Phantoms win longest game in AHL history


Video: Watch the winning goal (PBP: Owen Newkirk, Albany River Rats)
Video: Watch Philadelphia’s 100th shot (PBP: Owen Newkirk, Albany River Rats)
Audio: Hear the winning goal (PBP: Mike Thornton, Philadelphia Phantoms)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The Philadelphia Phantoms have defeated the Albany River Rats, 3-2, at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y., in the longest game in the 72-year history of the American Hockey League.

Ryan Potulny’s goal at 2:58 of the fifth overtime period gave the Phantoms the win and a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven East Division semifinal series. Game 6 is Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia.

The winning goal was scored at 12:39 a.m. EDT on Friday morning, five hours and 38 minutes after the game began.

Philadelphia took an incredible 101 shots on goal in the game, and Albany’s Michael Leighton, who won the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Award as the AHL’s outstanding goaltender during the 2007-08 regular season, made 98 saves, believed to be an AHL record. The Phantoms’ Scott Munroe stopped 65 of 67 shots to earn the win.

Albany’s Kiel McLeod netted a pair of goals in regulation, both coming in the second period to give the River Rats 1-0 and 2-1 advantages.

But the Phantoms’ Jared Ross responded to tie the score on both occasions, including a tally at 15:13 of the third period to send the contest to overtime.

It remained deadlocked at 2-2 for more than three hours of real time before Potulny finally ended it in the fifth extra session.

The marathon surpassed the previous longest game, a 2003 Calder Cup Final game between Hamilton and Houston that went 14:56 into a fourth overtime. It was also longer than all but three NHL games ever played.

Longest games, Calder Cup Playoffs (by OT played)
1. Apr. 24, 2008 — Philadelphia 3 at Albany 2 — 82:58
2. May 30, 2003 — Houston 1 at Hamilton 2 — 74:56
3. Apr. 10, 1982 — Rochester 2 at New Haven 3 — 74:08
4. Apr. 4, 1938 — Syracuse 3 at Cleveland 2 — 62:42
5. Apr. 14, 1953 — Cleveland 2 at Pittsburgh 3 — 61:46