The Blog believes the South Carolina Stingrays and Gwinnett Gladiators will be missing the usual jump in their legs when they meet for Game 4 of their ECHL Eastern Conference first-round playoff series Sunday night.
That's because they played the equivalent of more than two games tonight -- South Carolina won 4-3 in four overtimes. At 124 minutes, 19 seconds, the match checked in as the second-longest in league history, about two minutes shy of the record.
And you no doubt are asking yourself, "Self -- I wonder if there's an Alaska connection?''
You know you've come to the right place. There are several, the easiest of which is the Alaska Aces played South Carolina in the 2009 Kelly Cup Finals, losing Game 7 to the Stingrays. And Gwinnett is the team the Aces beat to win the 2006 Kelly Cup. One of Gwinnett's skaters tonight was fresh-out-of-college rookie Mario Lamoureux, the younger brother of former Aces goalie Jean-Philippe Lamoureux, who took the Aces all the way to that Game 7. And tonight's game winner was scored at 4:19 of the fourth OT by defenseman Zach Tarkir, who is the twin brother of former UAA winger Chris Tarkir. And South Carolina's head coach is former UAA forward Spencer Carbery. And South Carolina's backup goalie tonight was former Aces goalie Billy Sauer. And the game was played at The Arena at Gwinnett Center, where the Aces won that 2006 Cup. (The Blog is killin' it with Alaska connections!)
Also, tonight's game mean the Aces' 4-3 triple OT win over the Las Vegas Wranglers on May 2, 2006 -- free drinks for life, Cam Keith!!! -- drops to the fifth-longest game in league history at 113:30.
Tonight's match lasted 5 hours, 4 minutes, ending at 12:12 p.m. EDT.
After South Carolina defenseman Dustin Stevenson scored at 2:15 of the third period to forge a 2-2 tie, the teams went scoreless for 82:04, the equivalent of more than four periods, before Tarkir scored. And that meant South Carolina goalie Rob Madore, who gave up a goal in the latter stages of the second period, went the final 89:01 with giving up a goal.
Oh, and that longest game in ECHL history? Elmira 5, Trenton 4, checked in at 126:10 on April 10, 2009.