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OU Bobcats' and Western Michigan Broncos helping out the Olympia Zamboni after electrical issues on the ice Nov. 5, 2021

Hockey: Ohio adjusts without ice resurfacer in win over Western Michigan

Correction appended.

The OLYMPIA ice resurfacer struck again Friday night at Bird Arena, and it isn’t the first time that there has been a malfunction with it this season. 

On Oct. 23, an OLYMPIA malfunction at the end of the second period cut Ohio’s matchup with Illinois short. On Friday, the ice resurfacer stopped working before the game against Western Michigan could even begin. Despite it delaying the start to the game, the Bobcats were still able to play and won 10-2 in dominating fashion.

The malfunction created some questions at Bird Arena. Many didn’t know if the game would happen because of previous experience with it a few weeks back, but the explanation is simpler to some than it may seem. 

“The electrical wiring of the machine itself just decided to kinda stop working,” Bird Arena maintenance staff member Max Cook said. “For the most part, like the interior wiring, that’s what happened, the battery connection with the other wiring just kind of pooped out.”

The ice is much different without the OLYMPIA around to resurface it. It may not be as noticeable to those off the ice, but the players know it is a huge factor. 

“It’s very bouncy, it’s hard to skate, so the game really slows down,” Ohio coach Lionel Mauron said. “We were able to make some good plays and (the Stallions) were not.”

Aside from the problems with the ice, the Bobcats were able to get a variety of different shots from multiple different players throughout the game. Ohio played exceptionally better than previous games as of late and made many dynamic plays happen. 

For the players, it was a lot different to experience skating and playing on the ice under unusual circumstances. 

“That was probably the worst part of the game,” forward Aiden Grieco said. “At that point, we’re not really thinking of making too many plays, we just wanna shoot the puck, get on net, get gritty, that’s what we do, we score a lot of gritty goals.”

Ohio took it in stride and made things look easy. Although it may have been hard for the Bobcats to not have the OLYMPIA resurface the ice in the intermissions and before the game, they were still able to make things on the ice happen and outshot Western Michigan 60-15 on goal.

While it may have created an early distraction, Ohio looked past it and knew the job that it needed to get done. The Bobcats didn’t have much action in the beginning, but from the second period on, it was their game. Problems on the ice quickly exited the minds of many, and the focus was on the Bobcats and the way they were able to perform and control their own game. 

By the time the buzzer sounded to end the game, the ice resurfacer may have been working again, but time will only tell if a similar problem will happen again in the future.


Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the ice resurfacer at Bird Arena is a Zamboni, when it’s an OLYMPIA. This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.

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