The longest hockey game in NHL history took place during the 1936 Stanley Cup playoffs in a contest between Detroit and Montreal, the home team.
It featured almost nine periods of scoreless play before Red Wings rookie Modere “Mud” Bruneteau finally put the puck in the net.
Seventy-five years later, 40 young women made Mud and his buds look like a bunch of short-distance amateurs when they set a world record for the longest hockey game in history, certified by Guinness World Records: 243 hours and five minutes.
More than 10 days.
It took place right here in the Lower Mainland—at Burnaby’s 8 Rinks, in fact, in August and September 2011—and the goal of the whole exhausting enterprise was, and still is, to raise both research funds and awareness of the inherited disease cystic fibrosis.
And that they did, getting their story out through multiple media outlets and amassing an amazing $165,000 in donations for Cystic Fibrosis Canada.
Local filmmakers Sharron Bates and Carmen Klotz recorded the marathon scrimmage, dubbed The Longest Game 4 CF, and produced a 68-minute documentary, Lace Bite. The movie will get its first Vancouver screenings Saturday (November 17) at the Vancity Theatre at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. (The earlier screening is sold-out, but tickets remain for the later showing.)
Doors open at noon for the afternoon fundraising party (jointly presented by CF Canada and Beyond Your Eye Productions), and the festivities will include a cash bar (Parallel 49, Quail’s Gate, Gray Monk), food (Bella Cakes, Whole Foods), a Q & A, and a meet-and-greet with the stars of the show, the players themselves.
Klotz told the Straight by phone that most of the players came from recreational leagues in the Lower Mainland but that some came from Vancouver Island, and there were even a few from Alberta and Ontario. “It was a mixed bag of skating levels,” she said. “Then there were girls who never played hockey before.”
The ordeal—”It was really hard, harder than they expected,” Klotz said—raised blisters, caused concussions, and reduced many of the skaters to a zombielike level of exhaustion.
But it was something unexpected that gave the film its title. Klotz explained that a tendon in the front of the foot, right under the skate laces, gets irritated and swells, painfully, after a few hours of nonstop skating. The ailment's name? Lace bite.
“That was the number-one injury among the girls,” she said.
There are a lot of good causes out there to which you can devote a few of your discretionary dollars, but researching a cure for cystic fibrosis—which is the most common fatal inherited disease in Canada and which gets left in the dust, generally speaking, of such high-profile fundraisers as cancer and heart disease—is surely one of the better choices.