PLYMOUTH, Minn. – It’s a wonder they even had the energy to celebrate.
Edina’s Junior Gold A hockey team captured the state title Monday, but only after a game against their arch-rival and top-ranked Wayzata that stretched out over two days and seven overtime periods.
The contest began Sunday at 4:30 p.m., but was suspended when a power outage knocked out electricity to the Plymouth Ice Center. Tournament organizers scheduled the game to resume at 7 p.m. Monday night, but the contest was locked up 2-2 at the end of regulation. So the teams played… and played… and played.
The teams skated three 10-minute overtime periods, the ice was resurfaced, then three more 10-minute periods and a second resurfacing. Finally, with 6:03 left in the seventh overtime Edina defenseman Chris Bloom scored a power play goal to mercifully end the hockey marathon at 10:12 p.m.
“It was definitely the craziest game I’ve ever been in,” said Chris Bloom, who scored the winning goal. “It’s a team game, everyone helped.”
The players were understandably running on empty after all that hockey, but the on-ice drama left coaches, managers and parents exhausted as well.
“You’ve got to leave it up to fate,” said Edina team manager Krista Gresham. “There are going to be mistakes and you don’t want it to be your kid out there.”
According to the Minnesota State High School League, the most overtimes in a game ever recorded at the high school level is 11 back in 1955. But that game lasted 93 minutes and 12 seconds, which would appear to make Sunday-Monday’s game the longest in a high school level game in state history.
“109 overtime minutes I believe it calculated to,” said Edina coach Bill Smith, “It got to be man oh man, let’s get this over. It was complete exhaustion. I was almost as tired as the kids.”
Edina now advances to the National Junior Gold Tournament in St. Louis. No matter how they do, they are proud to be the first Junior Gold A team to represent Minnesota at a national tournament. Besides, they played in a historic game that will likely be the source of stories for decades to come.
“Epic,” sighed Gresham.
Players on the Edina Junior Gold A roster are Christopher Bloom, Alex Branton, J R Brauer, Nick Chamberlain, Devin Decker, Colin Dunn, Samuel Dunn, Hunter Gervais, Andrew Gresham, Jack Jahnke, Michael Miller, Noah Ostlie, Owen Palmer, Michael Sarp, Ryan Spades, Jack Stanchfield, Bobby Terwilliger and Jack Vorlicky. Head Coach is Bill Smith, and his assistants are Rick Barnes, Sammy Schultz and Jimmy Kohler.