My 15 Favorite Hockey Photos of 2015

This year I shot more hockey than I ever have before. That being said it still was not really enough for me. I love hockey, and it is a very challenging sport to shoot. You may have picked the best position to stand, but with a large pile in front of the net you do not have a clear shot. When you have those opportunities to get that clear shot you have to make the most of it. As the new year begins I think that I will have a lot of chances in the first couple of months to shoot hockey. The Purdue hockey club will be back in action, and the Indy Fuel are just getting going. This will be a fun next couple of months.

15. We start the countdown with a shot over the goalies shoulder by Purdue forward Rhett Schaefer. Rhett is one of the bright spots of the Purdue hockey team, and here he gets a shot past the goalie.

14. One thing that you have to be ready for in hockey is the sudden goal. The initial reaction is usually a very good one. A goal is not an easy thing to get in hockey so the initial surprise/joy of the act is usually great to capture. You cannot always get this shot. The celebration is not always in the same place so some of this is luck, and another part is good guesswork. Here I positioned myself by the Purdue bench because at some point the celebration will come to the bench. Luckily I got the player to turn right at me to make the shot.

13. One shot that is hard to get at the Fisher’s Forum is this shot from ice level. The glass is so marked up and stained with sweat that you really don’t get crisp shots through it. I end up shooting over the glass which puts me slightly above the action. When shooting the Indy Fuel I am down lower making the ice spray shot much cooler looking. This was one shot that I was looking to make when I went earlier this year. 

12. I like this shot probably more than I should. It is a battle for the puck by both Purdue and Indiana. The rivalry is also very strong on the ice, and I think some of that shows in this picture. The crossed sticks really make it for me.

11. The main reason that I shoot the Purdue Ice Hockey team is for my nephew. He is a senior defenseman this year, and is really fun to watch. He also knows when to shoot the puck. That is when he is right in front of me. I like this shot of him just before he strikes the puck. There are some moments in hockey that photograph better than others. It is much like baseball for the shot. You want the puck on the stick, but when you get it you realize that the moment just before and after the hit are the ones that look the best. Here I think he looks good just before taking his shot. If I remember right he scored on this shot.

10. Here was one of the goals this past spring that helped the Purdue hockey club win the end of season tournament. This was a great game that gave me some great opportunities for photos. This goal was one of those opportunities.

9. The only game that I shot this past fall for Purdue was against Ball State. Here Austin Bickle celebrates an early goal for Purdue. The sly smile after slipping one past the goalie is great.

8. The thing about hockey is that the puck is a weird thing. It can have a mind of its own and do some weird things. Here is pops up after deflecting off of the defensemen’s stick. The Purdue goalie has to react quickly to make the save. I like the anticipation here.

7. If you have not been to an Indy Fuel game then I suggest that you go. They have some great hockey to watch, and the intro is also very cool. After seeing it on video I had a couple of ideas of how to capture the fire on ice. This was a version of one of them helped out by the Fuel photographers who helped me pick the best spot for the shot. I have one other idea that I may just have to try the next time I make it to Indy.

6. Here is another version of a shot on goal by my nephew Brandt. The new gold jerseys really make the Boilers look very cool. The followthrough also really helps this photo.

5. Now as we enter the top 5 we find my real favorites from the past year. After Purdue won the season ending conference tourney last spring the managers kissed the cup that was the trophy. It was a really cool moment that made the game memorable.

4. During my studio session with the team we had pretty much gotten everything that we needed. I had one last idea for a shot with everyone involved. The studio had a great gritty brick wall that worked nicely here. I love the tough hockey poses by all of the players.

3. During my first game shooting the Indy Fuel I was wondering about locations, and where I could shoot. When I shoot Purdue I can pretty much go wherever I want on the glass. In Indy I just had a couple of spots on each end to shoot from. I had to predict where the shots would come from. That would be easier if I ever had seen the team play before. I picked a corner thinking that I could get what I wanted here. I just wanted the shot on goal. Here I have the followthrough of the goal that put Indy up 1-0. I guessed right, and was right where I needed to be. I have the moment the puck was on the stick as well as a shot with the puck leaving the stick. I like this one much better for some reason.

2. One shot that I have always wanted to make is this shot over the top of the goal. It is so different from what you are used to seeing that it commands that you look at it again. It is a great way to show the scrambles at the net. This was the first exchange at the goal that I shot. I stayed up there for half a period to see if anything better happened, but it turned out I had made the shot early on.

  1. My favorite shot of the year is this one of the Purdue hockey team celebrating with their cup. I made one image of the entire team posed with the cup. After I have that one I always zoom in though to show the players tight with the trophy. You lose some of the players around the edges, but you get to see much more of the emotion. Here you see the pure joy of the moment.
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About Pinola Photo

I am a sports and lifestyle photographer based in West Lafayette, IN home of Purdue University. I cover sports for Big Ten teams as well as other colleges. You can follow me on twitter @pinolaphoto. You can also view my website at www.davewegielphoto.net

One response »

  1. These are some amazing shots, my friend. The clarity is spectacular.

    I am a season seat holder for the AHL Toronto Marlies and spend a lot of time trying to get shots this good. I’ve managed a few shots that I love and many that I like, but rare is anything like what you have achieved.

    Look forward to seeing more!

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