The good ol’ hockey game

There are sports events that turn out to be rather boring affairs, probably even not worth the money for a ticket. On the other hand, some may turn out to be special, unique, totally unexpected, repaying the spectators so much more than the price value of their tickets. As would happen yesterday in Hamar’s Olympic Amphitheatre (now called “CC Amfi” or “Nordlyshallen”).

The Storhamar Dragons and visiting Sparta Warriors faced off in game five of the best-of-seven quarterfinals of Norway’s premier ice hockey league. Despite their rather aggressively sounding names, both teams apparently excelled with their defensive skills even more, and so the game went into overtime with a 1-1 score, where the ‘sudden death’-rule applied: The first team to score wins. It could have been a matter of seconds or maybe a few minutes. It wasn’t…

The game had started at 6pm. The decisive goal was scored no earlier than 2.32am that night. 217 minutes, 14 seconds of net game time. Joakim Jensen finally secured the win for the hosts, ending the longest game ever played in the history of ice hockey. The previous record had been held by a 1936 Stanley Cup match between the Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Maroons. And that was 41 minutes shorter…

Players from both teams now have rather little time to rest before they’ll face each other again, Tuesday night (sorry, evening, hopefully…) in Sarpsborg.

PS. Tennis pro John Isner, who has had his own experience of a ‘marathon match’ defeating Nicolas Mahut in Wimbledon 2010 after 11 hours and five minutes (6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 70-68!), tweeted to his former opponent, upon hearing the news, just two words:

‘Child’s play’

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