This evening was the biggest of the women's hockey games yet. The much anticipated game between the US and Canada, and it was as exciting as I expected it to be.
Let me take you through the game in photos.
Before the game started, I always look through the crowd to find people representing their country. This guy was seriously showing his pride, and then started a friendly rivalry with a Canadian fan. (I just got done shooting the team party and I met the guy under the suit, who is a family member of one of the players.)
And then the game started.
Jessie Vetter was outstanding in goal tonight, stopping a barrage of shots from the Canadian women. As a photographer, we are always happy to get a good action shot, with the puck visible in the frame. The criss crossing of the sticks just makes this photo a little better.
Here is Julie Chu facing off. She is an Olympic veteran, playing on numerous teams.
Jessie making a pad stop.
A mass of humanity in front of the net.
You see all defensive photos at this point, because they only have shooting positions on one side of the Shayba arena. If our team is shooting twice in the opposite direction, we have no choice but to shoot the defensive side twice. Not ideal, but we have no choice.
From now on, all the games I shoot will be in Bolshoy Ice Dome and should allow much more freedom to move around to better positions.
Hard work on the boards.
I usually shoot hockey games at f/2.8 to isolate the athlete I am focusing on. Most of the time, it is because of the low light in most ice rinks. In this case, the lighting at the Olympic venues is so good (due to TV requirements) that I can move anywhere between f/2.8 and f/4.0 and still have a fairly low ISO of 1000 or 1250. I shoot these all in manual mode with a shutter speed around 1/1000 sec or 1/1250 sec.
Kelli Stack getting a shot on goal. You don't see hair flying like that in men's games. :)
This shot is so sharp, that I can zoom into the puck and see the logo. See below...
The American's struck first to take a 1-0 lead in the second period.
All of these photos were taken with my Canon 1DX and the Canon 70-200 2.8 lens, which is a great focal length for shooting on the glass.
I love it when there is pushing and shoving in front of the net. This is so hockey!
Then the Canadian's took control of the game, scoring twice at the beginning of the third period.
The American's did not give up.
Then, towards the end of the third period, the Canadian's scored again to give them a two goal lead.
The US team took a time out to see if they could draw up a plan to tie the game. They ended pulling the goalie and getting a goal with one minute remaining. But, they could not get another goal to tie the game. All in all, it was a very exciting game, and likely a preview of a gold medal game later this week.
Tomorrow I am photographing the first game for the men of Team USA. I am looking forward to that. Photos to come.