Friday, April 25, 2008

The AHL marathon

Ryan Potulny’s first goal of the playoffs, 2:58 into the fifth overtime, ended the longest game in American Hockey League history, lifting the Philadelphia Phantoms past the Albany River Rats, 3-2, at the Times Union Center.

Potulny scored on the Phantoms’ 101st shot of the game, beating Rats goaltender Michael Leighton with a 15-foot wrist shot from the slot and ending the game at 12:39 this morning after 142 minutes and 58 seconds. Leighton finished with an AHL-record 98 saves.
It takes an awful lot for the AHL playoffs to get a mention, anywhere, given when they take place, but this certainly qualifies.

This game went from 7:01 p.m. until 12:39 a.m., nearly six hours, and I don't imagine many of the 1,809 in attendance at puck drop were still around.

The shots on goal were reasonable in regulation, Philadelphia 38, Albany 32, but the Phantoms peppered Leighton in the first and second overtimes with 37 shots.

I believe the modern NHL record is 70 saves, made by Ron Tugnutt, but that Kelly Hrudey holds the postseason record with 73.



At 1:32 p.m., April 25, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

That Tugnutt 70 save performance is for a regular season game, is it not? I don't know what the record is if you include the playoffs, which have multiple overtimes to pad the stats. Tugnutt's performance was remarkable, given that he kept Quebec in the game as they tied Boston 3-3.

At 1:39 p.m., April 25, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Yeah, I was looking for the playoff record and couldn't find it. I'll keep digging.

At 1:44 p.m., April 25, 2008, Anonymous Karina said...

I'm pretty sure Kelley Hrudey holds the playoff record, I seem to remember him mentioning it on HNIC last year after the multiple overtime Van/Dallas game. I think it's around 73, and Luongo was one save short of tying it? Something like that.

At 1:52 p.m., April 25, 2008, Blogger sager said...

Hrudey stopped 73 in that Caps-Isles 4-overtime game in '87.

At 4:22 p.m., April 26, 2008, Blogger Bruce said...

Not the record-holder, but Dominik Hasek recorded a 70-save shutout in an epic goaltending duel with Martin Brodeur way back in 1993-94, before either of them were a household name. Buffalo's 50th shot, by Dave Hannan, ended the marathon after 65:43 of OT. Six scoreless periods: a "double double shutout".

Ron Tugnutt meanwhile had two 70-save games, a regular season affair with the Nords in the Boston Garden (65 minutes) and a five OT game with Pittsburgh against Philadelphia (152 minutes) when Keith Primeau finally beat Tugnutt on Philly's 72nd shot for a 2-1 Flyer win.

Finally, there's this from the "Legends of Hockey" site.

Normie Smith will always be remembered for the first game of the Stanley Cup semi-finals in 1936 against the Montreal Maroons when he and his Red Wing teammates won the longest game in hockey history. After three regulation periods of shutout hockey, the game went into overtime--six overtime periods to be exact. The Red Wings finally scored at 2:25 a.m. and 176 minutes of game time. Smith earned the shutout by making 92 saves.

Mud Bruneteau etched his name in hockey lore with the OT winner that night, er, morning, but Normie Smith (and his counterpart Lorne Chabot) deserve a lot of the credit. I don't think shots on goal were maintained officially in those days, so can't speak to the veracity of that number, but ~90 shots in 9 periods doesn't seem unreasonable. Can't find any record of how many saves Chabot made in defeat in that game, or in victory in the second longest game in NHL history (another 6 OT, 1-0 affair three years earlier). I did however find a couple of references that the Guinness Book of Records recognized Smith's 92 saves as world record.


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