The Nova Scotian Peewee AA girl’s championship had two winners this past weekend as the TASA Ducks and Pictou County Selects were crowned co-champions after a marathon game the likes of which has never been seen.
The one-game, winner-take-all championship contest between the Ducks and Selects was 1-1 after three periods of play, and neither team would crack. All told, the two teams battled back and forth through an additional two and one-thirds games. Yes, that’s right: an additional seven sudden-death overtime periods were played without a game-winning goal being scored.
After the seventh overtime, the decision was made for the game to be called in the interest of protecting the “health and safety” of the players, according to Peter Twohig, the regional director for females for Hockey Nova Scotia.
"By the time it got to the seventh overtime it was getting clear to me a lot of the girls were at their limit — their physical limit, and also their psychological limit too,” Twohig told The Canadian Press.
The game between the two teams spanned more than four hours, with puck drop at roughly 11 a.m., and the contest not being called until about 3:30 p.m., with neither team scoring a goal past the second period. Twohig told The Canadian Press that the girls, aged 10 and 11, were given snacks to maintain their energy levels throughout the game, but it got past the point where it made sense to keep the game going.
Initially, Hockey Nova Scotia announced via Twitter that the game had been called and would be finished at a later date, and Hockey Nova Scotia’s director of female hockey, Stephen Murray, said it didn’t seem fair for the game to end in a shootout. Luckily, coaches from TASA and Pictou came up with the idea of both teams being named champions. The decision was supported by Garth Isenor, president of Hockey Nova Scotia, who said the league has to acknowledge how hard both teams battled. Twohig agreed.
"It was amazing to me to watch throughout overtime,” Twohig told The Canadian Press. “They were playing with heart and determination. They're really exceptional athletes.”
And just as it’s unlikely co-champions may never be named again, there’s a real possibility the 10-period game may never be matched, either. According to CTV Atlantic’s Marie Adsett, officials for Hockey Nova Scotia are looking into altering overtime rules and changes could be coming to prevent a repeat of the marathon contest.
(Image via Peter Twohig)