Alberta Cancer Foundation

The World’s Longest Hockey Game

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James Rosenau (left) will play in Brent Saik’s (right) fundraising hockey game, which strives to break a Guinness World Record. But first the pair are helping construct a new NHL-size arena and clubhouse for the February game that’s expected to last 10-plus days at Saik’s Ardrossan home. Photo by Raymond Reid

Maybe you’re tired of writing cheques or signing petitions, and even a bucket of ice seems tame. Lucky for you, Brent Saik hosts a fundraising hockey game accurately described as “primal.”

From an NHL-size rink on his acreage near Ardrossan, in 2003 Saik started his tradition of beating the Guinness World Record for the world’s longest hockey game, which at the time was 82 hours long. In 2011, he and other participants played for 242 hours: more than 10 days non-stop. In 2008, the temperature plummeted to -51 C and one participant actually lost a toe to frostbite. It’s not all missing appendages, however – as the competition increased, so did the fundraising. In 2011, Saik and the Alberta Cancer Foundation raised $1.3 million, and they’re hoping to surpass the $2-million mark in February.

“Everybody out there has a little bit of competitiveness in them,” Saik says. And who wouldn’t, with a crowd of 50,000, including local media personalities in attendance? For 10 days, legions of spectators will bring their motor homes to Saik’s property to watch the event, and more than 800 volunteers, from referees to police officers, will assist.

The event doesn’t only stem from Saik’s passion for hockey. “My dad had died of cancer, and we were trying to raise money for it,” he says. “I built a hockey rink at my house and it grew from there. As we were playing the first game, my wife was diagnosed with cancer, and she subsequently passed away.” From this tragedy, Saik built the event into something he will pass on to his daughter and son. “Hopefully a legacy is created, and this thing can just keep going and going,” he says.

The record to beat in 2015 is 252 hours, set by a group in Calgary. So from February 6 to 16, 2015, help Saik and the Alberta Cancer Foundation once again break the record and keep the momentum going. You can donate at worldslongestgame.com.