the team much—if at all—on the road this season.  My question is, what do you want to see on the photoblog for the next two weeks?  Give me any suggestions in the comment section.  Of course, if you want to critique my work, that’s fine too!

Till next time, Go T-Birds!