Ice, ice baby – Shelburne Arena gets ice!

September 25, 2013   ·   0 Comments

The most eagerly awaited week  of the year for ice hockey players, boys, girls and adults alike is upon us with a bang. Hockey parents throughout Shelburne get ready, for the early  morning  games, the miles of travelling to arenas, and the thought of “Here we go again!”.

Yet little do we know about what goes on behind the scenes in preparation for this popular sport. Rick Thompson the Shelburne Arena’s maintenance manager and his assistant Keith Leveque, spend a whole week preparing the arena floor for the many games and  flocks of players that will skate on the ice for practice and games this season. Officially the Shelburne Minor hockey started on Monday.

Yet Rick and Keith have spent hours preparing the infamous surface for its seasons  battering from skaters.

After spray painting the edge boards whites, they lightly  freeze  the base of the rink with  a hose  called “Pebbling”. Their next job is to neatly lay and line up the sponsors logo’s on the rink  floor. The key to  arranging all these  material  logo’s created by L.C. Creations in Shelburne is team work and co-ordination. Once they are satisfied that the sponsor logos are in line they spray them lightly to freeze and hold them in place. Then they gradually  flood the rink with water over 3 days to get the finished rink which is always 1¼ inches thick with ice. Rick uses approximately 15,000 gallons of ice cold water making sure that the temperature in the arena is always 22 degrees

This  week  long process is time consuming and is done with military precision. The process has to be followed exactly to the book and a small slip up could mean an uneven ice  surface  and hours correcting it.

Little do we know about the Many hours they  spend  perfecting a good ice rink, and the feeling of satisfaction when they watch the hundreds of games played on their ice and the shrills from the crowd. They take care of the rink like their baby and daily maintenance is a must. So next time you  are playing or watching a hockey game at CDRC  think about the hard work that goes into preparing this splendid arena that we have in Shelburne.

By Debbie Freeman

Rick Thompson




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