Hockey under sunny skies

Army senior Drew Pierson (right) and teammates celebrate after beating AIC on Saturday in Hartford during Whalers Hockey Fest 2011. (Danny Wild/USMA)

Wasn’t sure what to expect this weekend in Connecticut for my first taste of outdoor hockey when Army took on AIC during the week-long Hartford Whalers Hockey Fest at UConn’s 40,000-seat football stadium, Rentschler Field.

To set the scene, it was brutally cold and windy, and almost no fans showed up for this particular game, which was both disappointing and extremely understandable (my hands were cold even with gloves on). Army won 4-1 thanks to an outburst of goals in the second period.

Army captain Cody Omilusik (left) chats with Mike Santee after the win. (Danny Wild/USMA)

I drove out to East Hartford with my buddy Tommy (you can see his photos from the game here) and also bumped into another friend, Mark, who captured these images.


My stuff will most likely be featured in a story that’s running in the U.S. Military Academy’s new alumni magazine, West Point, a publication of the West Point AOG office (the was also a photo gallery on I think the story will focus on the seniors, so I tried to get some of each, including goalie Jay Clark, who joined his teammates in wearing eye black:

Army goalkeeper Jay Clark. (Danny Wild/USMA)
Zambonis resurface the ice during the second intermission. (Danny Wild/USMA)
Clark waits to have his skate guards put on before leaving the ice. (Danny Wild/USMA)

The sunlight offered some great light to work with on the far edge of the rink, although when the shadow from the press box crept up as the game went on, it made it a little difficult.

A collision along the boards. (Danny Wild/USMA)
Army celebrates a goal in the second period. (Danny Wild/USMA)
A general view of the field and rink at Rentschler during the first intermission. (Danny Wild/USMA)
Omilusik during the first period. (Danny Wild/USMA)

The rink’s glass was pretty dirty, and the holes to shoot through were both small and square, which couldn’t have been less ideal for photography (who the hell designs these things?) I brought my 400mm lens, since it comes everywhere with me, but it was pretty difficult to use in a tight space. The holes were just small enough and positioned poorly enough that if you wanted to tilt your lens up ice to get the play developing, you got the edge of the glass (plastic, really) in your frame.

Cody shows off the eye black. (Danny Wild/USMA)

I tried to work my fisheye lens in as much as possible, which is par for me — a view from behind the AIC net showed the scene:

Action during the first period. (Danny Wild/USMA)

This isn’t an especially good shot, but it does show the stick flex in action:

Can it really bend like that? (Danny Wild/USMA)

Here’s one with the 400mm f/2.8 L lens:

Marcel Alvarez in the first period. (Danny Wild/USMA)

An uncropped photo at 400mm of Mike Santee, who’s dad, David, was a two-time Olympian:

Mike Santee of Army. (Danny Wild/USMA)
Santee plays the puck in the first. (Danny Wild/USMA)
Clark leads the team onto the ice at Rentschler. (Danny Wild/USMA)
Army celebrates with a team photo after the win. (Danny Wild/USMA)

Here’s a slideshow of about 180 images from this game.


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