The Scotties took over the K-Rock Centre at 12:01 am on Monday to start making the ice. Hockey ice is different than curling ice. First they had to flood it, then it was too slippery so they scraped some ice off. The crew was working all night! They painted white over the lines on the hockey ice. They then sealed the paint with water. Next, they made, painted and sealed the circles (house) and the logos. The painting was all done by hand. The strings (for the centre line, back lines, etc. ) where then put in and were sealed. There was a 1/2 to 3/4 inches of more ice put on. Around the 4 sheets of ice there is carpet. Under the carpet there is styrofoam and insulation. They then scraped the ice some more. The ice is expected to be finished on Thursday.
I also learned about the rocks. The rocks belong to the icemaker Mark Shurek (click here for an article about him in The Whig). The handles belong to the CCA. The handles were just used last weekend in the Canadian Juniors and came to Kingston straight from Alberta. The rock handles have lights that indicate hog line violations. The players need to tip the rock to activate the lights. The rocks had to be frozen. The crew sanded the bottom of the rocks to get more curl. Carbon paper was used to map the bottom of each rock. This is used to match the impurity of the rock. They try to match rocks for each position. The rocks for the skip and vice are the best matched.
If the weather doesn't cooperate, then the K-Rock Centre has fans that control the humidity to 55-70%. The surface of the ice needs to be around 24-25 F. Alex also talked to me about dew point. The dew point is the relationship between the humidity and temperature. When it isn't the right temperature, then the ice gets frosty. After 5 ends there is a mopping done to get the frost off the ice. They put the pebble on the ice at the dew point temperature. Everything is monitored by computers and sensors on the ice. Players can monitor the ice conditions online.
Ice making has a lot of science in it!
When I got there, TSN started setting up their cameras!