Belarusian teams needed six OTs in third longest hockey game in history

The great thing about playoff hockey is that you never know when the game is going to end.

When Belarusians HK Gomel and HC Neman Grodno dropped the puck at 7 p.m. local time on Wednesday night, they had no idea they were about to make hockey history.

After 169:04 of play, Krystian Dziubinski was the extra-time hero for Neman Grodno as they won the fifth game of their Belarusian Extraliga series, 2-1. The six overtime required to determine the winner made it the third longest game in hockey history, according to the IIHF.

By comparison, the longest overtime game in NHL history was in 1936 with the Detroit Red Wings ahead of the Montreal Maroons 1-0 after 116:30. The longest game of hockey the story happened in 2017 when Storhamar Ishockey beat Sparta Sarpsborg 2-1 in eighth overtime after 157: 14.

Here’s how Dziubinski’s goal sounded at nearly 2 a.m. local time:

Gomel goalkeeper Maxim Lubski finished the night with 67 saves, while Grodno’s Maxim Gorodetski blocked 78 shots.

“We all understood that it is also very difficult for the goalkeepers to work for nine shifts,” Dziubinski said on the Belarusian Ice Hockey Federation website. “At the time of goal, I thought a strong shot was the best thing to do in this situation. Don’t try to outsmart the goalkeeper with your hands, don’t go head-to-head, d ‘ especially since the defender from Gomel was already approaching me, I played from a single, and everything went well!

Hard reminder for losing coach

It was another unpleasant overtime experience for Gomel head coach Sergei Stas. In 2015, while playing for Gomel, his team lost a playoff game in sixth overtime after 165: 11. As you can imagine, he was having thoughts on coming out on the losing side again.

“In some ways it’s a bit of a parody of the game,” he told IIHF.com. “Maybe it would be worth putting a limit on the amount of overtime we play. Instead of going on for six spells, maybe we need to imagine some kind of shootout. End at 2am, it’s just…”

The teams don’t have long to rest. They had to return to Grodno for Game 6 on Friday night with Grodno holding a 3-2 lead in the series.

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Sean leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Catherine J. Martinez