There will be no abbreviated skating season this year.
The Baranof Park ice rink is scheduled to open Monday, a month ahead of its opening a year ago.
A midsummer arson attack last year kept the rink closed until December. The season then was cut short a week when the rink’s only working refrigeration compressor failed. The backup compressor was already out of commission.
Both compressors are fixed and the ice rink staff started laying ice last Saturday.
“They are running like champs,” ice rink supervisor Landon Durand said. “They are cooling the ice fast and keeping up. They have been doing a great job. I haven’t had to do anything but add oil.”
This is Durand’s first year as rink supervisor. The former Marine and Kodiak High School graduate was hired by the City of Kodiak Parks and Recreation department six months ago. He is looking forward to his first season.
“I’m excited to see everybody come down and enjoy the ice,” Durand said. “That is why I am here.”
Durand said he has relied on several people to help him through the ice laying process, and has been watching instructional videos on how to operate a zamboni.
Durand has kept the same schedule as years past but has sprinkled in more time for hockey.
“There is going to be a lot more hockey this year,” he said.
Women’s hockey will be on Tuesdays (7-9 p.m.) and Sundays (10 a.m. to noon), while men’s hockey is Wednesdays and Saturdays (7- 9 p.m.) and co-ed hockey is Fridays (7-9 p.m.)
The youth Kodiak Hockey League begins with a tryout/skills clinic Nov. 9. Registration packets can be picked up and turned in at the Teen Center.
As for Durand, he has only skated twice in his life, but will get plenty of chances to this winter.
“I’ve got skates and I got hockey gear, so I am ready to go,” he said. “I will learn.”
Contact Mirror writer Derek Clarkston at firstname.lastname@example.org.