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Massena Arena ice season winding down

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MASSENA - The Massena Arena’s ice season is slowly winding down, while the outdoor ice season has come to a close.

Recreation Superintendent Richard A. Boprey said the season is now over for both Massena High School hockey teams and Massena Minor Hockey stops paying for ice time at the end of February.

March brings in spring sports teams, as well as continued broomball action and ice rental from the Massena Figure Skating Club, he said. They’re also able to offer more shinny hockey and public skating time with the decrease in ice rental.

Among the activities still remaining this month before they start shutting down the ice the evening of March 30 are a Massena Figure Skating Club testing event on Saturday and a Massena Figure Skating Club Invitational on March 22 and 23.

“I have good news on that one. They’re bringing in kids to join Massena kids. They tend to have 150 kids. They’ll have 220 kids at the invitational this year,” he said.

He said judges are flown in for the competition, which will be held from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. March 22 and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., or possibly 5 p.m. if they can rearrange the broomball schedule, on March 23.

“That’s a lot of ice - 15 hours on Saturday, nine hours on Sunday. That’s 24 hours of ice just on that weekend,” Mr. Boprey said.

A one-day spring hockey tournament featuring squirt-age players will be held March 29 at the arena. That will feature three or four games, he said.

The ice season will officially close with the broomball playoffs from March 27 to 30. Mr. Boprey said the league has booked 20 hours of ice time for those games.

“That’ll be our last hurrah,” he said.

But, with the slowdown in ice rental, the recreation superintendent said it gives him an opportunity to add more shinny hockey and public skating time. Shinny hockey is now held from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with other blocks of time used on the weekend as available. The sessions are announced on the Massena Recreation Department’s Facebook page each day.

“We keep that updated with current activities,” he said.

As the broomball playoffs wind down on March 30, Mr. Boprey said they’ll start preparing to remove the ice. They’ll raise the temperature during the night and then start chipping away March 31. They’ll have four days before vendors start arriving to set up for the Massena Rod and Gun Club’s annual Expo, which is scheduled for April 5 and 6.

“We can’t start it until the broomball guys are nearly off (the ice),” he said.

While there are still a couple of weeks left for indoor ice, outdoor ice is another story, according to Mr. Boprey, who said that season is over. He said he tried to plow the Howard Street rink on Monday and hit a patch of grass, the grass is showing at the Bridges Avenue rink and Alcoa Field isn’t much better. While there’s still some ice in the arena annex, there’s also water, he said.

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