World’s Longest Hockey Game

Players gather at the Cross Cancer Institute to celebrate World’s Longest Hockey Game

This week the Alberta Cancer Foundation hosted the 39 men and one woman who played in the World’s Longest Hockey Game at an appreciation reception. If you are not familiar with what the World’s Longest Hockey Game is, it is just as it sounds—it’s the longest backyard game you can imagine (on an NHL-sized rink). Try 242 straight hours, over the span of 10 days. From sun up to sun down, and back again, these 40 players skated through a mixture of temperatures, stitches, pulled muscles, and frostbite. From February 11 to 21, 2011 these remarkable individuals battling it out on the ice with one goal in mind: raising funds for the Alberta Cancer Foundation in support of the Cross Cancer Institute.

The fourth World’s Longest Hockey Game raised an incredible $1.1 million for the Alberta Cancer Foundation in support of the Cross Cancer Institute. That money went towards the purchase of two new linear accelerators which are now in use at the Cross Cancer Institute. These machines are as sophisticated as it gets, and allow medical teams to target patients’ tumours with a larger dose of radiation and less damage to the surrounding healthy tissue.  Treatment from these machines can now be delivered in about two minutes, instead of 10. That means for an individual patient, shorter treatments and reduced side effects.

Over the 10 day event, a number of inspiring stories arose from players, volunteers, and spectators. From playing in honour of a lost love one, or supporting the cancer survivors in their lives, each player had his or her own personal reason to lace up..

Dr. Brent Saik started the first World’s Longest Hockey Game in 2003 in honour of his father Terry, who died in 1994. While planning that event, his wife Susan, was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma and sadly died in June of that year. In her memory Saik organized another game in 2005, raising $350,000. Through it all Dr. Saik has been the driving force behind the World’s Longest Hockey Game and has continued his relationship with the Cross Cancer Institute. Each hockey game he organized, and played in, grew in scope and after four years, Dr.Saik and his World’s Longest Hockey Game has raised more than $2.2 million in total.

While at the appreciation event on December 3rd, Dr. Saik announced his next world record breaking event, the World’s Longest Baseball Game.  Planning is underway, and the first pitch is expected to be thrown out in spring 2014. We can’t wait to be cheering him on!

Thank you to all the volunteers, refs, sponsors and players for their commitment and congratulations to all who helped raise more than $1.1 million for the Alberta Cancer Foundation to support the Cross Cancer Institute!