My first seasons with the Dallas Ice Jets ended with a very difficult game three lose to the Texas Brahmas (or 'Texas' as the league likes to call them). One player was cut in the face and received a concussion, another with a hurt shoulder, and I watched another take a tough check and go to the box.
There I stood in my photo spot powerless to do anything about the outcome. As the clock wound down on the power play to the Brahmas in the last final minutes I stood there frozen, not shooting and hardly breathing, just waiting; waiting for a goal, waiting for some miracle to keep them in the playoff run. Sadly my wait was in vain.
As the clock ran down everything seemed to be in slow motion. Somehow I managed to raise my camera and take shots of my team. You can talk to 100 sports writers and photographers and they will probably all say the same thing, "There is nothing like watching the team you follow all season long go down in the playoffs." But they will also give you the sound advice to, "Keep going." This to me means there will always be great moments, like the SICK SAVE Tyler Hough made in the Pink In the Rink game, or the beautiful goal Chris Schutz scored (Can't remember which game but the goal was so great!), or the stellar passing between defensemen Bryan Siersma and Spencer Roth. But at the same time there will always be low moments. It’s the low moments that keep you employed in the NHL and AHL. Local newspapers love to see defeat. You learn best from defeat, even if you don't realize it at the time. On this day, at this game it took everything in my power to keep shooting.
So call me a girl, but we all know how hard it is to see the people you have grown to like as individuals so disappointed. "It comes with the job," says a Vancouver Canucks sports writer, "It's never easy, but it should never be easy if you are doing your job right."
So I shot, and I shot; and as my eyes welt up with tears I shot some more. In the beginning of every game you wonder if you can continue to shoot the loses, I answered my own question game three by shooting the young players' final moments.
The following photos are for any new sports writer or photographer still wondering if they made the right choice. At the end of the day the client will employ you to shoot the game and not get emotionally attached to the team. This is your job and the more you do it the better you become. I love those young men and everyday they make me want to write better and shoot better, for this I am grateful!