November 29, 2012 | Volume 42, No. 48

Enlarged rink a big attraction

Cold, dry weather has created ideal skating conditions at the rink at the Southeast fairgrounds.

More than 70 residents turned out for a “community skate” Nov. 23. Another open skate is scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday.

The rink was expanded last year before record snows early in the season smothered skating opportunities. The skating oval now measures 75 by 130 feet and includes netted goals and dasher boards.

“We’ve got the best rink Haines has ever seen,” said Paul Wheeler, one of several volunteers who make ice and help maintain the site. “Because of the weather, right now we have an incredible window for skating and great conditions for making ice.”

As many as a dozen residents have been showing up for pond hockey on weeknights, with eight-person games starting about 5:30 p.m. All-women hockey games are typically held twice a week, including at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Announcements of special skates are posted on the Haines Hockey page on Facebook.

Volunteer Greg Schlachter sharpens skates at his office on Second Avenue at Willard Street for a $10 donation to the skate association.

The association’s goals include additional lighting and seating around the rink, said member and volunteer Daymond Hoffman. The rink is open at all times and skating is free.