Celebrating a Century of the Fastest Game on Earth

NHL 100 Classic - part of the Winter Classic series of outdoor hockey games

Celebrating a Century of the Fastest Game on Earth

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017 — Today marks the 100th anniversary of the National Hockey League. To celebrate its first century, an outdoor game was held at Ottawa’s TD Place Stadium this past Saturday night. There, under the cold night sky and the bright lights of the transformed football stadium, the Montreal Canadiens played the Ottawa Senators in the Scotiabank NHL 100 Classic, on two-inch thick ice made with REALice-treated water.

REALice is used in over 500 indoor arenas worldwide to treat the water so cold water can be used to resurface the ice — but it’s used for outdoor rinks and circuits too. The NHL has used REALice to treat the resurfacing water for the Winter Classics outdoor series of hockey games since 2010, at a warmer temperature than their indoor cousins, using 100°F water to make their ice.

“The ice that the REALice system creates is denser, clearer and harder,” says Håkan Grönlund, the Managing Director of H2OVortex, the worldwide distributor of REALice. “That makes for a final ice product that’s harder to scar, and harder to melt. With the weather always an uncertainty, making ice that takes longer to melt and requires less maintenance helps a great deal at these one-of-a-kind events.”

“We’re proud to be a part of the second century of the fastest game on earth,” says Tom Smolarek, Managing Director of Cypress, Ltd., the US importer of REALice. “Whether your user groups are indoor or outdoor, play hockey, broomball, ringette, figure skate or participate in any other ice sports, you can benefit by the lower costs and great ice quality that REALice brings.”

REALice’s patented technology removes the micro air bubbles that are present in water. If left in, the micro air bubbles create fragile, brittle ice resulting in too much snow. Ice makers have removed these air bubbles for over a century by heating up the water to temperatures of 140F and beyond for floodwater.

Because the REALice-treated water is denser, it freezes faster and because it does, the brine temperature needs to be reset higher. In addition to cutting down water-heating expenses significantly, REALice has a major impact on the refrigeration plant, lowering the run time of the compressors and reducing electrical consumption by 9-12%.

>> Want to know more about REALice? Check out our whiteboard video to see how it works. In just 2:54 it just might change your mind about cold water resurfacing and the difference it will make to the energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and run time at your arena. And…you’ll still make great ice.

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