View 429: Hockey Reading

With my American Hockey League team, the Syracuse Crunch, having their season suspended, I am catching up on my reading.

Hockey Reading

If I cannot photograph hockey, I will read about it from the people who played and coached it.

What are you reading during this pause in our lives?

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View 428: Photographing the Montreal Canadiens

I have mentioned a few times in the past how I became a fan of the National Hockey League (NHL) team, the Montreal Canadiens. They were the team I followed as I grew up playing hockey back in the 1970’s. During that decade, the Habs (as they are known by) won the Stanley Cup championship six times including four straight from 1975 to 1979.

Fast forward to today. I now photograph for the Syracuse Crunch who is the American Hockey League affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning. I am fortunate to be allowed to photograph Lightning games and cover former Crunch players when I travel to Florida.  The Lightning team photographer, Scott Audette, has always been very welcoming and I can never thank him enough.

For the game at the Amalie Arena on March 5, 2020, the Lightning’s foe was the before mentioned Montreal Canadiens. This season the Canadiens are not a threat to win the Stanley Cup (especially now) and were out of a playoff position. It did not matter to me, I still got a thrill out of photographing them. The Canadiens have a long history of having elite goaltenders. In net for them that night was Carey Price, a past winner of the Vezina (NHL’s Best Goaltender) and Hart (NHL Most Valuable Player) trophies.

Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price

Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price (31) in net against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, March 5, 2020. Tampa Bay won 4-0. Nikon D500/70-200VR, 1/1000s, f/4, ISO 1600, EV +1.3, 70mm Focal Length, Cropped.

On this night, Carey Price did not have much help with several of the Canadiens starting players out of the game due to injury.  He still gave me many photo opportunities showing what makes him one of the best in the game. Any outstanding goalie I have photographed in the AHL or NHL have a look in their eyes. Carey Price shows it here.

As I write this both the AHL and NHL have suspended their seasons due to the threat of the coronavirus. It may be months before I photograph another ice hockey game though I hold out hope it will be much sooner.

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View 427: Monorail Sunset

Wow, a lot has happened since my last post back in February. Before the coronavirus affected the US, I traveled to Florida in early March. I will be doing some catch up for the next couple of weeks as I settle into life without shooting sporting events two to three times a week.

While I have traveled to Walt Disney World for years. I have rarely had a good sunset and/or be in a good location when a good sunset appears to capture a photograph of it. Back on March 6, 2020, I could see one developing when I was at Epcot.

Monorail Sunset

Monorail moves past the Imagination pavilion in Epcot’s Future World at sunset in Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida on Friday, March 6, 2020. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/200s, f/8, ISO 400, EV 0, 120mm Focal Length.

I set up on the bridge between the Odyssey Center and World Showcase and waited for the colors to appear. It did get a nice orange tint just after the Sun went below the horizon. Only thing missing was a monorail and, luckily for me, one came by while there was still a colorful sky.

Someday I will get a spectacular sunset at Walt Disney World. Someday!

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View 426: Mid-Winter Break

In Upstate New York, mid-February is the time schools take a mid-winter break. Families will take vacations in warm locations like Florida. For me, I long for the color green, the smell of flowers and the sound of moving water.

Lower Falls in Letchworth State Park

Lower Falls in Letchworth State Park near Castile, New York on Saturday, August 10, 2019. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/160s, f/16, ISO 6400, EV 0, 85mm Focal Length.

Letchworth State Park has each of those ingredients during the summer months as this photo from last August illustrates. You will have to use your imagination to fill in the scents and sounds but, believe me, they were there.

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View 425: Meeting a Miracle

The world was a different place back in February of 1980. The Cold War between the United States and what was then called the Soviet Union was in full swing. An event like the XIII Olympic Winter Games could still be held in a small venue like Lake Placid, New York in the Adirondack Mountains. The Soviet Men’s Ice Hockey team was the best in the world when it came to amateur athletics. They were so good, they could outplay many an NHL team if given the chance.

Last weekend, the Syracuse Crunch celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the game in which the USA Men’s Ice Hockey team defeated the mighty Soviet team in an upset for the ages and was dubbed the Miracle on Ice. In fact, the US victory was voted the greatest sports moment of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated. I got to meet and photograph a member from that team.

1980 Olympic Gold Medalist

Ken Morrow, a member of the USA Ice Hockey Gold Medal team from the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, at the Upstate Medical University Arena in Syracuse, New York on Friday, February 14, 2020. Nikon D500/18-140VR, 1/80s, f/6.3, ISO 1600, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length, Bounce Flash.

Ken Morrow was a defenseman for the 1980 USA Olympic ice hockey team and brought his gold medal to last Friday’s Syracuse Crunch game.  There he proudly displayed it for the fans to see and be photographed with. He told stories about the game at the event and in an interview with local Sports Reporter, Brent Axe. Worth a listen!

It was a thrill to meet Ken and to photograph him. His comforting personality comes through in the photograph. By the way, after winning the gold medal, he signed with the New York Islanders and won the Stanley Cups in 1980, ’81, ’82 and ’83. Ken’s NHL career lasted 10 years and he is a member of the US Hockey Hall of Fame.

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