Friday, December 04, 2009

Wetness 12-4-09

Astute observers in the 3611 fans who enjoyed tonight's win over the Everblades may have noticed the ice appearing wet, especially in the second period. That was caused by a convergence of bad luck. You may also have noticed that your humble neighborhood Zamboni driver was not there until the second period. I had another commitment so I had to be late, leaving John the Operations Manager stand in for me.

As previously mentioned, John has a lot of show experience but not a lot of ice experience, so he's learning. Tonight's ice was especially challenging, especially for a newer driver. I guess the wet weather had the ice a little soft. It's also a little too thick in spots, causing an insulation effect to actually work against the ice freezing up. When it gets like this, the cuts are very slushy and the driver has to be careful not to lay too much water. This just adds to the slush, leaves the ice wet, and causes slush build-up in the conditioner and conveyors.

So, John inadvertently put down too much water. Actually it would be better phrased that he put down too much for the conditions; ordinarily that should have been fine. For the second intermission cut, I barely laid any water and the ends were still wet at the end of overtime.

For the shootout cut, I lowered the blade an extra turn of the wheel for maximum cutting. Since the shootout cuts are dry (no water) I cut it extra deep to really leave them smooth, hard ice. I nearly filled the snow tank on just 4 passes down the ice (I raise the blade when making the turn-around). Tonight after the post-game skate, John has the task of taking two more full tanks of snow off the ice. This will cut out that soft top layer and expose good hardened ice. Then it will sit overnight with the outside temp near freezing which will help tremendously.

This should be resolved for Redsfest night on Saturday. It's all just part of dealing with the ever-dynamic nature of a sheet of ice covering nearly 17000 square feet.

More good news - Kalamazoo lost again tonight so the Cyclones are within 1 point of Kalamazoo for first place in the division.


Blogger Guido said...

Additional on the post, the next day it was discovered that we had a valve problem on one of the compressors, causing it to not operate at peak efficiency. This raised the ice temperature a couple of degrees.

As a result, the system couldn't deal with the extra water. This was one of those nights where all the bad things happened.

That's show biz!

5:42 PM  

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