A group of hockey players at an outdoor rink just east of Edmonton has finished the world's longest game, breaking a record they set twice before.
To blaring rock music and the cheering of several hundred Family Day spectators, the two teams of 20 broke their former record just after 1 p.m. MT Monday. They kept the game going for 241 straight hours — more than 10 days of continuous hockey.
Their old record, set three years earlier, was 240 straight hours.
The project was spearheaded by optometrist Brent Saik and played on a regulation-size rink in his backyard in Sherwood Park. The teams say they've raised about $300,000 for pediatric cancer research so far and hope to have $500,000 in total.
The idea began when Saik's father died of cancer in 1991, which led to the first record setting game — 82 hours in 2003 — raising $130,000 for cancer research.
The 2005 edition was spurred both by the death of Saik's wife from cancer, and the fact that a team in Sudbury, Ont., had beat their 2003 record.
But to many, the record was only a part of the reason they participated.
"How can you play the game you love for a better cause than what we're doing it for?" asked team member Daryl Ramano.
While temperatures hovered around a balmy 0 C for the final few days of the record-setting attempt, the weather was bone-chilling at the start of the 10-day marathon, with wind chills making it feel like about –35 C.
"I was like, oh my God, if this is normal, I'm going to die. I had everything on I brought and it was still not enough," said Samuel Wetherill, who came all the way from Atlanta to play.
The record-breaking effort involved a cast of hundreds, with volunteers working to provide medical treatment, massage therapy, food and hot drinks to keep the players going.
It's expected to take several months to have the record verified by Guinness World Records.
The final score, which organizers said was far from accurate — Team Cure had 2,250, while Team Hope had 2,223.