When the Midget AA Streetsville Tigers and Mississauga Jets hit the ice at 8:30 p.m. on Monday, March 20 for their first game of the division finals, they never expected the game to be a three-day long affair.
“We came into the dressing after the second overtime period we kind of realized that it might take a while,” explained Mississauga Jets’ Alexander Russo. “Both goalies were playing well and both teams were keeping it tight.”
In the fifth overtime period, three and a half hours after puck drop, the Jets and Tigers were curfewed without a deciding result.
“I knew before the series started that the games were going to be tight and a battle every shift,” said Randy Yerxa of the Streetsville Tigers.
The Tigers and Jets would return to finish their game on Wednesday, March 22, but it would almost 10 minutes into the sixth overtime period before a result was decided.
“Honestly, as the periods wore on, the mood on the bench got lighter,” said Tigers Head Coach John Robillos, who had never participated in a game of such length. “The players were enjoying the craziness of the moment, almost in a state of disbelief.”
Finally, with 6:48 left in the sixth overtime period, Luke Buckler would score for the Tigers after over 90 minutes of hockey.
“I mostly just felt relieved that it was over,” explained Buckler. “I really didn’t want to lose the game after playing for that long so we were all pretty excited when we finally won.”
If the regular season was any indication, players like Yerxa and Buckler were prepared for what was to come in the series. In their four meetings this season, the two teams have tied twice and exchanged wins in the other matchups. The Jets and Tigers also finished the regular season in first and second place, respectively.
Game two of the series started on Wednesday after the conclusion of the sixth overtime period of game one. Game two also went to overtime, with the Jets taking the honours as overtime heroes.
With six overtime periods played, the game goes down in modern GTHL history as one of the longest playoff games to ever be played. The Jets currently lead the 8 point series 6-2.