The second game of the year I shot of the Colonials crew was against the Richmond Spiders. This game started out pretty even and for a while I thought the Spiders might have a chance. However, after a while it just started to feel like the Spiders were chasing the Colonials or just getting caught out of position most of the night.
Spiders at ColonialsThe George Washington Colonials hosted the Richmond Spiders at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on October, 04, 2013. Photo: John Kosak The Colonials had way too many opportunities to load up and release shots on goal throughout the night.
Spiders at ColonialsThe George Washington Colonials hosted the Richmond Spiders at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on October, 04, 2013. Photo: John Kosak Which resulted in some really nice goals for the Colonials, like this one, which knocked the water bottle right off the net.
Spiders at ColonialsThe first goal of the game, scored by George Washington's #25 Terhar, knocks the water bottle of the back of the Richmond Spiders net during their game at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on October, 05, 2013. Photo: John Kosak The Colonials' goalie wasn't getting quite the same workout but was equal to the task more often than his Spider counterpart.
Spiders at ColonialsThe George Washington Colonials hosted the Richmond Spiders at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on October, 04, 2013. Photo: John Kosak Lots of battles for the puck, but it really did seem like the Spiders were trying to play catch-up all night long. Just for the record, GW's #25 is not the guy you want your goalie facing all alone as he is the team leader in goals scored.
Spiders at ColonialsThe George Washington Colonials hosted the Richmond Spiders at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on October, 05, 2013. Photo: John Kosak Because that usually results in this.
Spiders at ColonialsThe George Washington Colonials hosted the Richmond Spiders at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on October, 05, 2013. Photo: John Kosak The Spiders didn't just give up and really player with heart the way they tried to block some of the shots.
Spiders at ColonialsThe George Washington Colonials hosted the Richmond Spiders at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on October, 05, 2013. Photo: John Kosak Late in the game the Spiders did score enough to make it interesting.
Spiders at ColonialsThe George Washington Colonials hosted the Richmond Spiders at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on October, 05, 2013. Photo: John Kosak But the pressure from the Colonials was relentless, propelling them to a 6-3 win with more shots like this one.
I had fun shooting the George Washington University Colonials at Kettler Capitals Iceplex this season. The rink they play on has a nice wide spot between the benches that allows you to shoot from inside the glass. Of course this does mean that you have to keep your head up because the guys will try to check each other over any board they can!
The first game I shot this year was against the Kutztown Golden Bears. This was back in October, very early in the season for both teams. Skaters were still finding their feet and sometimes communication was a bit off. That might explain why one of the best checks in this game was by a Kutztown player on one of his teammates, timing was just a bit off on that hit.
Golden Bears at ColonialsKutztown at George Washington at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex on September, 27, 2013. Photo: John Kosak Kutztown got on the board in the second period and I captured a goal celly that almost looked staged.
Golden Bears at ColonialsKutztown at George Washington at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex on September, 27, 2013. Photo: John Kosak Both goalies got a work out but the Colonials' goalie made this one look nice when he snatched it out of the air.
Golden Bears at ColonialsKutztown at George Washington at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex on September, 28, 2013. Photo: John Kosak Lots of action along the boards during this game, these guys definitely aren't afraid to hit each other.
Golden Bears at ColonialsKutztown at George Washington at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex on September, 27, 2013. Photo: John Kosak Lots of battling for the puck throughout the game.
The Colonials also had reason to celebrate scoring during the game as they managed to pot 4 goals, including this beauty.
Golden Bears at ColonialsKutztown at George Washington at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex on September, 28, 2013. Photo: John Kosak Unfortunately, Kutztown managed 5 goals and took home the win.
I've been looking at the rosters for the ice hockey competition at the Sochi Olympics and realizing that I've had the opportunity to photograph a lot of these guys in the AHL and a few more in the NHL. I've had a great relationship with the Grand Rapids Griffins, which started via their amazing social media presence. A big thanks goes out to my friend John VanderHaagen and several other Griffins social media staff who have helped me out along this journey. This journey has taken me to some fantastic places as I've shot not only in the Griffins home at VanAndel Arena in Grand Rapids, but I have met them on the road in Cleveland and most recently during the Calder Cup Finals in Syracuse New York. My connections have also given me the opportunity to photograph the Griffins Alumni in Detroit at Joe Louis Arena, ECHL games in Orlando and Las Vegas and another NHL game in Tampa.
Just looking back at the Calder Cup Finals featuring the eventual champion Griffins versus the Crunch reminds me of how luck I am. Here is Ondrej Palat (Czech Republic) living up to the Syracuse Crunch name in the corner. [Left] Here is a shot of the Calder Cup Playoffs MVP Tomas Tatar (Slovakia) getting double teamed by a pair of Syracuse Crunch players, who are really taking their team name to heart. To say that the Calder Cup Finals between the Griffins and Crunch was a physical series would be an understatement. These teams were definitely the best of the best and neither one wanted to give an inch. [Right]
Here is Gustav Nyquist (Sweden) sealing game one of the Calder Cup Playoffs with an empty net goal. [Left] The War Memorial was a unique and really cool place to shoot a hockey game, what a great experience. [Right]
I made the most out of my one opportunity to shoot Griffins Alumni and regular Wings during a Red Wings game at Joe Louis Arena. I managed to capture [clockwise from upper left] Howard(USA), Datsyuk (Russia), Kronwall (Sweden) and Zetterburg (Sweden).
Stoppage of PlayDetroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (35) holds onto the puck and protects himself from St. Louis Blues center Chris Porter (32) during the game between the Detroit Red Wings and the St. Louis Blues at Joe Louis Arena on April,07,2013. Photo: John Kosak Pavel DatsyukDetroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk (13) watches the play during the game between the Detroit Red Wings and the St. Louis Blues at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday April 7, 2013 (Photo: John Kosak)
Niklas KronwallDetroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall (55) waiting for a faceoff during the game between the Detroit Red Wings and the St. Louis Blues at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday April 7, 2013 (Photo: John Kosak)
Wrap AroundDetroit Red Wings left wing Henrik Zetterberg (40) is pursued around the net by St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (27) while St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott (1) watches during the game between the Detroit Red Wings and the St. Louis Blues at Joe Louis Arena on April,07,2013. Photo: John Kosak
Oh yes, I've been a lucky man. I've got lots more where this came from. Feel free to click on the pictures and go to the galleries where you see all the pictures.
The last time I shot women's ice hockey was back in January of 2011 and it was actually a girl's U12 team. This time i was treated to a game at Reston SkateQuest between the host Reston Raiders U19 Tier 1 young women's team and the visiting Lady Patriots from Warminster, PA. These two teams played on the Olympic sheet, which doesn't seem that much bigger until you do the math. It's the same length as an NHL rink at 200 feet, but its 15 feet wider, which means there is an extra 3,000 square feet of ice to play on. Also, while it appeared that these young women weren't allowed to check each other, they certainly didn't shy away from what we like to call incidental contact. I also didn't notice any real difference in the level of intensity as these women went after each other with great abandon. It was a great game to watch. [You can click on any of the pictures to be taken to the galery to see all of the pictures from this game, over 75 of them!]
These two teams appeared to be very closely matched, but after the first few minutes I was thinking that the fairly well rounded team game being played by the Raiders could lead them to victory. That was right up until the Patriots scored first just over 6 minutes into the game. However, the Patriots were plagued by some bad penalties as well as a couple of suspect calls throughout the rest of the first period of play. The Raiders took advantage of this and managed to tie the game on a Power Play with 6 minutes left in the first period. At the End of the first period the game was tied at one goal each. The Raiders led the shots on goal, out shooting the Patriots 14-5 during the first period.
Both teams settled down to business in the second period, trading only a pair of penalties through the first ten minutes. It was a great back and forth struggle with both teams getting breakaways and spending time cycling the puck in each team's offensive zone. Both teams rang up 7 shots on goal each during this time but the Patriots were the first to score, taking a 2-1 lead on their 12th shot of the game. The Raiders were not content to let the game slip away and took over the last 6 minutes of the period as they attacked the Patriots with four more shots, while only allowing one on their own goalie, finally finding the back of the net on their 25th attempt of the game to knot the score at two goals each. The second period ended with the same score and the Raiders leading the shots on goal 27-13.
The third period saw both teams dig in and play very good hockey with only one penalty early on. The back and forth hockey continued for the entire period with the Raiders piling up the shots, throwing the biscuit at the Patriots goalie 15 times during the 17 minute period. Lots of puck cycling again in the opposing team's zone. More breakaways and lots of skating. The Lady Patriots only took two shots in the third period, but the second one got past the goalie with only a minute left in the game. After one last minute of furious play by the Raiders, the Patriots were able to celebrate a Saturday night victory on the Olympic sheet at Reston SkateQuest.
The Flying Circus Air Show is one of the most enjoyable air shows I've ever had the pleasure of attending. As of the end of the 2012 season, I've been six times. The best part of having their own aerodrome is that they can have an air show every Sunday from May through October. There are a number of aircraft that are based right on the airfield and a number of others that fly in each Sunday just for the airshow. Watching the arrivals is half the fun. They come in from all points of the compass starting about 11:00 AM after the gates open.
The air show doesn't start until 2:30 PM, so you might wonder what they are doing arriving so early. The answer is simple, they are giving rides. Yep, for a very reasonable price you can get a ride in an open cockpit aircraft. If you're really brave, you can even sign up for the aerobatic ride. That's where you go upside down in the airplane. Don't worry, you'll get a parachute to wear, which is standard issue for aerobatics. I've never seen anyone fall out during a ride, but they do give you instructions, just in case. The only one I've ever seen come out of a Flying Circus aircraft is the one who brings the American flag down to start the show while our National Anthem is performed. It looks something like this:
A few quick notes about the facilities. First, they have real facilities, not your normal air show porta-poties. Additionally, they have benches set up for the crowd, although you're welcome to bring your own. Some seats have umbrellas for shade. They also have food, which is pretty good but even better is the fact that it's reasonably priced. So make sure you stop by Fifi's Cafe for some tasty treats while you enjoy the show!
Sometimes things get a little out of control, like when the flying farmer shows up and swipes an aircraft during the show. He's a pretty good pilot for a guy who cuts the grass. Not sure what I'm talking about? Then check out the show for yourself because you really do need to see it to believe it!
The show lets the men and women of the Flying Circus demonstrate the capabilities of these aircraft, many used to train pilots during the Second World War. They do this with some formation flying, practicing bombing with "flour" bombs (the Black Baron has a bad habit of being in the wrong place during this demonstration), practicing tight turns while chasing after a roll of paper towels dropped out of the cockpit and trying to pop balloons with their propellers.
There are a couple of aircraft that show up from time to time that aren't strictly WW-II era trainers. Usually, its an aerobatic type of aircraft that shows up to put on an acrobatic display for the crowd. More airplanes that go upside down and perform some amazing stunts in the air over the crowd.
One of the most impressive acts at the Flying Circus air show is the wing walking performance. There are a number of brave men and women at the Flying Circus who are willing to head out on the wing of the Circus' silver and black Stearman. It's an absolutely amazing sight to see a person climbing around the wings and fuselage of an aircraft while it does some amazing stunts, including going inverted!
Do yourself a favor, if you live anywhere near Bealeton Virginia, do yourself a favor and get to this show. It's worth the drive. To find out more about the show, including their schedule and directions, visit their web site - The Flying Circus