View 254: Crunch Time!

Syracuse Crunch Philip-Michael Devos (88) sporting his hockey smile during pre-game warmups before playing a Rochester Americans in the Onondaga County War Memorial.

Syracuse Crunch Philip-Michael Devos (88) sporting his hockey smile during pre-game warmups before playing a Rochester Americans in the Onondaga County War Memorial.
Nikon D700/70-200VR, 1/1000s, f/2.8, ISO 4000, EV +1.0, 200mm focal length.

Those of you who have been following either my flickr or Google+ content streams over the last month have already read about an opportunity I was given to photograph the Syracuse Crunch ice hockey games and promotional events on a trial contract for October (2012).  Many of the photographs the Crunch have been using on their website and FaceBook page over the last month have been mine.

This week the contract was extended for the rest of the Crunch’s American Hockey League (AHL) home schedule so I feel comfortable in sharing the news with my blog audience.  The biggest advantage to being a photographer for a minor league professional team is the freedom to roam around the arena and get into positions to capture game action.  I even get to go out onto the player’s bench during pre-game warmups and shoot inside the protective glass instead of through it.  Which is where I took this photo of Philip-Michael Devos with his hockey smile.  Philip-Michael had taken an errant puck in the face during a team practice a few weeks ago.

The first challenge I was faced with was the speed of the players at the AHL level.  These players are a quantum leap in speed from the high school athletes I have been photographing on a regular basis the last three years.  I am beginning to better anticipate the play and caught this action last weekend.

Syracuse Crunch Richard Panik (14) pots a goal against the Rochester Americans goaltender David Leggio (33).

Syracuse Crunch Richard Panik (14) pots a goal against the Rochester Americans goaltender David Leggio (33).
Nikon D700/70-200VR, 1/1000s, f/2.8, ISO 2200, EV +1.3, 116mm focal length.

I have the luxury of time to try and photograph elements of the game I feel are important like the concentration of a player as the puck is dropped for a faceoff.

AHL Linesman drops the puck for a faceoff between Syracuse Crunch Tyler Johnson (9) and Rochester Americans Rick Schofield (32).

AHL Linesman drops the puck for a faceoff between Syracuse Crunch Tyler Johnson (9) and Rochester Americans Rick Schofield (32).
Nikon D700/70-200VR, 1/1000s, f/2.8, ISO 3600, EV +1.3, 140mm focal length.

Using the very fast shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second, I capture things our eyes can not see in real time. I wish my sticks flexed like this when I played.

Syracuse Crunch Brett Connolly (28) leans into a shot against the Rochester Americans in the Onondaga County War Memorial.

Syracuse Crunch Brett Connolly (28) leans into a shot against the Rochester Americans in the Onondaga County War Memorial.
Nikon D700/70-200VR, 1/1000s, f/2.8, ISO 2200, EV +1.3, 95mm focal length.

I try to get the puck in the photo as much as possible. This is the same for any sport with a ball or puck in the case of hockey.

Syracuse Crunch players Pierre-Cedric Labrie (20) and Brett Connolly (28) fight for the puck along the boards agains Rochester Americans Frederick Roy (91) and Matt MacKenzie (47) in the Onondaga County War Memorial.

Syracuse Crunch players Pierre-Cedric Labrie (20) and Brett Connolly (28) fight for the puck along the boards agains Rochester Americans Frederick Roy (91) and Matt MacKenzie (47) in the Onondaga County War Memorial.
Nikon D700/70-200VR, 1/1000s, f/2.8, ISO 3600, EV +1.3, 200mm focal length.

Crunch are undefeated on the road but are having a hard time getting used to their new home rink (this team played in Norfolk last year).  They have two games at home next weekend to change that trait.

Syracuse Crunch Pierre-Cedric Labrie (20) backhands a shot at Rochester Americans netminder David Leggio (33).

Syracuse Crunch Pierre-Cedric Labrie (20) backhands a shot at Rochester Americans netminder David Leggio (33).
Nikon D700/70-200VR, 1/1000s, f/2.8, ISO 2500, EV +1.3, 80mm focal length.

At this time, I am not totally sure how this extra work with the Crunch will effect the blog.  I will keep the same schedule for now.  If anything, you will see more hockey photos which I will try to keep relevant and interesting.

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16 Responses to View 254: Crunch Time!

  1. Dave Kliment says:

    All great photos Scott. Love the action work. Don’t worry about over-saturating the blog with hockey photos. ‘Tis the season! This helps us get thru the NHL lockout. Too bad I wasn’t at his game to see my home team beat your home team… :)

  2. Great news Scott! Congratulations! I’m not a big hockey fan but I do enjoy the action pics, something I’m not that good at, yet… :)

  3. Larry Eiss says:

    Scott, congratulations. If you do make your way to the Albany area let me know and I’ll guy you the beverage of your choice if we can find a time that works.

  4. Gerry says:

    Yay! Congratulations, Scott. I, um, won’t mind a lot of hockey photos. Interesting point about how much harder it is to stay on top of, and anticipate, the action at the new level – and no surprise at all that you’re rising to the challenge.

  5. Thats awesome Scott..always wanted to shoot sports, but time never let me get a chance, good luck !

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