Losing goalie makes 98 saves in five-OT AHL playoff game

Updated: April 25, 2008, 4:24 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Ryan Potulny scored at 2:58 of the fifth overtime to give the Philadelphia Phantoms a 3-2 victory over the Albany River Rats early Friday in the longest game in American Hockey League's 72-year history.

Michael Leighton made 98 saves for the River Rats, and Scott Munroe stopped 65 shots for the Phantoms, who took a club-record 101 shots (breaking the previous mark of 64).

An AHL spokesman told the Albany Times Union that Leighton's 98 saves is believed to be a record, surpassing the 83 saves Ty Conklin made for Hamilton in the game that previously held the record as the league's longest. He made 62 of his 98 saves in the five overtimes, including 20 in the first OT alone.

According to the newspaper, only 1,809 attended the game, and of that, only a few hundred remained at the end of the historic game. And fans who stuck around might have been up for a post-game snack: The concession stands at the arena shut down around 9 p.m.

At 12:38 a.m., just two minutes into the fifth overtime, the Phantoms took their 100th shot, the Times Union reported. The shots-on-goal counter on the scoreboard, unable to deal with the three-digit situation, clicked to "0."

And in what could be considered a huge injustice to goalies everywhere, Leighton was voted only the second star of the game. Potulny got the first star.

"It doesn't matter how many shots they got, they got the win. It's definitely disappointing for myself. It was fun to be a part of a game like that, but you want to end it on a winning note,'' Leighton said, according to the newspaper.

The game ran 142 minutes, 58 seconds of scoreboard time and 5 hours, 38 minutes of actual time.

"Most guys are tired after one game ... We just played almost three," Leighton said, according to the Times Union. "It's definitely a tough loss for us. Everyone's tired, but we're going to have a day off tomorrow and travel to Philly and try to get some wins there.''

In the previous longest game in the AHL, Michael Ryder scored at 14:56 of the fourth overtime to give Hamilton a 2-1 victory over Houston in the 2003 Calder Cup finals.

In the longest game in NHL history, Mud Bruneteau scored at 16:30 of the sixth overtime to give Detroit a 1-0 victory over the Montreal Maroons in the 1936 Stanley Cup semifinals.

Jared Ross had scored the first two Phantoms goals, including the tying shot with less than five minutes left to play in regulation.

Because Game 2 of the Montreal Canadiens-Philadelphia Flyers Stanley Cup playoffs series is at 7 p.m. Saturday in Montreal, the Phantoms have moved the starting time of their Game 6 at the Wachovia Center to 1:05 p.m.

Philadelphia leads the best-of-seven series, 3-2.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.