AHL history made in Charlotte with longest game
At Wednesday's Charlotte Checkers game, $1 beer night became $1 beer morning.
The match between the Checkers and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms became the longest game in American Hockey League history.
It had five overtime periods, which made the game last until after 1 a.m. An average hockey game lasts anywhere from two to two and a half hours. Considering Wednesday night's contest began at 7 p.m., it lasted more than twice as long as normal.
Even though the Checkers lost, the team's Twitter account had fun with the historic night.
At first, there was excitement as the game moved into double overtime. It broke records as it advanced to a triple overtime, becoming the longest in Checkers' history.
By the fourth overtime period, the team Twitter account asked if someone could make an automated tweet to announce the possible remaining overtime periods that would follow.
The team even enlisted help from the Carolina Hurricanes to seek a conclusion to the game, and tweeted "Ya'll wanna tag in?" to the NHL team.
At around 1 a.m., the game became the longest in minor league hockey history, three minutes into the fifth overtime.
It abruptly ended about seven minutes in, when Phantoms winger Alex Krushelnyski scored on Checkers goalie Alex Nedeljkovic. The game might have ended sooner, if not for the sensational play of Phantoms goalie Alex Lyon. Lyon stopped 94 of the Checkers' 95 shots, which is the second-highest total in AHL history.
And, if you're curious, fans did stay for the duration of the game, though only a few hundred of the more than 5,000 that showed up for the start of the match.
One fan wrote on Twitter that she was "going crazy" by the third overtime. Another vented that she needed to sleep soon, while one group tweeted a picture showing they intended to sleep during the game.
Wednesday's game broke the previous record for longest game that was set in 2008 — coincidentally, that game was between the same two franchises (although at the time, the Hurricanes' affiliate was from Albany, not Charlotte).
The NHL's record for longest game is six overtimes, a mark set in 1936. This game was longer than all but three games in NHL history.
Brendan Marks contributed to this report.