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Islanders ECHL Affiliate Stockton Thunder Painting the Ice Again

(Aside: No doubt the NHL will use this as justification for on-ice ads.)

The trapezoid is left pure out of respect for Marty Brodeur.
The trapezoid is left pure out of respect for Marty Brodeur.
via Stockton Thunder YouTube

Tonight the Stockton Thunder, the New York Islanders' ECHL affiliate, will engage fans in their second annual "Paint the Ice" night. After the game against the Orlando Reign (7:30 p.m. Pacific), fans will be allowed to literally paint the ice surface, and the composition will remain there for the next game against the Reign on New Year's Eve.

Before your thoughts stray to the adult-as-juvenile nightmare scenario, there is a brilliant catch:

Adults won’t be allowed to paint the ice on their own so if you want to try and sign up to paint, find a niece, nephew, grandkid, neighbor, etc… and bring them to the game!

There are rules, too, to keep it at a controlled level of beautiful chaos:

We will have plenty of people wanting to paint the ice tonight so please keep your art to a 1 ft. x 1 ft. area. Please do not run on the ice. Sessions will be timed so please find a spot to paint, create your part of our masterpiece and vacate the ice so we can get new painters on. If you have paint left in your cup, let the good folks at the exit know so we can recycle it for another painter.

Last Year's Results Warrant an Encore

Minor league promotions run the gamut of zany and gimmick, and in that sense this one is no different. Still, the results from last year were pretty cool:


And the following game, played on the ice, was easier to follow than you might expect:

Plus, last year's promotion garnered the holy grail for those who keep hockey alive in ECHL and many AHL markets: Some broader recognition.

The Thunder naturally loved last year's event enough to do it again:

Eventually what resulted was something special. The Thunder fans brought positive attention to the entire Stockton community and while many were concerned about the ice surface having an impact on the hockey, a 4-2 final and the word from Head Coach Rich Kromm, defenseman Mike Dalhuisen, and the rest of the Thunder players (and even the Bulls players) assured fans that it didn’t have much of a bearing on the game.

Check the Thunder site and Twitter feed for updates on this two-day event. Happy Hockey New Year!

Update: An Isles-oriented shot of center ice from this year: