The Official Photoblog of the Seattle Thunderbirds

Posts tagged “Spokane Chiefs

First Half Recap

Happy 2013 T-Birds fans!

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

Early Jan Post001

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

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

Early Jan Post002

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

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

Early Jan Post003

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

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

Early Jan Post004

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

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

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

Early Jan Post005

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

Early Jan Post006

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

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

Early Jan Post007

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

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

Early Jan Post008

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

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

Early Jan Post009

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

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

Early Jan Post010

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

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

 

Early Jan Post012

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

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

Early Jan Post013

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

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

Early Jan Post014

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

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

Early Jan Post015

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

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

Early Jan Post016

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

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

Early Jan Post017

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

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

Early Jan Post018

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

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

Early Jan Post019

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

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

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

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

Til next time, go T-Birds!

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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 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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Best of Part One: The Top Photos So Far…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Holidays from the Seattle Thunderbirds!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Til tonight, go T-Birds!


Game 13: T-Birds Fall to Chiefs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!