Saturday, April 26, 2008

Wolves did what they had to do, series 3:2 Wolves

It was a warm Thursday night and both teams came out ready for a tough game. The Wolves played with fire in their eyes and by the end of the second period the usually poised Pekka Renne was pulled from goal, replaced by the diminutive Dov Grumet-Morris. It is a rare night when the work horse of the AHL can be shelled out of the net but the Wolves did what they needed to do. If you are going to get the puck past Pekka shoot high and to the right .

With as much complaining as I do about the referring the on ice team lead by Dean Morton as Ref, Chris Woodworth and Justin Lyle in as linemen did a great job. The Wolves and Admirals obviously wanted to do some physical damage to each other. They kept a lid on things from minute one. Yes, there were missed calls but nothing that effected the play of the game. Well done guys!

The final score was 4:1 Wolves, tonight in Milwaukee's Bradley Center they will meet again in game 6. If the Wolves win this one the series ends, if not we go to game 7. Somehow I don't think the Ads will give up tonight, I predict a game 7 is in the Wolves future. As much as I would like to see the Wolves face off against the IceHogs early next week, it ain't a gonna happen.

Here are a few images of the game, I'm still using the Fugi S700. Although I long for the day when I will be ice side with the SlR on it's monopod the little guy is doing a bang up job while my shoulder needs rest from a 3 pound camera. Hang in there Wolves, win one tonight .I'm not ready yet for the big lens. However, give me another week....


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hello...Chicago Wolves got the wake up call! Series tied 1:1

Both the Chicago Wolves their opponents the Milwaukee Admirals came out feisty last night at the Allstate Arena. As soon as the first puck was dropped it was obvious we were going to see 60 minutes of playoff hockey. Milwaukee's iron man nettie Pekka Rinne put in a classic performance turning away 36 out of 38 SOG. While on the other end of the ice Chicago's Ondrej Pacelec showed the crowd just why he is Atlanta's top prospect making 27 saves for 28 SOG. If an observation could be made in general as to what made the difference in the teams. Milwaukee although intense deemed to lag in the last 10 minutes of play. They were skating to the bench with mouths open, looking plainly tired. Last year physical conditioning this photographers opinion was a deciding factor (along with goalie Cary Price) that lead to Chicago's elimination by Hamilton in the semifinals of the Calder Cup run. Is Milwaukee going to face this same wall? These old rivals have a long series in front of them the next contest will be tomorrow at the Bradley Center, a beautiful facility 90 minutes away. You can bet there will ba a few Chicago voices to cheer there boys on.

In Rockford last night the IceHogs notched their first victory against the Houston Aeros on their quest for the Calder cup. One down two to go!


Friday, April 18, 2008

Jordan Hendry IceHog, will he be back before next season?

Last Sunday (04/13/2008) Rockford IceHog and Chicago BlackHawk Jordah Hendry suffered a fractured skull, nose and facial lacerations in a high sticking incident on Rockford ice. I say incident because it was unintentional contact from a member of his own team. The high stick hit Hendry removing his helmet, knocking him unconscious, ending in a full "face plant" on the ice. The following link shows the EMT/Paramedics responding and his removal from the ice. I will caution you it is disturbing footage and even as a nurse I found the images upsetting.¤t=Hendry.fl

On Monday Hendry underwent surgery where a plate was placed in his forehead to repair a fractured skull. Hockey is a rough sport, unintentional acts can and do have long reaching repercussions. We can only hope that young Jordan Hendry returns to a normal active life in and out of the sport we love.

The above image was captured at the last Wolves/Hogs game, I love it because it shows his determination and focus. He will need both qualities in the coming weeks and months in his recovery. Godspeed, Jordan, many of us are pulling for you.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A long night for Wolves fans...Game one loss to Milwaukee!

I'll keep this short and not so sweet, last night the Chicago Wolves got a wake up call. The Milwaukee Admirals will not roll over and Chicago needs to step it up several notches and not rest on their laurels to take the Calder. Yes there was again inconsistent referring but as it has been said "good teams will over come bad officiating". The Wolves didn't get the job done in regulation and didn't follow through in OT, despite leading in shots on goal throughout the game.

Now for the good news, at the risk of sounding like as my friend Craig from Armagh says "A Happy Clapper" if the Wolves take a hard look today and regroup they can take this series in hand and take it. With hard work and heart they can take it all the way to the silver.

Now with great pleasure and pride I can show you the first images I've captured of hockey with an SLR in a while. Physical Therapy starts today, with luck I'll be up to using the full kit in a short time. Well, I work in hope, it's not only the players on the ice who work hard to get back in the game.

Monday, April 14, 2008

End of the "regular season" now the real fun begins...

Last night the Chicago Wolves ended their Western Conference Championship season on a high note, by defeating the Peoria Rivermen they ended the season with 109 points, atop the conference and 11 points ahead of the 2nd place Rockford Ice Hogs. The second season begins Wednesday night in Chicago against our old rivals the Milwaukee Admirals.(game two Friday) Somehow without coach Claude Noel it doesn't fee the same. However, if Wolves fans have learned one thing about the Admirals it's to never take them for granted, especially if they have a healthy Pekka Rinne, one of the best goalies in the AHL. Unlike last years surprising sweep of the Admirals expect to see this series go 5-7 games, these guys want revenge.

In Rockford they will be facing the Houston Aeros on Thursday and Saturday night. The Hogs will be looking for a win against tough team without Jordan Hendry one of their heavy hitters and hot Black Hawks prospect. Last night Hendry was injured in a freak accident when a team mate's stick struck him under the visor knocking him unconscious. Falling face first on the ice he suffered multiple facial injuries including lacerations to his fore head and upper lip and avulsed teeth. Although responsive and talking by the time he arrived at the hospital the degree of his concussion has yet to be determined. We can only hope that this promising young man makes a full and speedy recovery.

But enough of the words, lets return to the music and what I do best... some images of the Wolves/Rivermen game!


Saturday, April 12, 2008

04/11/08 Wolves/Hogs too bad somebody had to loose....

First on a personal note, the photog is back in the saddle again! Although the shoulder is still not up to lifting 21/2 + pounds of Canon my shutter was clicking away last night in my favorite home away from home Rockford's Metro Arena. There in the friendly ice side confines I returned surrounded by supportive Rockford colleagues. Who, bless them, did not make a single joke as I snapped away with my Fuji S700 point and shoot. The camera performed beautifully, weighing a mere 11oz it's settings can be changed and lens focused with one hand. Just what my doctor ordered. It felt like heaven to be shooting ice side again, I will never take the feel of camera against my cheek for granted again. Sometimes it takes a short respite to remind you just how much your avocation means to you. There are few things finner than standing ice side with the photogs each of us seeing the game in their own way. Unless it's finding Kissane after a goods nights shooting and taking the road home with my favorite writer. Life is good....

Isn't this blog supposed to be about last night's game? It was one of the toughest games of the season. Made more difficult for both teams by referee Brian Pochmara's inconsistent calls. For the first two periods were score less, not for lack of great shots. Both goalies, Rockford's Corey Crawford and Chicago's Ondreaj Pavelec made absolutely spectacular saves. By the third period it became a question of which mistake would result in a penalty call and a power play. The IceHogs managed to slip 3 by Pavlec and Chicago came up short with 2. It really was a shame that after such a well matched game one team had to loose. However as I remarked to a Rockford friend it always feels better to loose after a great game than to win after a shoot out.

Here are some images of the game..


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Favorite photos, sometimes you just have to post them...

The Wolves seem to still be in a slump, the weather seems to be holding on to winter for all it's worth, this seems like the perfect time to post one of those self serving favorite photo or "highlight reels" of the last few months. The following images are some of the shots that for some reason didn't seem to fit in any specific category yet stood out form the rest, enjoy!