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Winter Classic ice build going right on schedule

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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Winter Classic ice build going right on schedule
NHL Facilities Operations Manager Dan Craig said he and his crew are running right on schedule for turning Heinz Field into an outdoor ice palace
PITTSBURGH -- Dan Craig's ice is right on schedule.

Craig, the NHL's Facilities Operations Manager, told NHL.com that the crew spent Monday night sealing the white paint with another quarter-inch of ice before leaving Heinz Field around 10 p.m. The crew returned at 6 a.m. Tuesday to start marking the lines and getting ready to put in the logos.

He was hoping to start painting by noon, but, "we finally got some really nice sunshine here in Pittsburgh so it delayed that area a bit." Craig said if they painted when the sun was shining the red and blue paint would take too long to freeze, so they had to wait until the sun left the area or went down completely.

"Everything has to be done by 6 o'clock tonight. That's not an option," Craig said. "It has to get done by that time. Then we seal from there, about four hours, and the guys can call it a night."

"Everything has to be done by 6 o'clock tonight. That's not an option. It has to get done by that time. Then we seal from there, about four hours, and the guys can call it a night."
-- Dan Craig

The Plexiglas started to go up Tuesday afternoon, but Craig said they had to leave some areas clear because of the wind.

"The wind swirls in here so we put in three or four panels and take one out just so the wind has parts to go through," he said.

Craig said his goal is to have people skating on the ice by Thursday morning.

"We'll get this done tonight, build probably about an eighth of an inch (of ice) tonight and then the guys will break away and come back first thing tomorrow and probably build another quarter (inch) from there," he said. "We'll start skating on it shortly after that."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl