MASSENA - Temperatures have dropped into the below zero range this week, but that hasnt been enough to sustain outdoor ice in Massena.
Massena Recreation Superintendent Richard A. Boprey said theyll need more freezing days before theyre able to lay a solid sheet of ice at the rinks on Bridges Avenue and Howard Street and at Alcoa Field and the Massena Arena annex.
It hasnt been cold enough to produce high-quality ice rinks. Weve had a small period of cold, cold weather, but it hasnt been enough. With the wind blowing and a lot of the snow, its been more of a deterrent, Mr. Boprey said Friday, a day after his crews began flooding the outdoor rinks.
This happens every year, as soon as it gets cold for a day or as soon as it snows once, he added.
On Friday there was a thin sheet of ice at the Massena Arena annex, and the Bridges Avenue and Howard Street sites, while plowed, werent ready for skaters.
We wont be flooding tonight unless things change. Right now its really windy and the snow is blowing around, he said.
The problem, according to Mr. Boprey, is that the ground is still too soft for them to use a village water tanker to flood the rinks.
Were a long time with an extended autumn season. Weve had one little hit of cold weather. We just need cold, freezing days that we havent really had, he said.
Fresh snow doesnt help. Instead it keeps the ground soft and prevents the truck from being able to flood the area.
Once recreation department employees are able to start a rink, its a continual process, according to Mr. Boprey.
We do it every night. We do it in the wee hours of the morning. If theres any speck of sun out thats not good and it wont freeze as well, he said.
Once they get a base, its a matter of maintaining it during the cold weather.
Outdoor ice will become more important as Jan. 18 and 19 roll around. Thats when the Massena Arena annex will be the site for the annual Massena Cup outdoor hockey tournament.
With 20 teams participating in the tournament held last January, rain turned the outdoor rink into slush and the decision was made to bring the games inside.
This year organizers have already made arrangements over the summer for indoor ice inside the arena if it comes to that.