And on the 11th day, Buffalo hockey marathoners break record

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo’s hockey marathoners have overcome injuries, illness, fatigue and countless blisters to unofficially set the record for the longest continuous game.

It happened shortly after 7 a.m. Monday, when the official time clock mounted in the stands overlooking centre ice hit 10 days, 10 hours, 3 minutes and 21 seconds. The time surpassed the previous Guinness World Record mark of 250 hours, 3 minutes and 20 seconds established during an outdoor game outside of Edmonton, Alberta in February 2015.

Fans stood, cheered and hollered, and play was stopped briefly as players hugged on the benches and on the ice. Team Blue was leading Team White 1,723-1,695 in an event dubbed the “11 Day Power Play.”

The game began at 9 p.m. on June 22, when 40 rec-league players — many of them in their 40s — embarked on a round-the-clock bid to break the record and raise $1 million for Buffalo’s Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

They topped the monetary goal before the opening faceoff, and had raised $1.179 million through Sunday.

The game is scheduled to go for another hour.

Marathon organizers must now submit the full-length video of the game and the official scoresheet, which tops more than 50 pages, to Guinness for verification.

Team White’s Kenny Corp was leading scorers with 267 goals based on the statistics compiled through midnight.

The event was organized a year ago by Mike Lesakowski, a 45-year-old environmental engineer. He was motivated to raise money for cancer research after his wife, Amy, was successfully treated for breast cancer at Roswell in 2009, and in honour of his mother who died of cancer last year.

The two teams were split into mostly seven-player groupings (five skaters, a goalie and one substitute), which rotated playing four-hour shifts. Play was allowed to stop each hour for 10 minutes while the ice was cleaned.

Many were forced to take additional shifts or expand their ice time to fill in for those who became sidelined by injuries and illness during the 11-day stretch. Rules prevented the teams from adding replacement new players once the game began.

All 40 finished the game, though goalie Ryan Martin missed several days after coming down with strep throat and had to be quarantined so not to infect other players, and Nicholas Fattey broke his nose after being struck by a puck.

The ice-time was donated by the NHL Buffalo Sabres-owned two-rink HarborCenter hockey and entertainment complex. Numerous restaurants chipped in by donating meals. A group of athletic trainers and therapists were also on hand 24-hours a day to treat injuries, tape up blisters and provide massages.

The players also didn’t leave the facility, and crammed into four rooms that were turned into makeshift sleeping quarters.

As mentally and physically grueling as the game was, Lesakowski was already considering the possibility of holding another marathon to set another record.

“We’ve raised over $1 million, right? And that’s a pretty powerful thing to do,” Lesakowski said on Thursday. “The guys in Canada did it several times and they’ve raised a lot of money for similar good causes. So definitely not going to say never.”

Just Posted

Huge RV resort proposed for Buffalo Lake

Some residents feel 800-lot RV resort too big for area

Updated: Red Deer gets WHL Bantam Draft and Awards Banquet

WHL will holds its draft and awards ceremony in Red Deer for next three years

Land wanted for Central Alberta Foodgrains project

23rd year for Lacombe area charity

Stolen vehicle found thanks to tip from motorist

Charges laid against Red Deer man and Leduc County woman

Updated: Red Deer gets WHL Bantam Draft and Awards Banquet

WHL will holds its draft and awards ceremony in Red Deer for next three years

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Red Deer blood clinic in need of 600 donors

Aunt encourages Central Albertans to donate blood after losing nephew

Court considers banning diesel cars in German cities

BERLIN — A German court began considering Thursday whether authorities should ban… Continue reading

US women beat Canada in Olympic hockey; Gisin tops Shiffrin

PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of — A tense shootout, a dazzling deke and… Continue reading

Trudeau: Invitation should not have gone to Sikh extremist

NEW DELHI — A man who was convicted of trying to assassinate… Continue reading

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

Evangelist Billy Graham, who reached millions, dies at 99

MONTREAT, N.C. — The Rev. Billy Graham, who transformed American religious life… Continue reading

Amid a flood of plastic, big companies see opportunity

LONDON — Public awareness of the problem of plastic waste is swelling… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month