Okotoks tie up Calgary Hawks in a game of two halves

Action from Okotoks Oilers versus Calgary Girls Hockey White Hawks at the Scott Seaman Sports Rink, Millarville, Alberta, Canada. © J. Ashley Nixon

Action from Okotoks Oilers versus Calgary Girls Hockey White Hawks at the Scott Seaman Sports Rink, Millarville, Alberta, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

One of the best sports commentary cliches (from football; soccer if you must) is to say it was  “a game of two halves”. One where things turn around suddenly such that the final score is no reflection on the earlier performance on the pitch. This is how it went on the ice on Sunday at the Scott Seaman Sports Arena in Millarville, Alberta. A game of hockey so let’s do things in thirds:

First Period: The Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam Hawks comprehensively took over the play against the Okotoks Oilers, going 3-0 up after 20 minutes.

Calgary Girls Hockey Hawks score their second goal against Okotoks Oilers at the Scott Seaman Sports Rink, Millarville, Alberta, Canada. © J. Ashley Nixon

Calgary Girls Hockey Hawks score their second goal against Okotoks Oilers at the Scott Seaman Sports Rink, Millarville, Alberta, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Second Period: Two more goals from the Hawks with one redeemed by the Oilers, making it 5-1 as the players left for the Zamboni to clean up the ice. Then came the flood…

Third Period: Four goals down but the Okotoks girls weren’t out. In a ten minute rush of restored confidence, they scored three goals, making it 5:4. With less than one minute remaining, the Oilers found a way to get another shot in the net to tie this exciting game, 5:5.

Never give up is not a sports, or life, cliche.

 

Okotoks Oilers and Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam Hawks in action at the Scott Seaman Sports Rink, Millarville, Alberta, Canada. © J. Ashley Nixon

Okotoks Oilers and Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam Hawks in action at the Scott Seaman Sports Rink, Millarville, Alberta, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

 

Posted in #YYC, Alberta, Calgary, Canada, hockey, photography, sports, Sports photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hockey Rodeo in Stavely

Hockey action along the boards between Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam 1 White Hawks and Okotoks at Stavely Arena, Alberta. © J. Ashley Nixon

Hockey action between Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam 1 White Hawks and Okotoks at Stavely Arena, Alberta, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

It was the second wild ride along the QE2 Highway in two days. Another snow blizzard to navigate, heading over 100 km south of Calgary for hockey in Stavely, home of Canada’s First Indoor Rodeo. The Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam 1 White Hawks were playing a critical game against Okotoks, looking to get a win and go one step closer to an Alberta provincial play-off spot. The girls shrugged off the snow and got on one of the finest ice surfaces they have played on this season. Hard and fast, thanks to an arena that keeps things real cold in winter.

Hockey tumble in Stavely, home of Canada's First Indoor Rodeo. Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam 1 White Hawks came out winners against Okotoks. © J. Ashley Nixon

Hockey tumble in Stavely, home of Canada’s First Indoor Rodeo. Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam 1 White Hawks came out winners against Okotoks.
© J. Ashley Nixon

The game was even in the first period, with Calgary scoring the only goal with less than two minutes to go. After that, the game blew open. The White Hawks dominated play, coming out of the chute to score five more times.

Goal for Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam 1 White Hawks in their game against Okotoks at Stavely Arena, Alberta. © J. Ashley Nixon

Goal 5 for Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam 1 White Hawks in their game against Okotoks at Stavely Arena, Alberta, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Just in case you were wondering, there are no skating cowboys or horses competing for prize money in the Stavely Pro Rodeo.  In April, the ice goes out and is replaced by a good few inches of dirt. They have been doing this almost annually for 59 years, attracting competitors from Canada and the USA. You can check into town for the 60th performance between May 11-13, 2017.

Stavely, Alberta, home of Canada's First Indoor Rodeo © J. Ashley Nixon

Stavely, Alberta, home of Canada’s First Indoor Rodeo
© J. Ashley Nixon

 

Snowy paddocks waiting for spring in Stavely, home of Canada's First Indoor Rodeo. © J. Ashley Nixon

Snowy paddocks waiting for spring in Stavely, home of Canada’s First Indoor Rodeo.
© J. Ashley Nixon

J. Ashley Nixon Photography

Posted in #YYC, Alberta, Calgary, Canada, Canadian, heritage, hockey, photography, photojournalism, sports, Sports photography, winter | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hockey Headshots

Headshot: Calgary Girls Hockey defenseman in action against Olds Grizzlies © J. Ashley Nixon

Headshot: Calgary Girls Hockey defenseman in action against Olds Grizzlies
© J. Ashley Nixon

The snow was blowing hard across the road, creating a temporary white out every time a truck passed by. A Friday night road hockey trip up the QE2 Highway to play in Olds against the Grizzlies. Sportsnet 960 The Fan was broadcasting the first period of the Calgary Flames game from New Jersey.  One of the Devil’s players, Travis Zajac had been struck in the face by a deflected puck. Not in action but while he was on the bench. The commentary colourfully described the unfortunate event as the player headed off to the dressing room, a towel wrapped around his bleeding face. For a while, we thought about helmets. In women’s hockey, a full cage is used, providing greater protection than the half visor from poking and slashing sticks, pointy elbows and flying pucks. As the Calgary Girls Bantam 1 White Hawks got settled into the dressing room, the thought abruptly reappeared in our minds. There was no helmet in our player’s bag.

Semi-panic kicked in as the Olympia rolled off the ice. We had minutes to go and without this essential kit, the team was one defenceman down. Out of the confusion, stepped in Jeremy, one of the volunteer coaches with the Grizzlies. Normally, he would have been out with his team on their away game in Camrose. But he had decided to stay at his home barn on this snowy night. Lucky for us, he found a spare helmet. A cage was rescued from the lost and found stash and the two were screwed together in time for our player to get on the ice before the end of the first period. Thank you, Jeremy. Thank you, Old’s Grizzlies for helping us out.

And so to the game…

The Olds’s Grizzlies had a solid first period, scratching up two goals.  The travelers from Calgary were flattened as the Grizzly girls went further ahead ten minutes into the second period but managed to get back up with a score three minutes later. It was 3-1 as the players headed off the ice making way for the final flood.

Olds Grizzlies go up 3-0 during their game against Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam 1 Hawks. © J. Ashley Nixon

Olds Grizzlies go up 3-0 during their game against Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam 1 White Hawks.
© J. Ashley Nixon

The break was a good thing for the Calgary team. Numerous hard rushes at the net were countered by a series of desperate icings by the home team. After nine minutes of pressure, the Grizzlies defense cracked, then again with 2’21” to go on the clock. A tied game and a fair result for the night.

Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam 1 White Hawks score the equalizer to make it a 3-3 game against Olds Grizzlies. © J. Ashley Nixon

Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam 1 White Hawks score the equalizer to make it a 3-3 game against Olds Grizzlies.
© J. Ashley Nixon

 

Action from the game between Olds Grizzlies and Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam 1 White Hawks. © J. Ashley Nixon

Hockey headshots: Action from the game between Olds Grizzlies and Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam 1 White Hawks.
© J. Ashley Nixon

 

Action from the game between Olds Grizzlies and Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam 1 White Hawks. © J. Ashley Nixon

Hockey headshots: Action from the game between Olds Grizzlies and Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam 1 White Hawks.
© J. Ashley Nixon

 

For more sports photography, please visit J. Ashley Nixon Photography

 

Posted in #YYC, Alberta, Calgary, Canada, Canadian, hockey, photography, sports, Sports photography, winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Girl power out on the ice in Missoula, Montana

Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam 1 Hawks and Idaho in outdoor action at the Northern Rockies Classic girls hockey tournament in Missoula, Montana, USA © J. Ashley Nixon

Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam 1 Hawks and Idaho in outdoor action at the Northern Rockies Classic girls hockey tournament in Missoula, Montana, USA
© J. Ashley Nixon

On a day that marked women’s rights all around the world, there was a contribution on the ice. This was no protest. It wasn’t a campaign. More of a statement confirming the importance of women’s sport. It was the second day of the Northern Rockies Classic girls hockey tournament in Missoula, Montana, featuring teams from Montana, Idaho, Washington and Alberta, Canada. Despite the freezing cold on a Saturday morning, it felt good to be playing on the outdoor arena at the Glacier Ice Rink.  Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam 1 Hawks (in white) skated out winners 5-0 against the young women from Idaho (playing red).

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Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam 1 Hawks and Idaho in outdoor action at the Northern Rockies Classic girls hockey tournament in Missoula, Montana, USA © J. Ashley Nixon

 

 

 

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Hawks trumped by Academics on Inauguration Day in Montana

Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam 1 Hawks goalie, Madison Shenfield toughs it out in front of the net against Coeur D'Alene Hockey Academy at the Northern Rockies Classic in Missoula, Montana, USA © J. Ashley Nixon

Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam 1 Hawks goalie, Madison Shenfield toughs it out in front of the net against Coeur D’Alene Hockey Academy at the Northern Rockies Classic in Missoula, Montana, USA
© J. Ashley Nixon

The Calgary Hawks got the scoring going in their opening game of the Northern Rockies Classic tournament in Missoula Montana today. A blue line shot by defender, Jennifer Nixon made its way through traffic and landed in the net. On the day marked by the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States, it was to be the only goal by the Canadian team. Their opponents from the Coeur D’Alene (CDA) Hockey Academy, Idaho,  skated out strong as winners, 5-1. A gritty performance by the Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam (U-14) team, playing up in their first international game on USA ice, against a Midget (U19) team from Idaho. The Hawks fly again tomorrow at the Glacier Ice Rink, starting with an outdoor game.

Action between Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam 1 and Coeur D'Alene Hockey Academy at the Northern Rockies Classic in Missoula, Montana, USA © J. Ashley Nixon

Action between Calgary Girls Hockey Bantam 1 and Coeur D’Alene Hockey Academy at the Northern Rockies Classic in Missoula, Montana, USA
© J. Ashley Nixon

Posted in #YYC, Calgary, Canada, Canadian, hockey, photography, sports, Sports photography, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Girl power in the world’s largest minor hockey tournament

Action from the Bantam 1 Girls hockey final at Max Bell Arena between Calgary Girls Hockey White (playing black) and Silver (playing white) in the Esso Minor Hockey Week tournament, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. © J. Ashley Nixon

Action from the Bantam 1 Girls hockey final at Max Bell Arena between Calgary Girls Hockey White (playing black) and Silver (playing white) in the Esso Minor Hockey Week tournament, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

World record breaking tournament

Calgary, Canada has a lot of young hockey players. In a city of around 1.24 million people, over 13,000 participate in the sport across 24 associations, making Hockey Calgary one of the biggest and fastest growing hockey organizations in North America. Many of them come together annually to play their favourite game over a week in January, a ritual that has been going uninterrupted for 36 years. Commonly known by its major sponsor, the Esso Minor Hockey Week attracted around 650 teams and 11,000 players this year between the ages of 7-21. With numbers like that, it may not come as any surprise to learn The Guinness Book of Records ranks it as the biggest minor hockey tournament in the world.

Water bottles lined up on the bench after the Girls hockey final at Max Bell Arena between Calgary Girls Hockey White and Silver teams in the Esso Minor Hockey Week tournament, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. © J. Ashley Nixon

Water bottles lined up on the bench after the Girls Bantam 1 hockey final at Max Bell Arena between Calgary Girls Hockey White and Silver teams in the Esso Minor Hockey Week tournament, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Calgary Girls Hockey

Calgary Girls Hockey (CGH) is one of the city’s associations and has over 600 players ranging from the earliest years of Timbits (age 7-8) through to Midget (18). At the Bantam level (13-14), three teams played against one another in early rounds of “Esso” leading to the final yesterday at Max Bell Arena. The first period saw both teams defending well and no goals resulted. In the second period, the White Hawks got two goals in quick succession and then held on to their lead for the remainder of the game.

Congratulations Bantam 1 White Hawks and to all the other teams that played in the 2017 Esso Minor Hockey Week tournament.

Calgary Girls Hockey White Hawks celebrate their win in the Girls Bantam 1 Final at Max Bell Arena in the Esso Minor Hockey Week tournament, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. © J. Ashley Nixon

Calgary Girls Hockey White Hawks celebrate their win in the Girls Bantam 1 Final at Max Bell Arena in the Esso Minor Hockey Week tournament, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Posted in #YYC, Alberta, Calgary, Canada, Canadian, Documentary photography, Events photography, hockey, photography, photojournalism, sports, Sports photography | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fishermen, reeds and boats of Huanchaco, Peru

Oswaldo, fisherman of Huanchaco, Peru paddles his traditional reed boat (Caballito de Totora) into shore from the Pacific Ocean. © J. Ashley Nixon

Oswaldo, fisherman of Huanchaco, Peru paddles his traditional reed boat (Caballito de Totora) into shore from the Pacific Ocean.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Little horses (caballitos) line up along a stretch of beach in front of Huanchaco, Peru. It’s around 7 o’clock on an August morning, the winter, off-season for holiday visitors to this popular coastal town about 13 km west of the city of Trujillo. The cafes and restaurants are closed. No sign of movement in the surfing shop and there’s a cool, humid breeze coming off the choppy Pacific Ocean. Cold enough for a small gathering of local people to keep their hands in their pockets and zip up their jackets.

Oswaldo steps through, wearing a curious, cross-seasonal combination of shorts and long-sleeved t-shirt plus a balaclava. He ambles down the steps in his bare feet to the pebbly beach and unhitches his horse. There is no complaint as he lifts it up and over his shoulder. Other’s join him to carry their own caballito to the water’s edge.  There’s a brief discussion, some loading up of nets and then out into the waves. Just like these Peruvian fishermen have done things for a couple of thousands of years or more.  They paddle their reed boats out beyond the surf and then spread their nets between boats and wait for an hour or two.

When the fishermen return, a pod of pelicans is waiting for them in the shallows. A squadron of scavengers, who instinctively know there is easy-over breakfast to be had, should any of the fish drop out of the nets, thanks to the sea-lions (Lobos del mar) that frequently bite through them.  This time, Oswaldo caught around 5 kg of fish, an assortment of Peruvian white fish, Chita (Anisotremus scapularis) and Peruvian branded croaker, Suco (Paralonchurus peruanos). On his best day, he might get ten times that amount. He gathers his catch into plastic bags and heads up to the street where early morning customers are waiting to buy the freshest of fish for between 10-25 soles per kilo.

Oswaldo, fisherman of Huanchaco, Peru, gathers his catch from the Pacific Ocean. © J. Ashley Nixon

Oswaldo, fisherman of Huanchaco, Peru, gathers his catch from the Pacific Ocean.
© J. Ashley Nixon

Further up in town, I met up with José, who has been fishing this way for more than 50 years. He told me how the reeds are cultivated, like a farm crop, in wetland pockets in the sand dunes at the north of the beach. And then he offered to show me how a Caballito de Totora is made, right there in the street. He bundled and bound reeds together, creating a beautiful cultural sculpture with proven, marine transportation credentials.

José, fisherman of Huanchaco, Peru constructing a traditional reed boat (Caballito de Totora) on the street. © J. Ashley Nixon

José, fisherman of Huanchaco, Peru constructing a traditional reed boat (Caballito de Totora) on the street.
© J. Ashley Nixon

The totora reeds, Scheonoplectus californicus subs. tatora (California bulrush), provide natural buoyancy from the spongy mass of vascular tissue (pith) contained within their culms (stems). Over time there have been some modifications to the construction process. Twine is now used instead of grasses to bind the reeds. And one or two blocks of expanded polystyrene might make their way into the structure to add additional buoyancy that doesn’t suffer from water-logging ( a boat typically lasts for about a month after which it absorbs too much water and starts to sink).

Totora reeds (Schoenoplectus californicus) cultivated in coastal wetlands near Huanchaco, Peru. © J. Ashley Nixon

Totora reeds (Schoenoplectus californicus) cultivated in coastal wetlands near Huanchaco, Peru.
© J. Ashley Nixon

I made my way just north of Huanchaco to see where the totora reeds are grown in the Humedales de Huanchaco. I stopped briefly to buy some cubes of fresh cut sugar cane from Antonia’s street stall and talked to a teacher with a group of school children bussed in from Piura to fly their kites. The wind was strong and blowing up sand across the open beach. The totora reed cultivation process deals with that wind perfectly. The reed beds grow in an array of small wetland hollows, excavated for this purpose in the sand and protected from the sea winds by short fences. The plants are cut green and then laid out in the sand to dry for about two weeks before being collected to make new boats. It’s a sustainable agricultural practice that has linked with fishing at least since the Moche culture that existed along the northern coast of Peru between 100 BC- 850 AD.

Excerpt from my forthcoming book on sustainability for travelers to Peru.

For more photos of Huanchaco, Peru, please visit: J. Ashley Nixon Photography

Posted in agriculture, Documentary photography, Environmental documentary photography, español, farming, fishing, food production, heritage, Peru, photography, photojournalism, Social documentary photography, spanish, street photography, sustainable development, Travel photography, Urban Field Trip, wetlands | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment