They're Great Ones
Date: Tuesday, February 18 2003
Brent Saik and teammates keep longest hockey game title thanks to generous St. Albert teens
Skating off the ice after 80 solid hours of hockey, it looked like they'd only hold their hard-won record for a day.
Then Brent Saik learned a crew of St. Albert teens would leave his Sherwood Park team with the Guinness record for the longest hockey game - ending their own marathon game after exactly 79 hours and 59 minutes.
"It's a pretty classy and impressive, to say the least," Saik said last night.
"It's a hard thing to do, and a tough thing to go through before giving it up. It's a pretty nice surprise."
But not the first, Saik said. "The main surprise was the people who came out."
Saik said he was stunned by the community support, and the number of people who brought their fund-raising drive for cancer research past the $40,000 mark.
Early yesterday, Jeff Beaton said the remaining players from Bellerose composite high school in St. Albert reached a consensus on their shot at the record.
"We had a lot of respect for the Sherwood Park guys and everything they've done," said Beaton. "And we decided they deserve the record."
They also deserved a special donation, he said, which St. Albert players made to Saik and his teammates after they wrapped up their game at 10:16 p.m. yesterday. Beaton's team donated $2,000 to Saik's cause.
Strapped into hockey equipment since 8 a.m. yesterday, and with two hours to go before the end of their game, Beaton said last night his team had shrunk from 36 players to just 11 over the course of the game.
One went to hospital with a bad case of bronchitis, another had a touch of pneumonia and the others threw in the towel from exhaustion, Beaton said.
"We're really proud of every individual who's been a part of this," he said.
"Some of the kids didn't realize how big it was going to be. As a group we were ready, but some individuals weren't properly prepared for that long a game."
Today, he'll probably be taking a long soak in a hot bath or crawling into bed, Beaton said.
Saik's teammates dropped by to offer the younger players tips yesterday, Beaton said. Their best advice: bananas help with aching joints and cramped muscles, so eat a lot of them.
Along with 38 other guys, Saik finished a gruelling hockey marathon early Sunday to take the record for the world's longest game.
The push to beat the standing record was an excuse to raise money for the Cross Cancer Pediatric Research Centre, says Saik.
Guinness now has to review about 40 hours of videotape before they award the official win.