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Eight overtimes and more than eight hours: Quite possibly the longest hockey game ever played

Yes, there were fans remaining to celebrate when Joakim Jensen scored to give Storhamar a 2-1 victory after eight overtimes. (Fredrik Olastuen/EPA)

When Joakim Jensen finally put the puck in the net, giving the Storhamar Dragons a hard-earned victory over the Sparta Warriors, it would have been entirely understandable if everyone, from the fans to the players to the broadcasters to the refs, had just collapsed, grateful tears as they turned their heads upward to the hockey gods.

That’s because Jensen’s goal came in the eighth overtime of the teams’ Norwegian League playoff series in Hamar, Norway, and mercifully ended what is believed to have been the longest game in the history of hockey. Just how long was it? Weeeelll …

The teams played for 217 minutes, 14 seconds. A game that began at 6 p.m. ended at 2:32 a.m., making for more than 8 hours and 30 minutes that had to have outlasted the beer supply. There were 189 shots on goal (96-93) in Storhamar’s 2-1 win. (Because you’re wondering, the Detroit Red Wings beat the Montreal Maroons, 1-0, on Mud Bruneteau’s goal at 16:30 of the sixth overtime in what the Associated Press says is believed to be the NHL’s longest game, a 1936 game that lasted 176 minutes, 30 seconds. Red Wings goalie Normie Smith lost 12 pounds in that effort.)

Daniel Ohrn, a Swede who plays for Sparta, tweeted that he was “tired … actually really tired.” Which seems like the least crazy thing about the game.

Ohrn told a reporter that his body said no, but his mind just made him keep going. “Watching the guys out there was amazing.” That’s because, he added, “our team only had three lines for this game and they kept going for so long.”

About 1,100 fans stuck around for the end, according to the Sparta Warriors’s Facebook page, which carried the game live. The official gamesheet listed attendance as 5,526.

Storhamar now leads the best-of-seven quarterfinal series, 3-2. Which means that, wobbly legs and all, these two teams will play Game 6 of the sluttspill Tuesday night.