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Posted: November 20, 2014

Appreciation of the Zamboni driver

In Canada we love our hockey. In the Kootenays we love everything hockey; sitting in rinks watching five years old practise, WHL team Kootenay ICE and pond hockey with friends. Trending in the East Kootenay is the love and appreciation of the Zamboni driver.

Zamboni Race Chris and Don ICE, Jane EKC and charity group. Photos submitted
Zamboni Race Chris and Don ICE, Jane EKC and charity group. Photos submitted

East Kootenay Community Credit Union (EKC), Kootenay ICE and the City of Cranbrook have teamed up to showcase eight communities in the EKC’s Zamboni Challenge. They represent eight community groups. One driver will be recognized with distinction as the Kootenay’s ‘Master Zamboni Driver.’ Along with bragging rights, they will bring home the trophy for one year and be on the plaque at Western Financial Place for years to come.

Friday, November 7 marked the first Zamboni Challenge. It was night one in a three night challenge. Hockey fans cheered on four Zamboni drivers; Zeke, Dean, Brian and Mathieu as they sped through the course. It was a complex course around pylons that tested their skill and accuracy.

The most skilled Zamboni driver of the night was Mathieu Fournier from Canal Flats with a time of 1:06 minutes and no penalties! The winning charity was Canal Flats’ youth group, for a new half pipe and pump track.

Mathieu Fournier of Canal Flats
Mathieu Fournier of Canal Flats

Times (including penalty seconds) are (minutes: seconds):

– Zeke – 1:56 seconds

– Brian – 1:24 (with only one 10 second penalties for missing a pylon)

– Dean – 1:14 – no penalties

– Mathieu -1:06 no penalties – WINNER!

Four drivers and four community groups will test their skill again on Saturday, January 24 at 7 p.m. at Western Financial Place in Cranbrook.

EKC has committed $3,250 to community groups. Each night the winning Zamboni driver will bring home a $500 donation from EKC to be awarded to their community group. Runners up will also receive $250 donations from EKC for their community group.

The November 7 community groups included:

– Cranbrook Woman’s Resource Centre

– Canal Flats Youth Group for a Skateboard Park

– Kimberley Early Learning Centre

– JCI’s Santa Needs a new Sleigh.

EKC urges the communities to support the Kootenay ICE, support community groups and have some fun! For videos on the challenge visit EKC’s Facebook page

Lead image: Gerry EKC, Daniele JCI, Mathieu driver, Zoe volunteer, Jenny JCI Kootenay and Gina, Kimberley’s Early Learning Centre (ELC)


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