The American Hockey League requires teams to have two working ice resurfacers on hand for every contest. Teams usually use both at the same time before games and during intermissions to freshen up the ice, but if one breaks there’s still another one to complete that crucial task.
At about 6 p.m., one hour before faceoff, Crunch COO Jim Sarosy got word that one of the team’s regular resurfacers was leaking anti-freeze and was inoperable. The pre-game ice was smoothed by one machine.
After it was determined that the ailing machine could not be quickly fixed, Sarosy called Julie LaFave, parks commissioner for Syracuse, for help. LaFave, in turn, contacted Joe Burns, director of Syracuse’s rinks. Burns said he’d send Sunnycrest’s Zamboni over.
Ice resurfacers, of course, aren’t made for travel on regular roads. They have special studded tires designed for cruising around ice. Many are built to make only right turns and struggle to turn left.
And because they are so slow, they require a police escort for a road trip. So Syracuse police officer Bob Newman, who was working security outside the Crunch locker room, talked to his department about getting on that task. Sarosy said he thinks the Zamboni left Sunnycrest in the 7:10 to 7:15 range.
The Zamboni rumbled down State Street and into the building just in time to help out with the first intermission re-surfacing at 7:37 p.m.
Imagine you’re wheeling down the road through Syracuse and you see flashing lights everywhere. You think to yourself, oh no must be a bad accident or there’s a road block. You get closer and closer to the lights, your anxiety is now starting to go through the roof. You start passing the first group of lights and all of a sudden you see Teddy, the local zamboni driver wheelin’ down the road on a god damn Zamboni. I would’ve paid to see peoples reactions to this. It’s not every day you see a zamboni being police escorted through the city of Syracuse so I’m just happy it was documented. The last time I ever saw a Zamboni in the streets was in Mystery Alaska.
I love me a good zamboni story.