Timmins Rock forward A.J. Campbell, foreground, and a number of teammates sit on the visiting team bench prior to the scheduled start of Saturday night’s NOJHL game at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex in Kirkland Lake. After a delay of close to a half an hour, it was announced at 7:30 p.m. the game was postponed due to high levels of carbon monoxide detected in the facility. No make-up date has been announced yet. The postponement came less than 24 hours after Friday night’s contest between the Soo Thunderbirds and the Gold Miners had to be suspended late in the second period because of a similar issue. The Rock will return home to host the Hearst Lumberjacks at the McIntyre Arena Sunday night Game time is set for 7 p.m. THOMAS PERRY/THE DAILY PRESS
By Thomas Perry, The Daily Press (Timmins)
KIRKLAND LAKE – Saturday night’s game between the Timmins Rock and the Gold Miners was over before it started.
Less than 24 hours after Friday night’s NOJHL game between the visiting Soo Thunderbirds and the Gold Miners had to be suspended late in the second period because of high levels of carbon monoxide, Kirkland Lake Fire Department officials were once again forced to intervene at the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex.
As a result, Saturday night’s game was postponed prior to the start of the contest, with the Rock and the Gold Miners being sent back to their dressing rooms to change out of their uniforms and the fans were asked to exit the building.
As of Saturday night, the NOJHL had not announced a make-up date for Saturday night’s postponed contest.
Danny Sassville, an acting platoon chief with the Kirkland Lake Fire Department confirmed Saturday night’s postponement was caused by the same issue that led to the suspension of Friday night’s contest.
“We once again experienced high readings of carbon monoxide,” he said.
“We are still trying to figure out what’s causing the issue.”
Saturday night’s postponement came as a bit of a surprise given the Joe Mavrinac Community Complex was the site of a number of minor hockey contests and a public skating session without incident earlier in the day.
“After Friday night, we were in contact with workers here at the arena and I instructed them if they encountered high readings again to call us back,” Sassville said.
“They had workers here this morning and there were some natural gas employees here this morning. They did some testing with their meters and everything tested fine.”
Hand-held meters carried by Sassville and other firefighters were clearly going off Saturday night prior to the scheduled start of the NOJHL game, however.
According to Sassville, incidents like the ones experienced Friday night and Saturday night are not common at the Joe Mavrianc Community Complex.
“These are first ones we have had in a long time,” he said.
“The readings are too high to have people standing here for any period of time.
“The ideal level is zero, but anything above 15 parts per million, for an extended period of time, is unhealthy.”
Asked to speculate if the unseasonably cold temperatures might have played a factor, Sassville said: “I believe so, yes. And with all of the vehicles parked in the back (due to the construction at the site), it isn’t helping. There are fresh air intakes all throughout the building and they could be drawing in all of the exhaust and dispersing it throughout the structure.”
Saturday night’s postponement actually marked the second time the Rock’s attempts to start the second half of their NOJHL campaign have been delayed.
The team has originally been scheduled to begin play Thursday night in Cochrane with a game against the Crunch at the Tim Horton Event Centre, but an arena availability issue resulted in that contest being rescheduled for Friday, Jan. 26.
Hoping their third attempt proves to be the charm, the Rock will host the Hearst Lumberjacks at the McIntyre Arena on Sunday night.
Game time is set for 7 p.m.