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Posts tagged “Travis Bobbee

Last Weekend of Games Leaves T-Birds Short of Playoffs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which Jacobs promptly buried into the net! Tie game!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now for the Tri-City game on Sunday…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

While Brenden Dillon won Defenseman of the Year.

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

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

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

And Calvin Pickard and Brenden Dillon shared the MVP honors.

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

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

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

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

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

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

As always, go T-Birds!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That shot earned Gallimore a hug from Toomey…

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

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

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

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

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

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!

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Game 28 (Part 1): T-Birds Whack Bruins in Shootout

Hey T-Birds fans, it’s time for another edition of Bird Watching.  In this post, we’ll go through photos from the first period of the win against Chilliwack last Sunday?   Why the first period only, you ask?  Well, like the T-Birds, I had a pretty good game and ended up with about 50 pretty good photos that’ll be used.  Rather than put them all in one mega-post, I thought it best to break them over two posts.  With that, let’s see what happened in the beginning of the game, shall we?

We’ll start off with one of the T-Birds’ 22 shots on goal in the period, this one by right wing Burke Gallimore.

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

And on the other end of those 22 shots was Chilliwack goalie Lucas Gore, who managed to block them all.

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

Sunday was Mascot Night at ShoWare Center where mascots from all over the area joined Cool Bird at the game.  During the game, however, was all Cool Bird.  Here, he practices his drumming skills atop a follicly-challanged T-Birds fan’s head.

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/320th, Manual

Defenseman Travis Bobbee puts a big hit on Chilliwack left wing Mike Forsyth at center ice.

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

About five minutes into the game, Chilliwack center Steven Hodges found himself on a breakaway with only Seattle netminder Calvin Pickard between him and the goal…

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

After a successful poke check by Pickard, Hodges couldn’t stop himself from crashing into the Seattle goalie and earned a two minute charging penalty for his efforts.

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

Later on, center Travis Toomey found himself to the right of the Chilliwack goal with a loose puck in front of him.  Unfortunately he couldn’t place the blade of the stick on the puck and fire it onto the goal.

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

Shortly after it was center Luke Lockhart with the puck to the right of the net.  Instead of firing on the goal, though, he sent in a centering pass in hopes an onrushing teammate could bury it in the net.

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

Center Colin Jacobs sees his angle to the goal blocked by a diving Lucas Gore.

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

The first period was very much a battle between the two goalies.  As sad before, Gore blocked 22 shots for Chilliwack while Pickard stopped 12 of Chilliwack’s scoring chances, including this one pictured here…

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

And here’s one more of Gore’s blocks…

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

Right wing Marcel Noebels was injured in the first period during the 5-3 penalty the Thunderbirds killed off, but before that he had a couple of scoring chances, including this shot on goal.

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

(Note: this is the shot after Noebels’ shot on goal)

Noebels takes a shot on goal.

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

Speaking of the 5-3 penalty kill, and of Noebels, here he is going down to the ice, eliminating Chilliwack center Kevin Sundher’s chance at putting the puck on Calvin.

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

And here Pickard knocks a puck from Chilliwack right wing Robin Soudek away during the penalty kill.

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

Toomey tries to pass the puck to a teammate after being knocked down during a breakaway by Chilliwack left wing Ryan Howse.

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

Center Justin Hickman also had himself a breakaway during the first period, racing down the ice towards Gore and attempting to get his first WHL goal after getting his first point a few weeks ago.  As we know already, Hickman couldn’t quite get the puck through Gore, but I did get a couple of photos from the play.

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

Hickman tries to get a puck through Gore late in the first period.

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

And as I mentioned before, it was mascot night at ShoWare Center and they all gathered on the ice during the first intermission for a quick game of broomball.  20 mascots in all were in on the game, including Harry the Husky from my alma mater, the University of Washington.

Harry the Husky uses his broom as a guitar before the macot broomball game during the first intermission.

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

Another one of the mascots involved was the Mariner Moose, who’s shown here with our own Cool Bird.

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

Now let the (mascot) game begin!

Blitz (the Seahawks’ mascot) takes possession of the ball near the north goal in front of a bear from Mitzel’s American Kitchen.

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

A few of the mascots were quick learners in physical nature of hockey, including fights.  Here Rhubarb of the Tacoma Rainers takes part in an on-ice fight with Fido from the Seattle Animal Shelter.

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

At the end of the game, things deteriorated into a somewhat of a madhouse.  Blitz relapsed into his football experience by picking up the ball and running with it, something frowned upon in hockey.

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

And with that, the second period began.   Let’s hold off from those photos for next time, where we’re seeing the T-Birds’ comeback from 3-1!  As always, leave your comments and questions 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

­

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 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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Tri-City Away: Road Trip, Anyone?

I hope everyone had a great Christmas (I know I did, I got a lens!), but now it’s time to prepare for the second half of the WHL season!  I hope to get you in the mood for more T-Birds hockey with two posts in two days; today I’m (finally) writing up a post about my road trip to Kennewick to watch (and shoot) the Thunderbirds take on the Tri-City Americans on December 10 tonight/today (again I’m working past midnight), and a recap of the first half of the season in photos featuring the best images I’ve collected so far this year.   Check back tomorrow for that best-of post, but for now continue reading about the

As with my post about the catwalks, I have a video for you guys to watch and hopefully to enjoy.  Also like my catwalks post, the video is quite short in relation to the drive over as I didn’t film enough content to make a longer one.  I need to remember that for next time (maybe that’s why I need an assistant…).  Anyways, how about we start the video in the most natural starting point I know, in the middle of the trip!

Alright, everyone awake from your slumber and check out some photos!  Unfortunately there’s not too many—I had a really bad game in Tri-City—but there were some blog-worthy shots I’d like to share with you.  But first, here’s a photo I took from that vantage point off I-82 and an explanation on why I only shoot sports…

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1000 ISO, f/22, 1/500th, Manual

Now let’s fast-forward about 90 miles and five hours for our next photo, which takes place in the first period of the game (note: yeah, I’m skipping a lot of time.  Next time I travel to a game, I’ll be sure to take more photos and video of the stadium).  That night, December 10th, was the night of the American’s Teddy Bear Toss, when fans throw teddy bears onto the ice after the home team’s first goal.  Being new to hockey, I had no clue what was going on when all of these teddy bears were flying onto the ice, so I asked the fan I was sitting next to for an explanation.  Luckily she filled me in on the situation and I decided the oddity was worthy of a photo.

Goalie Calvin Pickard (left) chats with defenseman Erik Bonsor (center-left) while teddy bears are being cleaned off the ice during the Americans’ Teddy Bear Toss on Dec. 10.

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

The game was delayed for ten minutes while the bears were picked up off the ice.  Overall, I think 3,000 or so teddy bears were thrown onto the ice (and later donated to charity).  Not a bad number, but I’m pretty sure we can surpass that for our own Teddy Bear Toss Jan. 29!  And since I won’t be able to use this joke then, I might as well say it one last time here: that game was the first hockey game I’ve ever seen that was delayed by bears.

You guys can stop groaning now.

Seriously, you can.

Any time now.

Ok, you might as well let it all out at once….

Now that we’re done with that, let’s move on with the photos.  From my vantage point in the stands, I had a nice view of the Tri-City goal and plays on it from the left side.  In this photo, left wing Mitch Elliot tries to get a better angle on Tri-City goalie Drew Owsley.

Canon 7D, 135mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

From my vantage point, I also had a nice view of the Seattle goal.  Here, Pickard makes a nice stick-save of a Tri-City shot.

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

By now you’ve probably noticed that I have a lot of photos of certain players and less of others.  I’m always looking for more shots of the players I don’t have and managed to get one over in Kennewick.  Here, center Brendan Rouse battles for position to control the puck with Tri-City defenseman Drydn Dow.

Canon 7D, 170mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

And unfortunately here’s the last photo I have for you guys for this post (told you I had a really bad game).  Anyway, here’s defenseman Travis Bobbee (center) shielding the puck from Tri-City center Mason Wilgosh.

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Sorry for the short post, but the video took a while to piece together (I’m still new and slow at working with videos).   Remember to check back tomorrow for the best photos from the first half of the season!

‘Til next time, go T-Birds!


Game 9: T-Birds Upended by Americans

Hello again everyone!  I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving.  In my quest to finally get caught up with the Thunderbirds’ games (there have been four home games in eight days, and I can’t turn out these posts that fast…) I’ll be posting about the game on Thanksgiving Eve, Nov. 24, tonight.    In the next three or four days I’ll get something about Saturday’s game aganst Kootenay, and in about a week I’ll (finally!) be caught up with photos from tomorrow’s matchup with Medicine Hat.  But enough of the scheduling conversation, let’s get to some photos, shall we?

We’ll start off with a photo that stumped me.  When I first saw this while looking for a good photo to send with the press release, I thought this one would be a really good one.  When I got back to it while working on this blog, I realized just how much of a pain it would be…  I’ll show you the original now…

Center Justin Hickman fights for position with Tri City left wing David Conrad while racing after a puck in the first period.

Canon 7D, 100mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/640th, Manual

So you can see the main action, but it definitely needs some cropping, right?  Well there was the tricky part.  How much do you crop?  What shape should it be?  I first cropped it so all you can see are Hickman and Conrad, but included all of Hickman’s stick.

Canon 7D, 100mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/640th, Manual

That doesn’t look bad, but I really don’t like all the empty space around the stick.   I wouldn’t mind it if there was something big at the end of the photo, but I’m not sure the stick itself justifies the wide crop.  So let’s trim it down a bit…

Canon 7D, 100mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/640th, Manual

Ok, that’s a little bit better, but I still don’t really love it.  Maybe a little bit more space on the left would make it feel less crowded to me, but then again maybe not.  So let’s try something much different.

Canon 7D, 100mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.2, 1/640th, Manual

I think this is my favorite.  I know there’s a lot of dead space in the middle between the two players and the puck, but I think the puck adds enough to the photo to justify it.  Dead space normally isn’t wanted in a photo—there’s a reason it’s called dead space—but there are times where it does good.   This may not be one of those times, but it doesn’t seem to detract enough to require a new crop.  Plus we’ve already tried a few other crops, and they don’t seem to work well.
You be the photographer: What crop would you have gone with?  Let me know in the comments section!

Oh, and you may have noticed that the metadata (the camera settings used for the photo I post under each picture) is different than the normal settings.  This wasn’t intended, I just forgot to check the settings after shooting the player introductions.  I compensated for the added light during game play, but I forgot to check anything other than my light meter to make sure everything on my camera is ok.  It happens all the time, I wish I was better at noticing these things.

Anyways, back to the game.  Five minutes into the game, center Tyler Alos found himself with the puck above the Tri City goal and being defended by the two Americans players that were back on defense, goalie Drew Owsley and defenseman Drydn Dow.  Fellow center Colin Jacobs was skating fast to the other side of the goal, but not being covered by anyone. Naturally Alos passed it over to Jacobs…

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

And Jacobs sent it into the back of the net.

Canon 7D, 100mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual
Already moving quickly, Jacobs lost his balance after getting the shot off (I think.  He might have purposely fell) and found himself on his back on the ice.  But he didn’t care, he just scored a goal!

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

Leftwinger Mitch Elliot came over to Jacobs, not only to celebrate, but to help him up…

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

I had an unexpected visitor on the suite I was shooting in for that goal… Cool Bird!  He had entered my suite a little before the goal was scored and was entertaining fans and waiting for the first period media timeout to throw t-shirts into the crowd.  Jacobs’ goal must have fired Cool Bird up because after the goal he was on his feet cheering with the rest of the crowd.

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

When Cool Bird finally started giving out the t-shirts, these two young fans pleaded for a shirt.

Canon 7D, 100mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/500th, Manual

The game, like nearly every Tri-City/Seattle matchup, was pretty physical.  There were plenty of checks and hits throughout the night.  Here, defenseman Dave Sutter throws Tri City Adam Hughesman off the puck.

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

And Calvin even got into the action.  Here he tangles with Tri-City right wing Jordan Messier in front of the Seattle goal.  I’ve never seen a goalie do that before…

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

Throughout the first period, the Americans did well to earn 19 shots on goal, including this one by leftwinger Neal Prokop.  All of them were saved, however, by goalie Calvin Pickard, as he’s doing here.

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

And that does it for the first period photos.  Let’s move down rinkside for the second period, shall we?  (Note: hopefully you said yes because that’s where we’re heading anyway…)

Let’s begin with a shot of center Charles Wells skating down the boards with the puck…

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

Wanting to try something a little different, I took off my 70-200mm lens and put on my fixed 50mm (it can’t zoom in or out, it’s set at 50mm).  This would allow me to get a wider shot—not much wider, but anything helps when the players are normally just a foot away from you.  It did make a slight difference, especially in front of and behind the goal.  I didn’t cut any body parts off anyone this time!

Wells and Tri City defenseman Sam Grist fight for the puck behind the Tri City goal in the second period.

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

Wells attempts to block a clearing attempt by Tri City’s Owsley.

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

Right wing Marcel Noebels sends a puck off the boards towards the Tri City goal.

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

Here’s another one of those photos that are made by the objects in the foreground rather than the subject themselves.    Defenseman Travis Bobbee is controlling the puck—an important part in hockey, yes, but it would be a fairly bland photo unless Americans center Kruise Reddick was blocking Bobbee.  I’d like it even better if we could see Bobbee’s gloves on the stick but in any case the photo seems to suggest an imminent confrontation.  You probably want to see the photo by now, don’t you?

Canon 7D, 100mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

That ends the second period photos.  Sorry I didn’t get many photos of the two goals the T-Birds scored but that’s what happens when you shoot through glass.  Onto the third period and between the benches!

The third period was action-packed, to say the least.  Here, Tri City center Mason Wilgosh pokes the puck away from Wells along the boards.

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

While it’s not generally good for a team when someone falls to ice, it does make for a different and a decent photo.  Here right wing Burke Gallimore has a nice view of the puck he tried to win.

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

Here’s a photo of Noebels (at least it looks like Noebels.  I can’t see a number in any other photos of that series) defending against right wing Jordan Messier of the Americans.  What’s really cool about this photo is that everyone’s perfectly lined up to show a perfect example of perspective.  Sometimes luck brings you photos that you couldn’t get even if you set up your own shot…

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

Center Travis Toomey and Tri City defenseman Brock Sutherland jostle for position to receive the puck in front of the Seattle goal.

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

The Americans unfortunately had a nice third period offensively.  They controlled the puck well and had 21 shots on goal during the period.  Calvin Pickard was working hard and earned this water break during a time out.

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

Unfortunately three of those 21 shots found the back of the net.  That means, however, Pickard made 18 saves in that period alone.  Here’s one of them.

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

The game being tied 4-4, we moved into the overtime period.  Neither team snuck a goal past either defense so a shootout ensued.  Despite Pickard saving one of the two shootout attempts he faced—this one here being saved against Tri City rightwinger Patrick Holland—no Thunderbird attempt found the back of the net.  At least the T-Birds got one point though!

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

That’s it for this post.  As always leave any comments or criticisms or questions in the comments section below.

Til next time, go T-Birds!


Game 7: Thunderbirds Smoke Chiefs

Hello there everyone!  Now that the T-Birds are back from their successful road trip, I have new photos for you to enjoy!  Even though there were two back-to-back games, I’ll only be talking about the Friday night game against Spokane for now.  We’ll get to Everett a little later.  So let’s set those time machines back a few days and relieve that shootout win over the Chiefs, shall we?

We had a special visitor to the press box before the game started; a Stanley Cup championship ring!  Mark Kelley, the director of amateur scouting for the Chicago Blackhawks, went to the game to look over some players with his recent championship ring in tow.  He was nice enough to let me get a shot of it for the blog.  Thanks Mark!

A 2010 championship ring from Chicago Blackhawks’ Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Kelly.

Canon 7D, 50mm, 1600 ISO, f/1.8, 1/250th, Manual

Director of Media Relations Ian Henry told me that we had a big pre-game ceremony planned and that I should be on the ice for it.  So I went down there (didn’t fall again, I should go pro in ice walking with expensive equipment around my neck…) and waited for the pre-game to start.  It finally did once the players were introduced.  I got a nice photo of Dave Sutter side-light by the spotlight while waiting for the rest of the pre-game ceremony to start…

Canon 7D, 150mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/500th, Manual

Since the team was back east for Veterans Day, the men and women of our armed forces were honored before the start of the game.    The local Veterans’ association presented the colors and the puck was rappelled down from the rafters by some current national guardsmen (and women).  Here’s a gentleman carrying the American flag. He also did well to keep on his feet while bringing the flag out.  As a reward for staying upright, here’s a photo of him.

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/250th, Manual

I may have glanced over this part, but let’s go back: the puck rappelled down from the rafters.  More specifically, one of the guardsmen held the puck while rappelling down.  There were three rappellers and unfortunately I didn’t have a lens that could go wide enough to see all of them, but I did get some nice close-ups of one of them…

Canon 7D, 130mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/500th, Manual

And here’s the guardswoman who brought the puck down…

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

Alright, now that we have the puck, we can play some hockey!    The game started off fast when center Luke Lockhart got one past the Spokane goalie in under a minute.  I wasn’t in position to get a photo of the goal, but I had a nice view of the Seattle bench after the goal, and the bench was excited to have an early lead.

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

I eventually moved up to the second level of the ShoWare Center from rinkside—I wanted to have a view of the goal the T-Birds were attacking—and started shooting again.   Naturally, the first good photo from that position would have been more dynamic if I had just stayed put.  Oh well, it’s still a nice shot, though…

Goalie Calvin Pickard blocks a shot from Spokane rightwinger Matt Marantz in the first period.

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

Here, center Charles Wells (right) and Spokane defender Brendon Kichton battle for the puck in the first period.

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

It was a brutal, bitter game; about what you’d expect for a rivalry game.  There was a lot of face-to-face confrontations throughout the game, like this one between rightwinger Jacob Doty and Spokane leftwinger Colin Valcourt…

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

And also some shoves, like this altercation between center Colin Jacobs and Spokane defenseman Jared Cowen.

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

Here’s a photo of rightwinger Marcel Noebels controlling the puck.

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

And actually that last photo ends the second period of play for us.  Either time flies when you’re having fun (you guys are having fun reading this, right)  or I just didn’t get many good shots during the first two periods…

Anyways onto the third.  Three minutes into the third period, Spokane snuck a goal past Calvin to tie the game.  Of course I got a photo of it, and unfortunately a nice-looking photo, too.  Why are my best always of the other team doing well?

Spokane center Tyler Johnson (left) slips a shot past Seattle defenseman Travis Bobbee (center-right) and goalie Calvin Pickard (center) in the third period.

Canon 7D, 75mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

This next photo is actually one of a string of fifteen or so photos of defenseman Dave Sutter trying to get the puck away from Spokane center Brady Brassert.  I might end up giving you that strain eventually, but here’s one of the better ones (although they’re all pretty good)…

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

Here’s a faceoff between Jacobs and Spokane center Kenton Miller.  It’s not a particularly important photo (I mean it is just a faceoff, those happen all the time), but I like how Miller’s face is framed by Jacobs’ arm.  Again, why are my coolest photos of Spokane?

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

Here’s a photo of defenseman Travis Bobbee and Spokane center Steven Kuhn scrambling for the puck while Pickard looks on.

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

And here linseman David Tise has to step in between Noebels and Spokane rightwinger Blake Gal.  The refs were adamant to stop any fights from happening Friday night.

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

In case you haven’t noticed, many players have grown mustaches for the month of November.  As well as it being no-shave-November (check out your local college campus if you don’t believe me) it’s also Mo-vember in the NHL where many players have grown their mustaches to raise awareness for men’s health problems like Prostate cancer.  Many WHLers decided to join in on the mustache-growing fun.  Here’s two of them…

Defenseman Erik Bonsor and Spokane defenseman Brenden Kichton battle for the puck during the third period.

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

Now this next photo I’d normally not put in the blog: nothing important is happening and it’s not that great of a photo anyway.  I just thought like how Bobbee is surrounded by the flying ice particles.  And I guess you can see Pickard making another save in the background, but this photo is really about Travis…

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

With the score tied, the two teams went to overtime, five minutes of four-on-four action.  Nothing slipped past either goalie, though, and we went to a shootout.  Since I missed out on my chance at being in between the benches for the third period, I was relegated to finding a rinkside seat (what’s that? I’m lucky to have such great seats anyway? You have a point there…).  I ended up setting up just to the right of the goal Pickard was defending.  That, in theory, would give me a head-on view of the goal the T-Birds were shooting at.  It did, but I did not take into account that a certain referee would be blocking my view…

It’s a successful shootout attempt!  You can’t see the goalie or much of rightwinger Burke Gallimore but you can see the puck just off of the referee’s right hand…

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

I did, however, have a unique view of the Seattle goal.  Here Pickard blocks the attempt by Spokane center Tyler Johnson.

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

And of course the team rushed out to Pickard to celebrate with him.  Jacob Doty seems particularly excited.

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

And that’s it for this blog post.  I hope to get the thread from Saturday’s game up soon, but they do take awhile.   There is a day coming up Thursday where I don’t have to do much but help out in the kitchen.  Hopefully I can get it done by then, huh?

As always, leave your comments/criticisms/critiques/quandaries in the comments section below.

Til next time, go T-Birds!

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Game 5: T-Birds Beat Up, get Beat by Cougars

Hello again everyone.  Well, I’m sure we’ve all recovered from not only Halloween, but that rough, chipper game the Thunderbirds played Friday night.  In case you’ve forgotten all about it, I’m here to remind you and let you relive the game.  So brace yourself because this post will leave you black and blue…

The game started at 7:40 pm on Friday night.  Before the clock struck 7:41, we had our first fight of the night. Center Mitch Elliot and Prince George’s (PG) Brock Hirsche dropped the gloves and resorted to fisticuffs after just 40 seconds of game play.  The fight didn’t last long, however, as Hirsche apparently suffered a leg injury during the fight.  Here’s a picture of the two going at it…

Left wing Mitch Elliot lands an early punch on Prince George center Brock Hirsche just a half minute into the game.

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

Don’t worry, though.  A hockey game broke out after the early fight.  Both teams had their chances in the first period, but both goalies had great games and kept it scoreless for two plus periods.  Here are a couple shots of the T-Birds’ chances in the first…

Prince George goalie Ty Rimmer collects a Seattle shot.

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

Left wing Chance Lund takes a shot on PG’s Rimmer.  The shot went high

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

It wasn’t just the T-Birds controlling the puck, however.  Here defenseman Brenden Dillon tries to win the puck back behind his own net.

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

This was the first game this season (that I noticed at least) that had a lot of pucks leave the ice and go high in the air.  Seeing that, I really hoped to get a shot of someone knocking the puck down.  One of those shots came to me (yay!) when Burke Gallimore tried to knock the puck down midway through the first period.

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

Alright, back to the hits and fights.  Here defenseman Scott Ramsay gets pushed by a Cougar player.  Ramsay, however, did well not to retaliate and drew a penalty, giving the T-Birds a two minute power play.

Defenseman Scott Ramsay is pushed by PG left wing Wilson Dumais.  Dumais was given a 2:00 roughing penalty for this shove.

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

There were many times where the refs had to intervene and separate players from both teams.  Here linesman Adam Brastad is forced to separate center Travis Toomey and PG defenseman Sena Acolatse.

Center Travis Toomey (top middle) gets a few extra punches on PG defenseman Sena Acolatse (middle left) during a scrum in the third period.

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

And it happened again later in the third period (note: the players are different, and I can’t identify the official that is pictured)…

An official steps in between Lund and PG defenseman Jesse Forsberg.

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

The scrappiness continued into the second period.  Here, center Luke Lockhart is pushed off-balance by Hirsche.

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

And here’s Lockhart controlling the puck.

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

Here, Mitch Elliot fires a shot in front of the PG goal, hoping for a re-direct into the net.

Canon 7D, 73mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Now onto the third period which brought on another fight, this one between rightwinger Jacob Doty and PG center Greg Fraser.

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

Doty gains the upper hand- literally -on  PG’s Fraser.

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

It seemed that all night I had players randomly skating in front of me and into the foreground of my shots.  Most of the time the completely block me from the play, but sometimes they help create a nice looking shot.  This next picture is one of the latter.

PG left wingeTaylor Stefishen (middle right) waits for a pass in front of the Seattle goal while Dave Sutter jostles for position with him.

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

When I first saw this next photo I dismissed it because it was too cluttered: there were players all around the goal and I didn’t see any obvious crop that wouldn’t cut someone in half.  After looking a little more (and zooming in) I decided to try a tight crop on Pickard.  What turned out looks pretty good, although it makes me wish for an even better camera to help reduce some of the noise and improve the picture quality (zooming in and close-cropping takes away the quality and clarity of a photo).  Here it is…

Pickard makes a glove save in the third period.

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

In my photo career, I’ve shot a lot of gymnastics and have seen some athletes bend their bodies in incredible forms and still stay on their feet.  According to this next photo, center Charles Wells has that same control over his body gymnasts do.  Check out how far down he goes and still stays on his skates…

Center Charles Wells (right) manages to stay on his skates to knock the puck away from PG’s Bounassisi.

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

Here, defenseman Travis Bobbee races for the puck with PG center Charles Inglis.

Defenseman Travis Bobbee (right) and PG center Charles Inglis go after the puck.

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

Both teams had quality chances in the third period, as well.  Again, the goalies did well to keep the puck in front of the red line (although PG did eventually get two in at the end of the game).  Here’s a shot of PG goalie Ty Rimmer saving a Burke Gallimore shot on goal…

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

And here’s Pickard making one.

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

And we’ll end with a shot of Lockhart and PG rightwinger Brett Connolly fighting for the puck late in the third quarter…

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

That’s it for this post.   Please leave any comments or questions or anything else in the comments section.  Let me know how I’m doing and if there’s anything you’d like to know or see differently, just let me know!

Til next time, go T-Birds!