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Posts tagged “Ryan Button

Game 29: T-Birds Drop Heartbreaker to Winterhawks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Defenseman Ryan Button controls the puck.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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Game 30: T-Birds, Noebels Storm Past Silvertips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Defenseman Erik Bonsor skates up the ice with the puck.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Til  next time, go T-Birds!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Goalie Calvin Pickard deflects a Spokane shot on goal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Center Luke Lockhart takes a shot on Engles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

His excitement stayed with him while returning to the bench…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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Game 19: T-Birds Dropped by Giants

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

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

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

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

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

The starting lineup celebrates Toomey’s quick goal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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Game 18: T-Birds Fly Past Silvertips

Last Friday night (Jan. 14), the Thunderbirds hosted Everett for just the second time this season (a fact that surprises me, especially considering we’ve played Tri-City three times before January).  That game, broadcast to the entire region by FSN Northwest, was another well-played home game, giving the Thunderbirds two straight 3-1 wins.  The building was electric for Everett and the tv cameras and everything, so I was amped up before the game started.  I was asked to get photos of the combined choir that sang the national anthem last night, so I spent the player introductions and pregame out on the ice, where I found this cool shot…

Center Luke Lockhart (middle) is bathed in a spotlight while being introduced to the crowd.

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/500th, Manual

Onto the game!  You will notice I don’t have any photos from above this time.  This is because as I was heading to my spot to shoot for the first period, my 70-200 lens (my primary one and the one that allows me to zoom in on the ice from the suite level) learned about gravity the hard way and decided to tumble to the concrete floor of the top level.  It had “a major impact”, as the guys at the camera repair shop would later say, and wouldn’t focus on anything.  I’d have to shoot the entire game with a 50mm prime lens (that means it doesn’t zoom in or out; its focal length is fixed at 50mm), a real challenge for me since I depend heavily on the added distance the 70-200 gives.  Enough with the technical talk, though, you’re not here for that.  Let’s move onto game talk and game photos…

One of the things I was looking for Friday night was photos of the two players the Thunderbirds recently traded for, defensemen Mitch Spooner and Ryan Button.  Since this was their first home game as Thunderbirds, I wanted to build up a couple of stock images for them.  Luckily Spooner was involved with the defense early on in the first period…

Newly-arrived defenseman Mitch Spooner fires the puck out of the T-Birds defensive corner and towards center ice.

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

Spooner tries to shove Everett left wing Ryan Harrison off balance and away from the puck.

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

This next shot isn’t normally a photo I’d take or publish in this blog—I much prefer to put action that shows the puck or a nice moment that most fans generally can’t see—but it is a decent-looking portrait of Colin Jacobs.  Chalk this one up to using that 50…

Center Colin Jacobs (right) and Everett left wing Tyler Maxwell chase after a cleared puck.

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

And here are the same two players fighting over possession.  Funny how that turned out…

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

For the first period, the shots on goal for each team were about even as Seattle had 15 and the Silvertips had 13.  Here, the Seattle defense clears out one of those shots…

Lockhart (left) clears a loose puck after an Everett shot in the first period.

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

The biggest difference is that Seattle got two past Everett goalie Kent Simpson while Seattle netminder Calvin Pickard stopped all 13 shots taken on him.

Goalie Calvin Pickard puts a glove between the net and the puck after an Everett shot.

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

That does it for the first period, but before moving onto the second period, let’s focus on the first intermission.  We had a special intermission show: a proposal!  After the lucky lady scored a goal, the goalie popped off his mask, got on one knee (or is it one pad here), and popped the question…

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/5.6, 1/500th, Manual

And it’s a yes!  Congratulations you two, I hope you have a great life together.  Judging from the looks on your faces in the next photo, it’ll be a happy lifetime at that!

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/5.6, 1/500th, Manual

Ok, now we can move onto the second period.  I was again near the side of the north goal for that period.  This time, however, it was the Thunderbirds shooting at this goal.  Take, for example, this photo…

Newly-arrived defenseman Ryan Button takes a shot on goal during a power play in the second period.

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

The Thunderbirds again put 15 shots on the Everett goal.  Silvertip goalie Kent Simpson blocked 14 of them, including this particular shot.

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

There was one that went in, however.  Center Justin Hickman earned his first WHL point by assisting left wing Chance Lund with his goal about halfway through the period.  The two raised their hands in celebration of the goal.

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

Fans celebrated in a similar fashion, including this particular fellow named Erik…

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

Center Connor Sanvido also had a good chance at his first of the season when he faced a loose puck in front of the Everett goal.  Everett defenseman Ryan Murray, however, got his stick in front of Sanvido’s and eliminated the opportunity for a shot.

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

That didn’t stop Sanvido, though, as he continued to jostle with Murray until the puck slid past the goal.

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

As I mentioned earlier, the game was broadcast live on Fox Sports Northwest.  I got this gem during the second intermission of play-by-play voice Ian Furness and T-Birds Assistant General Manager Colin Campbell.

Ian Furness (left) interviews T-Birds Assistant General Manager Colin Campbell. 

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

Now for the third period!  I split time between the handicap seating area near section 112 and Calvin’s Corner (which was unused).  I don’t really like the photos I got from the handicap section, so here’s another photo from in front of the north goal.  This was a particularly hard-fought faceoff…

Players pile on top of each other during a faceoff in the middle of the third period.

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

Late in the game, Everett pulled Simpson in an attempt to catch up to the T-Birds.  The Silvertips pulled an all-out attack, but the Seattle defense pulled out all the stops to keep the score at 3-1.

Defenseman Erik Bonsor hits the ice in an effort to block the path to the Seattle goal.

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

The Silvertips didn’t get a single goal, yet needed two to force overtime.  You know what that means: SEATTLE WINS!

The Thunderbirds rush onto the ice to celebrate the win over Everett with goalie Calvin Pickard.

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

That’s it for this blog post, T-Birds fans.  Tune in a bit later in the week for photos from Sunday’s game against Vancouver and to see if I managed to survive without my broken lens.

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!