World’s longest hockey game
by Martin Merk|18 FEB 2021
The 40 players pose for a joint photo after 252 hours of playing hockey in ice-cold temperatures and scoring thousands of goals.
photo: Mandy Kostiuk Photograpy
From 4 to 15 February 2021 the longest hockey game took place in the Canadian province of Alberta. Organizer Brent Saik and 39 other players played for 252 hours, beating their old record of 251 hours that was set three years earlier. (The Guinness World Records confirmation for the new record is currently pending.)

With the game the 40 players and the organization World’s Longest Hockey Game collected $1.84 million and counting (click here to donate) for the Cure Cancer Foundation in support of life-saving research at the University of Alberta and to save lives at the Cross Cancer Institute.

“Our job is to cure cancer this weekend. Every time we do one of these events, that is our motto,” said Saik, who lost his father and his wife to cancer.

The game took place at Saiker’s Acres in Sherwood Park outside of Edmonton where the players had shifts during 11 days. During 750 volunteer shifts for the refs and scorekeepers wrote down thousands of goals. The final score was Team Hope 2649 – Team Cure 2528. Shots on goal were 9996-10253.

“Being a part of the World’s Longest Hockey Game has been a humbling experience. Seeing the heroic efforts of the players and organizers in truly challenging circumstances, along with the outpouring of support from the community for life-saving cancer research at the University of Alberta, drives home the urgency to move our work forward,” said Dr. Mackey, Oncologist, Cross Cancer Institute.

“There is a huge responsibility to do this work right and get it over the finish line as quickly as possible. This support means the world to the researchers and clinicians who are working tirelessly to bring new treatments and hope to the tens of thousands of Albertans living with cancer.”

To make it happen, the players had to play outdoors during these days with temperatures in the area ranging from -32°C to -10°C (-26 to +14F) and even colder with the wind chill. And they had to do some paperwork to get an exemption for the game with the current pandemic rules in place including self-isolation before the event and daily testing. That also meant less volunteers and no spectators while a live stream was available to watch the game.

Players changed in shifts night and day and slept in trailers beside the rink during these days.

“There were some challenges. But you know what? Nobody ever gave up, we rallied together,” Andrew Buchanan, a firefighter who played in the game, told Global News.

“Everyone involved was an absolute warrior. But still, nothing compared to what these cancer patients are going through. It doesn't matter what the score was in this game. We came here with one goal and that was to help cure cancer and we're well on our way.”

This was the ninth edition of the World’s Longest Hockey Game, which has raised $7.31 million since starting in 2003.

According to CTV News, this year’s fundraising efforts will support a clinical trial of a new cancer drug called PCLX-001, which has shown positive results in treating blood cancers.