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Ice Time

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks

By Matt Vevoda

Personnel at Honda Center construct the center ice portion of the arena's playing surface on Monday afternoon.

A significant chill is flowing once again through Honda Center, another indication that hockey season is vastly approaching.

Personnel at the arena have begun installation of the ice playing surface, and the process is scheduled to be complete by Wednesday. “We’ve got people from the event crew, conversion crew, maintenance and engineering all out here lending a hand,” Honda Center Director of Operations Brent Mater said. “We’ve got a lot of guys who have been doing it for years. It’s a great crew to have.”

See more photos of the ice installation

After freezing the floor to 13 degrees on Sunday night, the bulk of the work began Monday morning at 8 a.m. The first task is to place a layer of water on the floor to serve as a base for the white paint that follows. Three to four passes are made over the surface to get it to its desired color.

All the markings that adorn the ice – including lines, faceoff circles and logos – are then hand-painted on by workers, who carefully place their knees on cardboard as they design the surface.

"We just get as many hands on it as we can and paint, paint, paint," said Honda Center Director of Operations Brent Mater, seen here painting one of the blue lines.

“We do the blue and red lines,” Mater said. “After we finish with that, we do the circles and hashes and start working on the crease. We then do the pounce patterns for the sponsor logos and finish up with the center logo of the Ducks and Honda Center around it. We just get as many hands on it as we can and paint, paint, paint.”

Once all the painting is complete, attention is turned to growth of the ice. To get the ice to its desired 1 1/4-inch height, the crew will alternate around the clock for the next two days “misting” the ice. Each flood and subsequent clearing of water from the surface roughly grows the ice 1/32 of an inch.

“It’s a very important job they’ve got,” Mater said of the crews that monitor the ice growth. “It’s important that every level builds upon it, so it’s as good an ice sheet as possible.”

Responsible for testing the surface is Honda Center Ice Technician Joel Francisco. Along with measuring height, Francisco also maintains temperature of the ice that will eventually increase to 17 degrees for games.

After first tracing each logo onto the ice, the crew at Honda Center intricately paints it in including this one by Carl's Jr.

 “We like to take our time and make sure each layer is fairly thin,” says Francisco, who has worked on the Honda Center ice since 2001. “Throughout the process we’ll measure certain spots. Especially when you have been here long enough, I know where it’s a little uneven. I just try to get it as uniform level as possible.”

And after all the work is finished over the next couple of days by the dozens of tireless workers at Honda Center, that ice will be primed and ready for Ducks skate blades.

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