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Marathon men: Phantoms win longest AHL game ever

Photo: Charlotte Checkers

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