Every January, Boston builds an ice rink for a few weeks in the midfield at Fenway Park to host a series of skating and hockey events with college teams throughout New England in what is called “Frozen Fenway”. This year, I covered Hartford’s Trinity College Bantams hockey team playing the Williams College Ephs. In case you are wondering, a Bantam is a small variety of chicken (or rooster) and the “Ephs” (pronounced “eefs”) are named after the college’s founder, Ephraim Williams. Their mascot is a purple cow.
Conditions at game time were brutal. It was 10 degrees with windchill factors of 10 to 15 below. It was so cold, pucks were cracking in half and the player’s water bottles froze instantly. I worried about how the camera and batteries would hold out but there were no issues, attaching a foot warmer heating pad to the bottom of the camera must’ve helped. I dressed warm enough with plenty of layers but the hands are always problematic. It’s impossible to wear heavy gloves and operate the knobs and controls on the cameras. Keeping a few hand warmers in my pockets barely provided relief.
Hockey, even in a heated arena, always have been one of the most challenging sports to shoot due to its fast pace and limited vantage points around the plastic barriers, while at all times trying to stay clear of puck projectiles and hurling bodies. Fortunately, current camera and lens technology have made following the action a lot easier under the bright stadium lights.
Despite the bitter cold, it was neat to experience the fabled venue from unique vantage points and be able to visit the (wonderfully heated) exclusive skyboxes and club areas with lots of memorabilia and great sports photography everywhere. At least in hockey they have three periods which allowed for two thawing out breaks, then it was back to the boys of winter, certainly different than the summer ones.