WATCH ABOVE: Lisa Wolansky and Jessica Kent report from the final day of the World’s Longest Hockey Game
EDMONTON – After 10 grueling days the World’s Longest Hockey Game ended Monday evening for the 40 players and dozens of volunteers.
The game – held at Saiker’s Acres in Strathcona County – raised money for Alberta Cancer Foundation and surpassed the Guinness World Record at 2 p.m. Monday of 246 hours of consecutive hockey, although Guinness will review camera footage and documents before determining whether the record will be made official. The players stayed on the ice until 6 p.m. to reach 250 hours.
It was a rewarding but challenging journey for the players, who dealt with a variety of weather conditions, as well as fatigue and injury. One player was forced to stop playing after tearing a hamstring.
“It’s been hard but it’s been an experience. It’s been a journey,” said Janne Niinimaa, former NHL player.
“The atmosphere has been the same as it was at the beginning, middle, three-quarters. It’s just the same the entire time. Everybody is excited to go out,” explained Brent Saik, organizer.
The players give credit to the volunteers for helping to make the conditions on and off the ice possible for them to carry on through the ten days.
“It’s been as amazing as ever. I’m surrounded by pretty amazing volunteers and friends that play, and my wife and kids,” said Saik.
“The game wouldn’t be what it is without the volunteers getting everything going for us,” says Scott Littlefair, player.
Littefair – who is participating in the game for a third time – also gives credit to all the fans who have come out to show their support.
“When the fans come out the pace of the game changes. When the fans leave in the evenings it slows down a little bit. It lets the players relax. When they come out we definitely have an energy boost.”
This year marks the 5th time the event has been held. The first game was held in 2003, and was played again in 2005, 2008, and 2011.
“Ask anybody who has ever played in this game: it’s something you’ll remember for the rest of your life,” said Saik.
The first game was held in honour of Brent Saik’s father, Terry, who lost his battle with cancer in 1994. After organizing the first game, Saik’s wife Susan was diagnosed with cancer, which led to her death.
As of early Monday afternoon organizers said $800,000 had been raised. The goal for the charity event is $1 million.
The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation donated $10,000 on the final day.
“We’re so proud of everyone who has been out at Saiker’s Acres for the past 10 days and are honoured to play a part in raising funds for the Alberta Cancer Foundation,” said Natalie Minckler, EOCF Executive Director.
For more information, visit the World’s Longest Hockey Game’s website.
WATCH: Video gallery from the World’s Longest Hockey Game