Very few things are more Canadian than a fresh sheet of ice and some shinny hockey. The cold crisp air, tossing your sticks in the middle, and playing until you can’t feel your extremities are a right of passage in the Great White North. The only way to make this more Canadian is to attach it to a cause and go for a Guiness World Record.
Let’s take a trip to beautiful Saiker’s Acres, just east of Sherwood Park, Alberta where the World’s Longest Hockey Game recently took place. Organized every three years by Brent Saiker, the event pits two teams in one continuous hockey game while raising money for cancer research. The event itself began in 2003 with 40 players going head to head for 80 continuous hours. The inaugural game raised $150,000 and the event as a whole has raised just below $6M in the 6 events they’ve held it.
This year’s event began on February 4th and ran all the way through February 15th. Adversity was no stranger as these few brave souls chased the World Record for the Longest Hockey game. Starting first and foremost with the obvious, the COVID-19 implications. The event finally got the green light from the Alberta government, just hours before puck drop.
As part of the agreement the player’s were all given their own trailers to live in, alone during the event. The tournament came with it’s own small features for family and friends such as a drive through so that they can come by and watch some of the action from afar. Also in typical COVID fashion, the game featured high profiles guest such as the Night King and Bernie Sanders equipped with his wool mittens.
Once the puck dropped things only got tougher as Mother Nature did her best to test the player’s resilience. Arctic like weather swooped down upon Saiker’s acres, dropping temperatures to below -50 degree celcius during the day. I don’t even want to know how bad it got over night. Weather conditions were so frigid that equipment malfunctions stole the show on a couple of occasions.
Not to be lost in all of this is the incredible work done by the players themselves. Every player involved is not only volunteering their time for almost two full weeks, but each player has set their own target goal for money raised. The group includes 14 year NHL alum Kyle Brodziak, whose career included a stop in Edmonton.
You can visit their website for a full list of players, referees and even the Zamboni driver, all of whom you can personally donate to.
The organizing committee set the bar ambitiously high this year in terms of money raised. The goal was to beat the previous record of $1.2M with the goal set at $1.5M, which they have already surpassed! The total amount raised sits at a little over $1.6M with a new goal of $2M by the end of the day, today!
If you would like to contribute please visit their site! The event’s online auction ends tonight at 9 pm (I assume Mountain Time, so 11pm EST), so be sure to check them out today as they attempt to reach $2M!
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Hot Sauce Family! This week on NSFW, Peeze, Terry and Eagle sit down with Montreal media legend John Lu to talk Habs, John’s self-scouting report and what he is looking forward to most when the pandemic is over!