A Marvel in his own lifetime. RIP Stan Lee

Stan Lee at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo (Calgary Expo), May 1, 2016
© J. Ashley Nixon

Stan Lee died today, aged 95.  I had the good fortune to be in the Stampede Corral, Calgary on May 16, 2016, to photograph and listen to the creator of Spider-Man and many other characters in the Marvel universe. It was no doubt the top event of the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo (Calgary Expo) that year and turned out to be, fun, engaging and informative about his life and creative process as a writer. He told stories, answered questions and gave the behind the scenes to how he Spider-Man came about, his favorite cameo roles, his crusade for comicbooks and more.

You can read my original article from 2016 here.

Thank you for your work, the characters you created and the Marvel legacy you leave behind. RIP Stan Lee.

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Hockey Remembers

A mark of respect is displayed by during the Alberta Female Hockey League Midget Elite AA game between Calgary Fire Red and Rocky Mountain Raiders at Great Plains Arena, Calgary, Nov 11, 2018.
© J. Ashley Nixon

The First World War ended this day, one hundred years ago. A special anniversary of Remembrance Day, when we can take a few moments, in unison, to reflect on the ultimate sacrifice of our service men and women, all the horror that war brings, so we may continue along our own ways with freedom. On the ice was a fitting tribute, led by the players; the playing of The Last Post; and a pause in silence at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, 2018.

Diving Shot from McEwen

It turned out to be a goal per period for Fire Red against Rocky Mountain Raiders at Great Plains Arena, Calgary. Julia McEwen scored the first, in a splendid team attacking move. Jennifer Nixon passed the puck hard left over to Olivia Sutton, who reached in to tip a shot, deflected by Ella Kitchen. The puck rebounded off goalie Ellen Poelzer’s pad and McEwen stretched out with a diving shot past Raiders’ Lauren Bull’s stick and the goalie’s glove hand. Fire Red killed off a penalty at the end of the period but the Raiders went even just over a minute after the break, a goal scored by Dilayna Black Horse.

Reds Pull Ahead

The Reds pulled ahead again at the end of period two. Skye Mathews passed to Kayla Ironside, who wristed a shot to the net. Mathews drove in and battled to get the puck off the rebound to score. In the final twenty, Teah Workman took a pass from Julia McEwen and broke through the Raiders defence to shoot and score, top shelf. The Raiders almost came back with a couple of chances: a shot that rung off the post, then a breakaway that Fire Red goalie, Rebecca Boswell fabulously managed by pushing her pad hard out to her right.

Final score: Calgary Fire Red 3-1 Rocky Mountain Raiders.

Song of the match: The Last Post

The sound of a lone bugler playing the Last Post is one of the most recognized pieces of music in the world. It began, as one of several bugle calls, to regulate daily activities in military camps of the British Army. Specifically, the Last Post was sounded, for 45 seconds, at the end of the last inspection of sentry posts, to signal that a camp was secure for the night. By the 1850s it was played by regimental buglers over the graves of fallen soldiers, followed by a few moments of silent prayer or reflection and the sounding of the Reveille, the first bugle call of the day. It was a change in symbolism from marking the end of the day to the end of a life on this Earth.

By the time of the First World War, the music was familiar beyond the military as communities and gatherings at civil events used it as a mark of respect for their fallen comrades. That respect has continued through to our own time; the music has evolved into a longer, more mournful piece with drawn-out notes and pauses, lasting around 75 seconds.

It is our tribute, the anthem of the people, for our service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. And for that, we honour and thank you.

Up Next

The Fire Red MAA are playing in the Wick Fest starting November 16. The next Alberta Female Hockey League game is on December 1, a road trip north to Grande Prairie to play against Peace Country PCFAC Storm at the Weyerhaeuser Arena, Coca-Cola Centre (puck drop: 17:30).

More Action

Please visit J. Ashley Nixon Communications for more photos from the Calgary Fire Red versus Rocky Mountain Raiders Elite Midget AA game, and quite a few others.

Standings

For the latest information on the Midget AA Elite standings, please visit the Alberta Female Hockey League.

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Fire Red Stir it Up at the Wailin’ Ed Arena

The Calgary Fire Red team celebrate their win against Airdrie Lightning in their Alberta Female Hockey League Midget AA game at Ed Whalen Arena, Calgary, Nov 4, 2018.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Hello Hockey Fans

Calgary Fire Red faced off against their local rivals, Airdrie Lightning on Sunday at the Ed Whalen Arena, named after broadcaster and voice of the Calgary Flames from 1980-1999, who is fondly remembered for his commentaries and catchphrases such as “Hello hockey fans”.

Calgary got the better end of the stick in the first period with two goals scored by defenceman, Teah Workman and winger, Meghan Dean. Kelly Stanford headed off into the dressing room with an undisclosed injury and the score stayed the same through the second period, although Airdrie got close with a puck that pinged off the post. The Lightning sparked up and came more and more into the game as the final twenty minutes progressed, putting ten shots on net. Fire Red goalie, Rebecca Boswell held tight though and, with an insurance goal scored on an empty net by Julia McEwen, got her second shutout of the season

Final score: Calgary Fire Red 3-0 Airdrie Lightning.

Song of the match

DJ McE played a couple of tracks by Bob Marley and the Wailers at the end of the game that made a nice tribute the arena’s namesake, who used to be known as “Wailin’ Ed”. One of them was One Love and the other was Stir It Up. Here is a live version of Stir it Up from 1973, with just a hint of electronic steel drums from the synth. And here is the video that supported One Love. All reggae is great maan, you can choose the one you like best.

Up Next

The Fire Red MAA play Lethbridge Cyclones at Bowness Sportsplex, Calgary on Saturday, Nov 10, 2018 (puck drop: 19:30).

More Hockey Action

Please visit J. Ashley Nixon Communications for more photos from the Calgary Fire White versus Airdrie Lightning Midget AA game, and quite a few others.

Standings

For latest information on the Midget AA Elite standings, please visit the Alberta Female Hockey League.

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Ba de ya: Fire Red dancing and skating into November

Kelly Stanford scores the second goal for Calgary Fire Red Midget AA in their Alberta Female Hockey League game against Lloydminster Elite Stealers at Henry Viney Arena, Calgary on Nov 3, 2018.
© J. Ashley Nixon

 

 

Viney’s Discotheque

The disco ball was rotating; the dry ice smoking. DJ McE put the song that never ends on the turntable and everyone got up and danced. Viney’s discotheque was in the groove …

Almost like that, but not quite 1978. Denise and Teresa exploited the opportunity presented by a delay in getting the ice cleaned between periods two and three to get a fine and funky dance going to Earth, Wind & Fire’s September. In the time-keepers box. Inspiring stuff. Another team anthem in the making, perhaps? Who said it was all about the kids? Who said disco is dead?

Fire Red Grooving

Prior to this pirouetting pick-up, the Fire Red team was also grooving with goals in both the first and second periods. In the second (of nine) power play of the game, Meghan Dean capitalized on a loose puck to the left of the net and squeezed it past the glove hand of Stealers goalie, Kamden Rochford.

Stanford, Maloney Fire Strikes

The Stealers almost stole a goal early into the second period with a break away move but that got shut down by some good back-checking by defence pair Katie Maloney and Jennifer Nixon. Fire Red got their chance with a break away with five minutes left on the clock. It was a slick, even-strength move down the middle of the ice by Kelly Stanford, avoiding a desperate hooking attempt by Lloydminster’s Kassidy Mannix and perfectly timing her shot, shoulder height over Rochford’s blocker. Fire Red were up 2-0. Tom Jones’ It’s Not Unusual was played to help celebrate the goal. Stanford got a punishing check into the back of the net as thanks for another attack, then before you knew, it was disco-time, which also included Maxine Nightingale’s Right Back Where We Started From (1975)

Two power plays and five minutes into the third period, Fire struck. Jennifer Nixon received the puck from a faceoff, and passed right across to Katie Maloney who delivered on target.

Final score: Calgary Fire Red 3-0 Lloydminster Elite Stealers.

Song of the match

Good grooves today by DJ McE while DJ Kitch was off spinning wheels in Palm Springs. You already know the result; here’s a link to September. You might also like September 99, a remix by English dance music duo Phats & Small that came out in, you’ve guessed it 1999. Go on, I dare you: sing Ba de ya, dancing in September falsetto like Philip Bailey.

Go Earth, Wind & FIRE!

Up Next

The Fire Red MAA play Airdrie Lightning Lloydminster at Ed Whalen Arena, Southland Leisure Centre on Sunday, Nov 4, 2018 (puck drop: 13:45).

More Action

Please visit J. Ashley Nixon Communications for more photos from the Calgary Fire Red Midget AA versus Lloydminster Elite Stealers game, and quite a few others.

Standings

For latest information on the Midget AA Elite standings, please visit the Alberta Female Hockey League.

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Fire Red score four in Lethbridge‘s cathedral of hockey

Bex Alloway, Calgary Fire Red (in white) takes a tumble on the ice with a Lethbridge Cyclones player in their Alberta Female Hockey League Midget AA game at Adams Park Ice Centre, Lethbridge, Alberta on Oct 28, 2018.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Fire Red Midget AA went on their first road trip of the season on Sunday and came back home to Calgary with the points from four unanswered goals against Lethbridge Cyclones. It was a convincing performance that had some well-executed plays including moving the puck swiftly out of defence and several blocked shots. One of those, by Isobel Pettem-Shand in the third period rebounded so strongly that she chased down the ice after the puck and got a shot on net.

Skye Mathew opened the scoring for the visitors with a power play goal halfway through the first period, assisted by Teah Workman (note: goal attributed to Julia McEwen on the score-sheet). Four minutes before the break, the Cyclones almost equalized as a forward broke away and fired the puck off the cross-bar. It was the home team’s best chance of a game that was dominated by the puck possession play of the Fire. Hannah Suto scored the second goal, assisted by Kayla Ironside, and Julia McEwen with less than two minutes remaining in period one.

Teah Workman scored the third goal after a nice pass from Julia McEwen to make it 3-0 at the end of forty minutes. Workman trudged off to the penalty box for four minutes after she was called for head contact, but the Fire kept their attacking game going and Olivia Sutton scored short-handed, assisted by Julia McEwen, her third point of the game (going by the official score). Some attacks by the Cyclones towards the end of the game were all soaked up by Rebecca Boswell in net to secure her first shut-out of the season.

Final score: Lethbridge Cyclones 0-4 Calgary Fire Red.

Hockey architecture

No song of the match today as DJ Kitch was not on duty for the road trip and the sounds were not that special. What was notable, however, was the design of Adams Park Ice Centre, whose decorative front looks more like a building from the 1950s, not the date stated on the plaque inside (1992). Even more interesting was the set of concrete flying buttresses along the side walls of the arena (see photos in gallery-link below) like you can see in the gothic style of Notre Dame in Paris. Forevermore, Adams Ice Centre will be known by this author as the Cathedral of Hockey.

Up Next

The Fire Red MAA play Lloydminster at Henry Viney Arena, Calgary on Saturday, November 3 (3:15 pm).

More action

Please visit J. Ashley Nixon Communications for more photos from the Lethbridge Cyclones versus Calgary Fire Red MAA game.

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Red White Clash in season opener

Skye Mathew, Calgary Fire Red, and a Fire White player clash for the puck along the boards in their Alberta Female Hockey League season opener at Rose Kohn Arena, Calgary on Oct 20, 2018.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Fire Sisters, Calgary

The Alberta Female Hockey League Midget AA season started up on Saturday with a Calgary derby at Rose Kohn Arena between Calgary Fire Red and their Fire White sisters. Twenty minutes into the game, the teams were even, no score. It remained that way through the second period as Red and White matched shots and puck possession.

Third period opens up

Just seconds into the third period the game tilted white-ways with a speculative ice-sliding shot by McCool that the Fire Red goalie, Cassidy Brown probably thought was going wide. The puck just sneaked in past her stick and Fire White was in the lead. Fire Red survived a five-on-three attack but just as the five-on-four was closing, they succumbed to a second goal eight minutes later.

It could well have been three for White when they got a penalty shot for some kind of juggling act by Fire Red in front of their own net but Brown pushed out hard and forced the shooter to hit wide of the left post. Despite a torrent of shots towards the White net, Sophie Lajeunesse held tight in the net with multiple saves. Final score: Fire Red 0-2 Fire White.

Song of the Match

DJ Kitch, with the perfect pitch and timing he is well-known for, played a nice slow version of Tom Petty’s I Won’t Back Down (performed by Johnny Cash) just before a difference of opinion between a couple of players in front of the Red net, in period two. The first spot, however, and Song of the Match goes to what was just a sliver of edgy, classic, urban punk played from The Clash, released in 1977: White Riot. Enjoy the vid, kids!

Up Next

The Fire Red team is on a road trip south on Sunday, October 28 to visit the Lethbridge Cyclones at Adams Ice Centre (13:45).

More action from the game

Please visit J. Ashley Nixon Communications for more photos from the Calgary Fire Red versus Fire White game.

 

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Exhibition check-in for the Calgary Fire Red MAA pre-season

Kelly Stanford score the fourth goal for Calgary Fire Red Midget AA in an exhibition game against Airdrie Lightning at Pete Knight Memorial Arena, Crossfield, Alberta.
© J. Ashley Nixon

 

Crossfield, Alberta

It was the first time for me in Crossfield; a chance to find out what lies in this Alberta community beyond the stand-out gas plant, now run by TAQA, that you can see travelling on the QE II highway. An outstanding bacon butty (breakfast sandwich) and a nice cup of tea from the friendly folks working at the Pete Knight Memorial Arena concession got the cold morning going before the on-ice action, a pre-season exhibition game between Airdrie Lightning and Calgary Fire Red Midget AA in the Alberta Female Hockey League (AFHL).

The first period ended with just the single goal, scored by Julia McEwen. She got another one in the second period, as did Hannah Suto. A goal by the Lightning’s Madison Black made it 3-1 to the visiting side after forty minutes.

Lightning check-in

The final twenty minutes opened up as the Lightning repeatedly made their way to the penalty box for body checking and other infractions, creating several one and two-man advantages for the Fire. Nothing malicious, just a hard physical game of hockey played well. Kelly Stanford scored a beauty, a seeing-eye bullet from the left of the posts that fired in above the goalie’s right shoulder. Teah Workman, polished off the scoring to make it a 5-1 win for the newly bubble-masked ladies from Calgary Fire Red.

Next up: The official season gets underway next weekend with some local rivalry between the Calgary Fire Red and White teams, at Rose Kohn Arena, Calgary (Sat. Oct 20, 18:00).

Please visit J. Ashley Nixon Communications for more photos from the game (and a few from the community of Crossfield).

 

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