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Making ice nice -

Everyone loves the Zamboni. Yet Zamboni is but a brand name for an ice re-surfacer - like Windex is for window clearner.

Gary Ritchie is one of seven mechanics at the OnCenter complex, who operate and also keep the two Olympia ice resurfacers in running order.

Ritchie was on the job last Monday getting the equipment in order for the upcoming Crunch Hockey playoff games this week. He said the team won their first two away games over the weekend and could finish the series right here at home this week. It's a best of seven series.

But alas, Tuesday night's loss put a stop to that wish. But a good spanking might be just what these bad boys needed to keep the fire in their bellies, their eyes on the puck and their stick handling strong. Yep, a win Wednesday in overtime has them back trying for the finish in Toronto.

"It's always fun to do a game," Ritchie said, "and it's great to see the Crunch winning. This is a terrific group of guys."

How does it work?

Okay you want to resurface your ice? There is a sharp blade at the rear of the resurfacer that the operator drops down. The cutter takes off the messed up ice and loose snow on the surface. This is blown into a bin, and disposed of later. Next, the equipment sets down a layer of ice using hot water.

"You have to have two in the NHL," he said in order to keep the process as well as the ice running smooth.

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