MUNICH – A game in the German top league DEL played on Sunday is believed to have set a new world record in penalty shots in a top-level hockey game when the Straubing Tigers won their game at EHC München 5-4 in a shootout – after 42 shots.
The 4,999 spectators at Munich’s Olympic Ice Rink got much action for their money. The home squad led 2-0 in the Bavarian derby, but Straubing turned the game around and led 4-3 with three minutes to play in regulation time, when Eric Schneider got the equalizer.
The game finished almost three hours after the first face-off, and after lots of penalty shots.
The ensuing game-winning shot competition was a tit-for-tat event with the two netminders, Sebastien Elwing for München and Dimitri Pätzold for Straubing, being in great shape.
Martin Buchwieser for the home squad and Justin Mapletoft for the visiting team scored in the third round. The next goals came much later, in the 14th round (Christian Wichert, Tobias Draxinger). Then, the decision almost came in the 17th round, but in the video review, referee Lars Brüggemann saw that the puck didn’t fully cross the goal line after an attempt from München captain Stéphane Julien.
Goals in the 18th (Neville Rautert, Andy Canzanello) and 20th round (Martin Buchwieser, Tobias Draxinger) didn’t help to resolve the deadlock.
The fans had to wait until the 21st round, which eventually ended the game.
Straubing’s Éric Meloche, who once played 74 NHL games for Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, hit the back of the net with his slap shot, and fellow Quebecer Stéphane Julien wasn’t able to score with the 42nd penalty shot.
The Tigers won the shootout with only nine goals in 42 attempts even without their scoring leader Derek Hahn. Hahn was assessed a minor penalty in the last seconds of the five-minute overtime period, which meant that he had to sit out in the penalty box for the longest two-minute penalty in his career – during the entire shootout competition.
But after the game, everybody was all smiles on the Straubing side, and the hundreds of Straubing fans in Munich made their train back home just in time.
The shootout was not only the longest in DEL history, it is believed to be the longest shootout ever in professional hockey.
It came just more than two years after the league set a European record for an overtime game with 108:16 minutes of extra time in the 2008 playoff game between Kölner Haie and Adler Mannheim.
This record is only beaten by an NHL playoff game in 1936, in which the Detroit Red Wings and the Montreal Maroons needed 116:30 of extra time to settle the score, 1-0.
In IIHF competition, the longest shootout happened in the 2002 IIHF U20 Championship. Belarus and France played a best-of-two relegation series, which ended with 3-2 wins for each team. After ten minutes of overtime, the game-winning shot competition had to decide. It went over 13 rounds and 26 shots. Dmitri Mialeshka scored the game-winning goal that kept Belarus in the top division with the 25th attempt.
More shots than that were necessary in the NHL’s longest shootout. On November 25, 2005, at Madison Square Garden, the New York Rangers needed 15 rounds of shootout to defeat the Washington Capitals.
After the 30th attempt in total, low-scoring Marek Malik was the second-last healthy Rangers player remaining on the bench and the towering Czech defenceman scored on Caps netminder Olaf Kölzig with a stick-between-the-legs move that made him a cult figure among Rangers fans.