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This sweet photo of Michael Leighton and a young fan was named AHL's Photo of the Year

Courtesy of Todd Reicher, the Rockford IceHogs' goalie was captured in a special moment.


Sports photography is awesome. There are a couple of avenues you can go in: the iconic sports moment, depicting a badass play; or something equally inspiring: a quieter moment as a player gets ready for a game or, in this case, as a young fan watches on in awe.

That's exactly what Todd Reicher, photographer for the Rockford IceHogs, has done with this photo. The AHL may not offer the same levels of glory the NHL does, but it's still a competitive league filled with impressive players - and it's every bit as awe-inspiring to young fans who get to go to games.

This is a great selection. The young fan is watching Rockford goaltender Michael Leighton - an AHL All-Star this season - with a look of wonder on his face. Maybe it's because he has Minions on his mask, or maybe it's because he's a goalie fan, who knows - but it's a great moment to capture, and really helps highlight some of just what makes hockey so fun.

Rockford will be taking on the Lake Erie Monsters in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs. Their series is set to begin on Wednesday, April 20.