Tag Archives: sports photography

Manneh saves Whitecaps from pointlessness

The Vancouver Whitecaps made out like they’d been gutted by last week’s 1-nil loss at StubHub Center in Los Angeles, but let’s face it: after snatching a tie from the jaws of defeat this weekend, they were lucky to get a single point out of the possible six. A home-and-home against the most successful team in MLS history, still stacked with names like Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane, is a good recipe for an oh-fer.

Storylines begged for moral victories: case in point, the Caps managed to keep Donovan off the scoresheet for two consecutive weeks, and by doing so avoided having David Ousted’s name go down in infamy as the keeper who allowed the 135th and thus record-breaking goal of the diminutive star’s storied MLS career. Largely thanks to the defensive work of Russell Tiebert in LA and Matías Laba in Vancouver, Donovan was rendered inert; the little man had a few shots from distance, but never really threatened Ousted directly.

Also in the plus column: stretches of play in the Galaxy half of the pitch. The Caps were unlucky to score when a Pedro Morales shot ricocheted toward the far corner in the first half; Jaime Penedo made a wonderful reaction save that has rightly been tapped as an MLS Save of the Week nominee. But it was the second half, with subs Kekuta Manneh and Erik Hurtado, that saw extended forays goalward for the (mostly) young Caps squad.

Sadly, with their focus on Landovan, the blue & white were not able to shut Keane down — including the winner in LA and another at BC Place this past Saturday, the Irish forward now has goals in four straight games and “is partially made of magnesium.” (It says so on Wikipedia, so it must be true.)

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Jordan Harvey opens the scoring against the Houston Dynamo at BC Place. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Photo Gallery: Whitecaps 2, Dynamo 1

Vancouver Whitecaps FC is undefeated after four matches, and have played damned entertaining soccer in exactly half of those games. Sure, the draw against Chivas USA on the road was disappointing, but let’s be honest — if we asked you if you’d be happy with eight of a possible twelve points to start the season, you’d have salivated all over us. And while we don’t have a drool fetish, exactly, let’s just say we’re damned happy with the start to the 2014 MLS season.

Jordan Harvey and Kenny Miller scored for the homeside, putting home the first two goals Houston has conceded this season.

Darren Mattocks continued his tradition of coming this close. Methinks he spent too much of the off-season watching Canucks games. He had one glorious chance on a short cross in the first half; he got the ball in perfect position, at the top of the six-yard box just shy of the left post. He one-timed his volley, his eyes on the back of the net, his form perfect as he levelled his foot at the incoming pass. The result? So high over the crossbar the ball hasn’t come down four days later. Mattocks is working hard, at least — goals will come, one assumes — but so far he’s had to settle for close calls and a sweet assist on Kekuta Manneh’s goal against those goats in Los Angeles.

Below, thar be pictures. (I’ll add more as I get round to the editing.)

By the way, David Horst, a Houston defender who features in this photo gallery, at one point during the game, wiped out a Whitecaps forward two metres from the right sideline, then took umbrage when the whistle blew. He stood inches away from the linesman, screaming over and over, “WHAT IS THE FUCKING CALL!” That’s right, ladies. He’s a charmer.

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Defenseman Madison Bowey set up the dramatic game 7 overtime winner to complete an historic comeback for the Kelowna Rockets. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Kelowna Rockets make history

The Kelowna Rockets became just the second team in WHL history to win a playoff series after going down three games to none to the Seattle Thunderbirds. It was a dramatic series, with five of the seven games going to overtime, including the seventh and deciding game.

Defenseman Madison Bowey set up the dramatic game 7 overtime winner to complete an historic comeback for the Kelowna Rockets. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Defenseman Madison Bowey set up the dramatic game 7 overtime winner to complete an historic comeback for the Kelowna Rockets. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Tyson Baillie scored his third goal of the game at 5:10 of the first overtime period, on a back door pass from Madison Bowey that left him with 3/4 of the net to shoot at. It was Baillie’s seventh goal of the series, and erased the sour taste in the mouths of Kelowna fans after Seattle had tied the game with just seven seconds remaining in regulation.

More after the jump.

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Surrey Eagles 3, Alberni Valley Bulldogs 2 (OT)

The Surrey Eagles kept home advantage in the BCHL Coastal Conference Finals on Saturday night, edging the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 3-2 in overtime. Like the opening game on Friday, game two featured plenty of chances and stellar goaltending at both ends of the ice.

Surrey Eagles forward Brady Shaw carries the puck as game one hero Demico Hannoun looks on. Shaw had a goal and an assist in a 3-2 overtime win. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Surrey Eagles forward Brady Shaw carries the puck as game one hero Demico Hannoun looks on. Shaw had a goal and an assist in a 3-2 overtime win. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Nic Pierog tipped a point shot past Bulldogs goalie Jay Deo just a buck-eighteen into OT to send the series to Port Alberni with the Eagles up two games to nothing. The rest of the Eagles offence came from the usual suspects, as Brady Shaw and Adam Tambellini scored in regulation. Those two players sit atop the playoff scoring race with twelve points apiece.

More, including more pictures, after the jump.

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What can I say, it was the play of the game! Demico Hannoun fires the winner past Port Alberni Bulldogs goaltender Jay Deo, giving the Surrey Eagles a 1-0 series lead in the Coastal Conference Finals. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Surrey Eagles 1, Alberni Valley Bulldogs 0

Nearly 1,200 fans were treated to a dramatic opening game of the Coastal Conference Final on Friday night, as the Surrey Eagles edged the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 1-0 to keep home ice advantage in the best-of-seven series. Demico Hannoun scored on a breakaway, and Michael Santaguida earned his third shutout of the playoffs in game that was tightly contested in all areas of the ice.

What can I say, it was the play of the game! Demico Hannoun fires the winner past Port Alberni Bulldogs goaltender Jay Deo, giving the Surrey Eagles a 1-0 series lead in the Coastal Conference Finals. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Surrey Eagles forward Demico Hannoun fires the winning goal past Alberni Valley Bulldogs goaltender Jay Deo with just 81 seconds left in regulation in game one of the BCHL Coastal Conference Final. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Brady Shaw and Michael Stenerson earned assists on Hannoun’s goal, which came with just 1:21 remaining in regulation time. Shaw was prominent in the Bulldogs zone all night long, but didn’t get the bounces until his pass found Hannoun all alone. It was the Eagles’ 33rd shot on Bulldogs goaltender Jay Deo, who was especially solid in the first period when the Eagles held a substantial edge in play.

More on the game, including additional pictures, after the break.

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Abbotsford Heat defenseman Joe Callahan is better known for his physical, stay-at-home style, but he added an assist in a split against the Rockford Ice Hogs the weekend of March 21, 2013.

The Heat search for elusive road wins

The Abbotsford Heat are on the road this week, with three games of the must-win variety. Wednesday and Friday give the Calgary Flames AHL affiliate a chance at points against the last place Hamilton Bulldogs, while Saturday offers an afternoon tilt against the division-leading Toronto Marlies. The Heat are in tough to make the playoffs, having won just three of their last ten games.

More after the jump.

Abbotsford Heat defenseman Joe Callahan is better known for his physical, stay-at-home style, but he added an assist in a split against the Rockford Ice Hogs the weekend of March 21, 2013.

Abbotsford Heat defenseman Joe Callahan is better known for his physical, stay-at-home style, but he added an assist in a split against the Rockford Ice Hogs the weekend of March 21, 2013. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

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Just a bit of proof that I do indeed take my own pictures. My shot of Brad Mills drawing a penalty shot during the second period against the Abbotsford Heat, and pro photog Clint Trahan's shot of me... er, of Mills drawing the penalty shot.

Photobombing the pros

At the Abbotsford Heat game last night, I got some great shots (and some not so marvellous pictures, too, but that’s the way she goes). Here’s something a little different. Check out this pic of Brad Mills drawing a penalty shot in the second period. Then look below to see a shot by Heat photographer Clint Trahan of the exact same moment in the game — there’s me photobombing the shot behind Danny Taylor in the Abbotsford net.

Just a bit of proof that I do indeed take my own pictures. My shot of Brad Mills drawing a penalty shot during the second period against the Abbotsford Heat, and pro photog Clint Trahan's shot of me... er, of Mills drawing the penalty shot.

Just a bit of proof that I do indeed take my own pictures. My shot of Brad Mills drawing a penalty shot during the second period against the Abbotsford Heat, and pro photog Clint Trahan’s shot of me… er, of Mills drawing the penalty shot.

Steve Montador sits on the Rockford Ice Hogs bench during the final period of his third game back from concussion. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Abbotsford Heat playoff hopes fading fast

The Rockford Ice Hogs didn’t just beat the Abbotsford Heat on Friday night. They lined up the nails all neat-like, threw what was left of the Heat’s playoff hopes in the coffin, and started hammering away.

Rockford Ice Hogs captain Martin St Pierre scored once and added a pair of assists in a 5-2 win over the Abbotsford Heat. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Rockford Ice Hogs captain Martin St Pierre scored once and added a pair of assists in a 5-2 win over the Abbotsford Heat. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

The home side tossed 35 shots at Ice Hogs goaltender Henrik Karlsson, but could only beat him twice. Coming the other way, Abbotsford goaltenders Barry Brust and Danny Taylor combined for just 21 saves on 26 shots. Do the math and you’ve got a 5-2 win for the visitors.

Coming into the game, the Heat sat one spot out of the playoff picture with 11 games remaining. That wouldn’t be so worrying if the teams around them didn’t have five games in hand. At this point in the season, with offensive threats like Sven Bärtschi, Ben Street and Max Reinhart all healthy, they just can’t spend all night making opposing goaltenders look good. Those other teams have a possible 10 extra points up for grabs with those additional games, so the chances of making the post-season start to look very slim indeed unless the Heat run the table. With the Ice Hogs win Friday, these teams swapped positions: the Heat now sit in 11th place in the Western Conference, while Rockford moves up to ninth.

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Who knew Roland Orzabal played goal?

*ahem* Okay, it's not the lead singer for Tears for Fears; it's Jackson Whistle, the stellar backup goaltender for the Kelowna Rockets. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Kelowna Rockets – Jackson Whistle

The Kelowna Rockets are one of just three WHL teams to crack the 100-point barrier in the 2012-13 season, and finished second overall behind the powerhouse Portland Winterhawks. One reason for the team’s success has been their young #2 goaltender — and ex-Vancouver Giants backup — Jackson Whistle.

Who knew Roland Orzabal played goal? *ahem* Okay, it's not the lead singer for Tears for Fears; it's Jackson Whistle, the stellar backup goaltender for the Kelowna Rockets. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Who knew Roland Orzabal played goal?
*ahem* Okay, it’s not the lead singer for Tears for Fears; it’s Jackson Whistle, the stellar backup goaltender for the Kelowna Rockets, prepping his gear before helping the Rockets to a 6-2 win over the Vancouver Giants on March 15, 2013. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

What a difference a year makes. In 2011-12, he played 21 games for the Vancouver Giants, and put up forgettable numbers (3.61 GAA, .873 save &) to earn exactly one win. This season, however, he played 21 games for his hometown Kelowna Rockets, and was positively stingy. He boasted a 1.96 goals against average, and stopped more than 93% of pucks directed at his net, good for 15 wins and just two losses in regulation time.

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Vancouver Giants – Alec Baer

Over the next few months, I’ll be sharing some of my photos from the 2012-13 Vancouver Giants season that didn’t wind up attached to a story. Here’s the first, capturing a penalty shot on March 1 — 15-year-old Alec Baer was awarded a penalty shot with 2:27 remaining in the third period that could have won the game for the home team. He was stopped by Lethbridge Hurricanes goaltender Ty Rimmer, but the Giants went on to win in overtime. Read our original piece on Gordie Howe night here.

The Vancouver Giants used a couple of underage players at various times in 2012-13. One of them, Alec Baer, was awarded a penalty shot against the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Gordie Howe night. He missed the attempt, but the Giants won the game in overtime. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

The Vancouver Giants used a couple of underage players at various times in the 2012-13 season. One of them, Alec Baer, was awarded this penalty shot against the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Gordie Howe night, March 1. He missed the attempt, but the Giants won the game 5-4 in overtime. Photo by Jason Kurylo for Pucked in the Head.

Alec Baer is largely regarded as one of the top high school-aged prospects out of Minnesota. As many American teens are not picked up in the bantam draft, it is not a big surprise that the Giants were able to sign him to a WHL Player Agreement (the junior equivalent to a free agent contract in the pro leagues). He was invited to the Giants rookie training camp at the beginning of the 2012-13 season, and left as the top scorer. He joined the Giants for six games late in the season, scoring once (March 8 vs the Victoria Royals) and adding an assist.

You don’t think two points in six games is anything to write home about? Well keep in mind this is a 15-year-old playing against 18-, 19-, and 20-year-olds.

Baer was introduced to Hall of Famer, Stanley Cup Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Joe Sakic exactly one month before this picture was taken, by Giants part-owner and ambassador Pat Quinn. Quinn said, “Joe, this young man just may be the next you.”

That conversation is one of the main reasons Baer decided to sign with the Giants instead of taking any one of numerous standing offers to join NCAA college clubs south of the border.