WATCH ABOVE: It’s day five down at the World’s Longest Hockey Game, in support of the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Michel Boyer reports live from Saiker’s Acres during the Morning News with an update on the score and how the game is going.
EDMONTON – A group of dedicated hockey players is well into its fifth day of play at the World’s Longest Hockey Game at Saiker’s Acres, located just east of Sherwood Park.
Forty hockey players have been skating day and night since the puck dropped early Friday morning. They plan on keeping the game going for a total of 250 hours, until Feb. 16, to raise money for the Alberta Cancer Foundation.
“Spirits are good. I think everybody’s starting to get into it,” organizer Brent Saik said Sunday. “Your body does this change where it’s just Groundhog Day and you eat the same thing and you do the same thing and say the same jokes.”
“I think now is the time when people’s feet are starting to hurt a bit more, that sort of thing. But still energetic, getting the job done, for sure,” said his wife, Jenelle Saik.
WATCH: Video from the World’s Longest Hockey Game
The players are also attempting to set a new Guinness World Record for the longest hockey game. They’re looking to break the record set by a group of southern Alberta players in May 2012.
Since 2003, the World’s Longest Hockey Game has raised more than $2.1 million. Money raised this year will help pay for a PET-MR scanner for the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton. The piece of equipment helps doctors and researchers understand cancer behaviour, as well as improve radiation therapy.
The initial game in 2003 was held in memory of Saik’s father, Terry, who died of cancer. The summer after the first game Saik’s first wife, Susan, also succumbed to cancer. Her death prompted the next game in 2005 to be played in her name.
“His history makes it pretty compelling to participate,” Jenelle Saik said of her husband. “I also have family that has battled cancer and lost it and my own cousin is, at the moment, battling cancer. So it’s really near and dear.”
The World’s Longest Hockey Game was held again in 2008 and then in 2011, when a record $1.1 million was raised. The funds went towards the purchase of a new Linear Accelerator used for radiation treatments at the Cross Cancer Institute.
The public is encouraged to come out to support the players, and this year will be able to do so in comfort. Saik and a crew of workers have spent months constructing a facility for the players, referees, medical staff and kitchen staff. The building is also a warm place for fans and sponsors to enjoy the game if gets really cold outside.
Directions: Take Wye Road east from Sherwood Park towards Ardrossan. Turn south on Range Road 220, you will see a Laughing Llama gas station. Continue south for about 2 kilometres. The entrance to Saiker’s Acres will be on your left ,with signage directing you to the parking area.
*Editor’s note: This story was originally published on Friday, Feb. 6, 2015. It was updated most recently on Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015.