With the Ravenspalooza event in full swing, it was a busy weekend for sports at Carleton University. The Men’s Hockey Ravens had their home opener on Friday October 12 with the Concordia Stingers as the opponents. Although the Ravens out shot and out played the Stingers, they lost 4-3 in a shoot out. The game was, however, highly entertaining with plenty of big time hits and a brisk pace played with tons of skill. In the lead photo, Ravens forward Joey West battles a Concordia player late in the 3rd period.
From a photographers perspective the game was both a joy and a challenge. A joy because there was so much good action. A challenge because the speed was so high. It had been many months, back in February of 2012, since I last shot a game played at this level. CIS hockey is very very good.
Speaking of skill, #9 Michael Lomas demonstrated plenty of it on this one rush, captured at left. Coming down the right wing with speed, he was able to get around the Concordia defender but was running out of room to make a play. He had to bring the puck through his legs, and even shoot from there in order to get on his forehand. Fortunately for me, the play happened right in front of me as I was shooting from the corner in the Stinger’s end of the ice. To have decent success with hockey photography requires skill for sure, but a little serendipity doesn’t hurt either.
I brought my Nikon D3s and D700 bodies and three lens. From Nikon the 70-200 mm f2.8 VRII and the 24-70mm f2.8. And I also brought a 300mm f2.8 made by Sigma. In general my workhorse combination is the D3s with the 70-200mm. Probably 80% of my hockey shots are with this combination. I use the D700 with the 24-70mm as a 2nd body on a sling strap. If players come deep into my corner I switch to the D700 and do some quick grabs before they move out of range again.
I did change things up for this game, at least for the 1st period. I went with the 300mm on the D3s and the 70-200mm on the D700. The 300mm is great when you want really tight crops, but it is less flexible to use as a fixed focal length lens. The 70-200mm usually has a higher success rate, but is sometimes too “safe”.
I will end with two shots. Speedy centre Jeff Hayes and goaltender for the game, Ryan Dube. In the past Ryan has worked with NetFx Goaltending School and has instructed my youngest son.