Alberta Cancer Foundation

The Million-Dollar Game

STICK IT: Team Hope and Team Cure unite to put cancer on ice.

Before he passed away from cancer, Brent Saik’s father wanted to do something for the children at the Cross Cancer Institute. “He had a hard time seeing the kids that were there,” explains Saik, a Sherwood Park optometrist who organizes the World’s Longest Hockey Game in honour of his father and wife who also passed away from cancer.

After a year of setup and with the help of 800 volunteers, two hockey teams of 20 players each take the outdoor ice in a Guinness World Record attempt for the World’s Longest Hockey Game. The fourth event takes place on Feb. 11, 2011. He says the coldest day they’ve played so far hit -51 C, but the frigid temperatures don’t deter them.

“Everybody that plays has to have some tie to cancer unfortunately, so we remind each other of the battles our family members and friends had to go through. That’s sort of our little battle.”

The first game lasted 82 hours, the second game 240 hours and the third game 241, which raised $750,000. Because Guinness does not allow substitutes, players are on the ice for about four hours straight before they can take a three-hour break, but every year, they’ve been able to break the previous record.

“The Guinness record is always second,” says Saik. “We’re always about raising money for the Alberta Cancer Foundation to support pediatric research at the Cross Cancer Institute, so this year we’re calling it the million-dollar game because we want to raise a million dollars. If we raise a million dollars after five days, we’ll quit. If not, we’ll play to beat our old record.”