The weather is doing its best to try to disrupt the World Pond Hockey Championship in Plaster Rock, but organizers say they can get back on schedule by Friday morning.

Even the guest of honour is doing his part to make the event a success.

Wayne Gretzky was scheduled to drop the puck at the official opening ceremonies Thursday evening, but bad weather from the ice storm grounded his flight.


Volunteers are making a big push to clear the water off the ice. (CBC)

So some quick arrangements have been made, and it's now hoped the Great One will be able to arrive Friday morning to take part, his first visit to the famous event.

The first round of games has been postponed until 9 a.m. Friday, at which time they hope to have the ice surfaces ready.

Getting the ice in game shape has proved a monumental task for the volunteers thanks to the rain and warm temperatures.

Crews are working non-stop to scoop, pump and shovel off the rinks.

Founder Danny Braun sent a Facebook message to update teams and fans.


All this rain sucks, but so does this big piece of equipment being used to remove the water. (CBC)

"We have some excess water on the ice but have hired a sanitation company with a large vacuum truck to remove the excess water," said Braun. "We then use the Zambonis to remove the last bit of moisture. We will continue this process throughout the day and temperatures are supposed to drop early this evening to a balmy -2 C."

The tournament features 97 different teams, from all over Canada and the U.S., and as far away as Europe and Grand Cayman Island.