Nova Scotia hockey officials say they have never seen anything like it: A provincial championship game still undecided after 10 periods.
And so, after what is thought to be the longest hockey game in Nova Scotia history, the province's female championship was declared a 1-1 tie on Saturday, and co-champions declared.
"The game went on, and went on, and went on," said Peter Twohig, regional director for females for Hockey Nova Scotia. "I've seen a lot of triple overtime games, but I've never seen anything like I watched today."
The game was for the Peewee AA championship, involving the best 10- and 11-year-old girls in the province. The TASA Ducks of Tantallon, N.S., squared off against the Pictou County Selects.
The game started at 11 a.m., and was finally called at about 3:30 p.m., after the seventh overtime period.
"It was amazing to me to watch throughout overtime. They were playing with heart and determination. They're really exceptional athletes," said Twohig.
'At their limit'
There had been no scoring since the second period. The girls were given oranges and other sustenance to keep them going through each 15-minute period, but eventually parents and coaches began to worry about the girls' safety, Twohig said.
"By the time it got to the 7th overtime, it was getting clear to me a lot of the girls were at their limit — their physical limit, and also their psychological limit too."
Hockey Nova Scotia has no rules on how to handle such circumstances. Twohig consulted with league officials, and they decided to end the game after 10 periods.
Period nine. Female provincial peewee AA championship pic.twitter.com/l5QAWYSUK9— @Ptwohig
Stephen Murray, director of female hockey in the province, said they initially thought they would schedule another championship game later.
"We're not going to settle it by way of a shootout, it just doesn't seem fair to these kids," said Murray.
The two teams' coaches had another idea. They raised the prospect of declaring co-champions, said Twohig.
That idea appealed to Garth Isenor, president of Hockey Nova Scotia.
"We have to look at what it is the girls have accomplished. For them to battle that long, we have to acknowledge it," he said.
"We've always had a provincial champion. And in my mind, we have a champion this year — we just have champions."