The final buzzer sounded after 252 hours with Team Hope coming out on top 2,649 to Team Cure’s 2,528. More importantly, $1.84M dollar were raised for cancer research thanks to the 40 players.
Dubbed the World’s Longest Hockey Game, the seventh annual event began on Feb. 4 and ended early Monday morning in Sherwood Park, Alberta with a fireworks celebration.
According to CTV News, the money raised for this year’s event will support clinical trials of a new cancer drug, which has shown good signs in treating blood cancers.
Due to COVID-19, the event was a little different for 2021. No spectators were allowed but it was live streamed on YouTube. The players also had to follow protocols, as CTV noted:
In order to receive a provincial exemption to public health rules, participants had to isolate at home and on site and were tested for COVID-19 daily. Even though they lived in a bubble, they also limited their interactions with each other, refs needed to stay off the ice, and no spectators were allowed.
Below freezing nights
Extremely cold weather hit the area during the 11-day event with temperatures reaching -40 C some nights. The deep freeze even affected game pucks:
It's so cold that the pucks keep shattering at #WorldsLongestGame. Pic by goalie Andrew Buchanan. If you can, please donate at https://t.co/Et56u7w1DQ and help them reach (and break) their previous fundraising records. pic.twitter.com/TuMmFDT5OX
— Alex (@Lakoustic) February 9, 2021
Brent Saik, the Oilers optometrist, was the organizer of the event and has fundraised for the Cross Cancer Institute at the University of Alberta for 25 years after his father died of cancer in 1994.
“The troops were unreal. A lot being new people, had no idea what they’re getting involved in,” Saik said, via Global News. “Just eyes wide open and wanted to take it all in and they did. They took every piece of advice that was needed, they listened and they talked and gave advice. Everything that they did was perfect.”
World’s Longest Games have raised over $5.5M for cancer research since 2003.
Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.