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Photo: Charlotte Checkers

Marathon men: Phantoms win longest AHL game ever

Ten years after the top affiliates of the Philadelphia Flyers and Carolina Hurricanes made American Hockey League history, they were at it again.

Alex Krushelnyski scored 6:48 into the fifth overtime period, giving the Lehigh Valley Phantoms a 2-1 win over the Charlotte Checkers in Game 4 of the Atlantic Division Finals.

The longest game ever played in the 82-year history of the AHL ended at 1:09 a.m. EDT after six hours and six minutes and more than seven periods of hockey.

The Phantoms have taken a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series with Game 5 scheduled for Saturday evening in Charlotte.

Lehigh Valley goaltender Alex Lyon finished with 94 saves on 95 shots, the second-highest total in league history. Lyon stopped the last 79 shots he faced while shutting out the Checkers over the final 119:56 of the game.

Charlotte’s Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 51 of 53 shots in the loss. The Checkers’ 95-53 advantage in shots on goal included a 54-29 edge during sudden-death overtime.

Danick Martel gave the Phantoms a 1-0 lead way back at the 16:24 mark of the first period. Patrick Brown tied it for the Checkers at 6:52 of the second.

The marathon surpassed the previous longest AHL game, a 2008 first-round meeting between the Philadelphia Phantoms and the Albany River Rats. It was also longer than all but three National Hockey League games ever played.

Atlantic Division Finals – Series “I” (best-of-7)
A1-Lehigh Valley Phantoms vs. A3-Charlotte Checkers
Game 1 – Fri., May 4 – LEHIGH VALLEY 2, Charlotte 1 | Recap
Game 2 – Sat., May 5 – Charlotte 6, LEHIGH VALLEY 0 | Recap
Game 3 – Tue., May 8 – Lehigh Valley 5, CHARLOTTE 1 | Recap
Game 4 – Wed., May 9 – Lehigh Valley 2, CHARLOTTE 1 (5OT)
Game 5 – Sat., May 12 – Lehigh Valley at Charlotte, 6:00
*Game 6 – Mon., May 14 – Charlotte at Lehigh Valley, 7:05
*Game 7 – Tue., May 15 – Charlotte at Lehigh Valley, 7:05
*if necessary… All times Eastern