Wind-damaged rink fixed in time for Hockey Day

Extreme winds wreaked havoc on Lloydminster's outdoor rink, threatening to ruin Hockey Day — but now the weekend extravaganza is back on track.

After 120 km/h gusts cause major damage, Lloydminster rallies

Shortly after extreme winds hit, this was the scene at the outdoor rink in Mike’s Oilfield Park at the Lloydminster Exhibition Grounds. (Joel Darling/Facebook)

Extreme winds wreaked havoc on Lloydminster's outdoor rink, threatening to ruin Hockey Day — but now the weekend extravaganza is back on track.

Planners had been working on Hockey Day for months.

But on Wednesday, three days before the big event, the city that straddles the Alberta-Saskatchewan border was hit by extreme winds.

You never know what Mother Nature will throw at you.- Arena manager Heather Dow

Gusts that reached 120 kilometres per hour knocked out the Plexiglas, buckled the boards, popped holes and damaged the ice.

Arena manager Heather Dow said she knew it was going to be windy, but the magnitude of the gusts and the extent of the damage surprised her.

Volunteers, staff work through night

"I didn't think it would be that extensive, but you never know what Mother Nature will throw at you," Dow said.

With the wind still howling, Dow met with a team of city staff and volunteers to see how Hockey Day could be saved.

Crews worked throughout the night fixing the boards and re-installing the glass. The ice was being worked on at 4:30 a.m. MT.

"We were getting pretty weary, she said, but the repairs did the trick.

"Hockey Day was saved," she said, adding that she felt "a big sense of community, that's for sure." 

Stanley Cup in town

A series of hockey and winter activities went ahead Friday, starting with community skates, hockey games and a visit with the Stanley Cup.

CBC Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean will open Scotiabank Hockey Day outside at the Lloydminster Exhibition Grounds on Saturday morning as planned.

Hockey Day is a nationally televised event, produced by Hockey Night in Canada. Each year a host city is selected from a number of applicants.

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