How the "Miracle on Ice" Rink Keeps Its Cool

Our refrigerant is helping to maintain one of the most historic sites in U.S. hockey history

Every year, thousands of tourists make the journey to Lake Placid, New York to visit the Herb Brooks Ice Arena. This 80,000-square-foot, three-rink center hosted one of the most famous games in U.S. hockey history. In 1980, the U.S. team beat the Russian team four-to-three in a historic match known as the “Miracle on Ice.” The U.S. later beat Finland to secure the gold medal.

Owned and managed by the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA), the Herb Brooks Arena not only boosts tourism, it also brings the local community together for hundreds of skating and hockey competitions, programs and events each year. Not surprisingly, it is critical that the rinks have consistent and reliable ice quality.

Enter Honeywell’s Genetron Performax® LT (R-407F) refrigerant, which was chosen as a cost-effective and sustainable solution. This product replaces R-22 refrigerant, an HCFC, which depletes the ozone layer and is being phased out by regulations effective in 2020. Genetron Performax LT is non-ozone-depleting, yet performs just as well as R-22, making it a near-drop in replacement without requiring significant equipment changes. 

“We take pride in the reputation of the Herb Brooks Arena and other rinks at the complex, which together provide a huge economic engine for the area. To sustain that reputation and the economy, a primary goal is to meet expectations for ice quality throughout the year,” said Denny Allen, ORDA manager. “To meet that goal—given aging equipment, growing maintenance costs and changing regulations—required us to take a step back to make the right decisions for the future.”

“The conversion was a lot faster and cheaper than other alternatives that would have required new equipment and major capital investments,” said Tom Borden, ORDA refrigeration technician manager.

Honeywell launched Genetron Performax LT in 2009. Since then, Honeywell projects that the refrigerant has saved more than 10 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent to date, equal to eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from more than 5 million cars.

Many companies like ORDA are transitioning to newer technology that helps achieve a more sustainable future. We’re happy to help them go for the gold and score big on environmental goals.

To learn more about how Honeywell is working with ORDA, click here.




Josephine Lee

Performance Materials and Technologies