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Drizzle doesn't stop ice crew's progress on Day 2

by Adam Kimelman /

PHILADELPHIA -- A steady drizzle fell here at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday, but it didn't serve as much of a deterrent during Day 2 of the rink build for the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

After a first day that saw almost the entire sub-floor laid down for the main rink the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers will skate on when the puck drops Jan. 2, 2012, Day 2 started with a plywood topping being laid down on top of the sub-floor decking.

After that was completed, a series of 30-foot long, 30-inch wide ice pans were installed and locked into place. Those pans eventually will be hooked up to the coolant hoses that will snake their way in from the Winter Classic ice truck parked outside the stadium, and will serve as the foundation for the creation of the ice surface.

"We're right where we're supposed to be," NHL Senior Director of Facilities Operations Dan Craig told "I was hoping for another half a trailer off-load before lunch, but the rain … we got a little bit of rain coming in here, it's cooled down a little bit. It's slowed the guys up a bit, but we're doing all right."


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In addition to the work being done on the main rink, the ice pans were laid in for the auxiliary rink located between home plate and the pitcher's mound, and the host positions that will house the studio broadcast teams from NBC and CBC were built in front of the right-field wall.

The rain that fell pretty steadily throughout the day slowed things down, but Craig said the key element of Tuesday's work was getting down as many of the ice pans on the main rink as possible.

"I don't think we're going to get all the pans down because we have another four hours' worth of work and I don't see us getting this project completed today," Craig said. "We'll probably get done about noon tomorrow (Wednesday)."

While the crew continues to install the ice pans Wednesday, the rink boards also will be installed, which for the first time will give the rink its true shape.

"Tomorrow we'll see the board system go on," Craig said. "We'll start boards tomorrow, first thing. … They'll be coming out on a forklift and come around to the rink in position. They'll get lifted into position and anchored down."

Once the boards are locked in, Craig said he'll be able to begin testing the coolant hoses, which have to run about 450 feet from the truck to the field, including about a 30-foot elevation change, which poses its own challenges.

"Once the board system is on and everything is secure, we fill the system up and then we'll pressure-test it," Craig said. "We'll circulate it (the coolant), make sure everything is full, get all the air out of the system. At that point we'll see where we are, what Mother Nature does for us, if we're going to bring hoses up."

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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