14 Sep On REALice, and Winning the ECHL’s Best Ice Award
September 13, 2021 – Nathan Kleinschmit, Engineering Manager and Ice Specialist at The Monument in Rapid City, SD, says ice quality wasn’t ever an issue at their facility. After all, Rapid City has a pretty dry environment. And the hockey season is normally over before the hot weather begins.
That wasn’t the case this season. And the season was anything but normal.
The facility’s East Coast Hockey League “AA” team was set to play an entire season in a condensed time frame extending from Dec. 11, 2020 until June 5, 2021. The bulk of those games would be back-to-back-to-back matchups against the same visiting team each time the Rapid City Rush would play at home. Kleinschmit was looking for a helping hand — both for the ice and the facility’s refrigeration plant coming down the stretch from May into June. And he found that with the REALice floodwater treatment system..
“It was ice quality, but what drove the purchase, even more, was the energy savings we were potentially going to see out of it,” he explains. “We actually did a little better than what was predicted — we were down close to 20% on our (run-time) hour usage over that period of time!”
LESS SURPRISES WITH EVENT-TO-HOCKEY CONVERSIONS — AND LESS ON-ICE MAINTENANCE, TOO
Kleinschmit says the REALice system also contributed to lower on-ice maintenance in a couple of ways. First was less maintenance that typically comes with event-to-hockey conversions. The operations team found they needed less time to get the ice back up to the facility’s standards after the battling professional hockey teams cut up the ice three nights in a row.
“Our ice was good in the past, it was never bad at all, but it wasn’t the best ice,” Kleinschmit explains. “I think a lot of our change of events (conversions to hockey) in the past had something to do with that. And this year using the REALice system and not having to do so much maintenance after basketball tournaments and cleaning up the ice was huge for us.”
Also huge was the less amount of hours we had to put into the ice dealing with 3 games in 3 days. We just didn’t have the wear and tear on the ice like we had before. The quality was just there.”
Watch as Nathan Kleinschmit from The Monument in Rapid City, SD shares his insights about REALice — and winning the ECHL’s Best Ice Award.
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