The postponement of a junior hockey game in Ponoka earlier this month seems to have been a one-off issue with the ice.
Back on Dec. 8, the Ponoka Stampeders afternoon contest against Cochrane was abandoned with just over 14 minutes left in the third when a large piece of ice broke loose in one corner of the arena. Officials deemed it a player safety issue and since it would take a lengthy time to repair, league officials issued the postponement.
According to an emailed statement from Chris McKenna, Ponoka’s manager of operations, the fact a large chunk broke out and exposed the concrete surface is rather unusual.
“It is unusual for a piece of ice to break down to the concrete, but it has been known to happen on occasion at other arenas if someone applies enough pressure with their skate blade close to the boards,” McKenna said.
He added that the broken ice took place right along the board, in a part of the surface that is typically prone to chipping and breakage.
“It is common to have to repair and slush in these areas as a function of regular ice maintenance,” he stated, noting the broken piece was actually about six inches in length.
“That affected patch of ice has since been repaired and is being monitored. Arena staff are also increasing the thickness of the ice in that area as a precaution.”
While McKenna explained the ice in that area was at an acceptable thickness, it is being adjusted as a preventative measure.
“Arena staff constantly monitor the entire ice surface to adjust and maintain proper ice thickness as a function of regular ice maintenance,” he added.