BIDDEFORD, Maine (NEWS CENTER Maine) -- We’re in the thick of hockey season, for all types. Youth, college, and professional.
Do you ever watch the Zamboni between periods and think – that looks like fun to drive?
NEWS CENTER Maine went to University of New England to experience a day in the life of a Zamboni driver.
Apparently, there’s a lot of science behind creating a perfect ice surface.
In the garage where the Zamboni is kept are monitors with all sorts of numbers and data. The easiest to recognize? The temperatures of the ice and the building.
All notes to alert Leon Paquin, Assistant Manager of Harold Alfond Forum, if something isn’t right.
He says he has to stay on top of it so that any slight problem doesn't snowball out of control.
“If you buy a brand new one it’s like $110,000 for a whole new Zamboni, but, you know we have bearings that go inside the auger, so you hear that spinning pick up the snow so periodically once a year once every two years you check those to make sure they’re not bouncing around.”
And yes, it is a Zamboni, not an ice-surfacing machine. There is a difference. The tell-tale sign it’s an authentic Zamboni: the snowflake on the steering wheel.
After the monitors are well, monitored, it’s time to check for a current temp.
A mini Zamboni, takes care of the edges.
"If you do this every day, it’s so easy to take care of, because you’re doing it everyday.”
When the Zamboni is set and ready to go, Paquin says the pressure is on.
“Heaven forbid you have too much water on the ice and a guys got a breakaway… there’s a puddle of water and the puck stops – ehh then they’re looking at me. I don’t want that to happen.”
This career has created some great memories for Leon, especially at Frozen Fenway where he met David Ortiz.
“Imagine that, with your son with you, you’re on the ice at Fenway Park and you’re the only two that does the ice for those games. Once in a lifetime experience.”