FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - Fans in 21Country have excitedly embraced the return of Komets hockey.
“It’s just great to get out of the house and be amongst other people again,” one fan told us.
Another we spoke shared this, “my wife and I came on our first date and we look forward to the season starting every year.”
But perhaps one of the most grateful ‘fans’ to be back, is the team’s photographer, Josh Gales.
“When they played ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ I just got chills,” he said, “this is happening! We’re back - at least something in life can be normal right now.”
Gales shared an image of player Stephen Baylis high-fiving two kids after their win on March 11, 2020.
It would be nearly a year before Gales would pick up his camera again, to shoot more action on the ice.
“I didn’t think anybody believed it would take so long,” he told us, “I thought it was going to be a temporary thing.”
Mid-summer during the pandemic, when he went to take photos, he stumbled across a painful reminder.
“I turned on my camera and saw there were still those hockey pictures on the card, months later,” he said, “it was almost a previous life before everything had shut down.”
But with the return of the Komets hockey season, Gales is back to taking up to 1,200 photos a game!
“It is an addiction,” he described, “I’m just always like, ‘oh, I love that shot - let me see if I can get a better one’.”
His love for photographer, was inspired by his dad.
“I think it combines my two favorite things,” he told us, “I love photographer and I love hockey. I’ve been a hockey fan for as long as I’ve been doing photography pretty much. Getting to combine photographer and hockey is like the best thing - I just can’t get enough of it!”
Gales admitted, the home opener was emotional for him.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been to a Komets game that I wasn’t taking pictures at… I’ve never been to one just as a fan,” he said, “I don’t want to sit up in the stands, I want to be up on the glass. I want to feel the snow that hits my face coming through the glass.”
You can see some of Josh Gales on his website here.
The K’s next home game is Friday against the Wheeling Nailers at 8 p.m.