Fixing the ice, painting the lines

© 2004 Gordon Alexander

Posted 12.31.04

STANSTEAD, QC, | Danny Bonneville, manager of the Stanstead college Arena has repainted the Blue Line for the next Wednesday night game. It's an ongoing ice maintenance problem created by an erratic rental Zamboni made worse by ice under the arena heaving the skating surface.

Danny and assistant Chris Goodsell say they only had two weeks of training before taking over the management of the rink, which includes responsibility for the appearance and quality of the ice surface.

The former rink manager, Raymond Beaudin, was called out of retirement in Calgary, Alberta, and has been giving Bonneville and Goodsell a hand with the care, grooming, and appearance of the ice since early December.

Beaudin says he'll be on hand to help out with the ice for the college's Can-Am Hockey tournament that starts the first week in January, 2005.

Earlier in the month, the circa 1975 Zamboni had to be retired because of potentially dangerous emissions from the elderly ice-making machine. Since then, Stanstead College, owners of the arena, acquired a rental unit, which according to Bonneville is not satisfactory.

Bonneville says the rental Zamboni tends to drop the shaving blades out of alignment, shaving more ice than necessary including the painted Blue Line and other painted areas critical to the game.

To add to the problem, melting snow and rainwater gathers under the arena , then freezes and raises the inside surface of the ice irregularly. This creates problems shaving the ice during the Zamboni grooming process.

" We are looking into perhaps repairing our old Zamboni, which, apart from the emissions problem , ran much better," Bonneville said. "Of course, a new state-of-the-art electric Zamboni would be nice but that would cost over $100,000."

Meanwhile, hockey teams in the northern Vermont area just over the border that call the Stanstead arena their home ice continue to use the Stanstead College Arena.

Copyright © 2004 Gordon Alexander/Log Cabin Chronicles/10.04