On the weekend of February 12-13, 2022, I was finally able to see my oldest play a meaningful game of hockey. As I mentioned in my previously most-recent gallery introduction, the D1 Capo Coyotes lost their Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League playoff game on February 19, 2020. At the time, the team was a little more than a month away from participating in the USA Hockey National Championships.
I did not know then that the ADHSHL playoff loss would be my older son’s last high school game. He and I (and even my younger son) have gotten in some beer-league games in the time since the pandemic interrupted his playing career.
All that said, I never expected that it would be two years between meaningful games. For several months, he’s been telling me: “Dad, the boys want some pictures.”
The Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League championship games were played on Saturday, February 22, 2020 (the 40th anniversary of the “Miracle on Ice” Olympics game, by the way), at Great Park Ice. I attended and photographed the D3 game in hopes that the Capistrano Coyotes would prevail after our D1 team was eliminated on Wednesday. It was not to be, as Servite took that contest, 2-0.
Shooting the D1 championship presented a bit of an emotional challenge. After winning back-to-back D2 championships and being elevated to D1 this season, Capo fell short of making the final. It was tough seeing my oldest on his knees after the game and the disappointment remains highly present.
That said, he was at a crossroads in his hockey pursuit when he joined the San Diego Jr. Gulls back in his Bantam years. The boys and the families were (and still are) amazing. They welcomed us warmly and they invited JP to stay over quite a bit to help ease the travel up and down the 5 Freeway. Four of those boys are members of the Pacific Ridge Firebirds. So I stayed to photograph their pursuit of a championship (we beat them last year in the D2 final). I was thrilled for their opportunity to celebrate a championship. The header image here shows two of his closest teammates from the Gulls.
FivePoint Arena is very photographer friendly, and I love shooting in there. The sight lines are as good as they get in minor hockey, so I feel like I get nice clean shots.
My images below, however, are not super clean. These are essentially dumped from the storage media so that everyone involved — players, families, the teams, and the league — can enjoy them as soon as possible. As always, I am happy to clean them up for anyone who wants an image to print.
On Thursday night (February 6, 2020), I had the privilege of photographing the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League All Star Game at the Rinks Great Park Ice in Irvine. I shot both the Varsity and Senior games, but unfortunately missed the Junior Varsity contest, which had a start time before I was off of work.
The Ducks — who were involved in the event with with their game-day entertainment and production teams — and the ADHSHL provided an all-access opportunity, which meant shooting from the player bench and penalty box part of the time.
The huge take away from my vantage point is how much fun the players had participating in the game with current and former teammates playing on both their own and opposing teams. As you’ll note in the featured images, goal celebrations sometimes included members of both squads.
The photos in the gallery above are limited in size and I haven’t edited them yet (this kind of volume would take me a few days to edit and post, and I don’t want to delay sharing them any longer than it took to import, convert, and upload.
My usual offer to players and parents stands: let me know what photo(s) you want and I will get you a cleaned-up, printable version.
I was privileged to serve as a photographer for the JCC Maccabi hockey tournament. The Orange County community hosted the annual JCC Maccabi Games and ArtFest for 2018 in conjunction with Long Beach. More than 2,500 teen athletes and artists from around the globe participated.
The games bring the community together in competition, but just as much in community.
One of my favorite moments from the tournament came on Day 2. The teams from Greater Washington and Toronto Blue played to a 4-4 draw — and then they used the “handshake line” to hug. It was a sublime hockey game as DC got out to a 3-0 lead, but Toronto responded with four straight tallies, including two in the final 5-minutes. DC tied the game with a the extra attacker on in the final minute of play. However, the post-game tradition topped it all