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Massena recreation superintendent says outdoor ice on hold with warmer weather

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MASSENA — With warmer weather expected this week, Massena Recreation Superintendent Richard A. Boprey said crews will not be attempting to lay outdoor ice until temperatures drop.

The extended forecast calls for a high of 41 degrees today, 34 degrees Thursday, 46 degrees Friday, 50 degrees aturday and 41 degrees Sunday.

That means whatever snow is covering the would-be outdoor rinks will remain in place since crews are unable to flood the site and have the ice hold, Mr. Boprey told members of the Massena Joint Recreation Commission Tuesday.

“We’ve elected not to plow right now” at sites such as the Bridges Avenue and Howard Street rinks, he said, adding they might drive over the snow with a truck to flatten it and make it more conducive for ice.

But right now, he said, “We can’t even consider getting a tanker truck” on the field to lay the water.

They’ve tried to flood the Massena Arena annex, but there’s still a way to go before that ice can be used, Mr. Boprey said.

“Last night we put four coats of water. It’s thin, thin ice,” he said. “We’re doing our best. We’re watching our weather closely.”

Unless the weather changes by the middle of the month, that doesn’t bode well for having outdoor games as part of the Massena Cup outdoor hockey tournament, which is scheduled for Jan. 18 and 19.

Organizers already have booked the indoor ice at the arena in case they’re not able to use the outdoor ice on the annex.

“We set this up in September or October,” Mr. Boprey said.

The tournament is being held a week earlier than it was last year, he said.

“We have no predictability with the weather,” Mr. Boprey said.

While there’s no outdoor ice, he said, indoor ice at the arena has been getting a workout, partly because of the free holiday skating offered over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays and paid for by local businesses, organizations and individuals.

“Holiday public skating has gone very well,” he said.

One sponsoring business, Vino Vidi Vici, gave skaters that day an extra bonus. Mr. Boprey said 10 to 20 people showed up to skate Sunday afternoon and the local restaurant in the Harte Haven Shopping Plaza sent up pizzas for them to enjoy.

“That was kind of a nice touch,” he said.

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