BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — It was just past 4 a.m. on Thursday when Andrew Tokasz decided it was time to inject some energy into a hockey game that was entering its seventh consecutive day.
Shortly after Team White’s Kenny Corp scored on a backhander from the slot to cut Team Blue’s lead to 1,073-1,058, Tokasz grabbed the nob of his stick as if it were a microphone and began singing along to the chorus of Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl” playing over the HarborCenter loudspeakers.
Why not belt out a couple of “sha-la-la lah-ti-das?” Anything to break the monotony when the stands are empty except for a janitor mopping the floor, and blisters are about the only things popping on the ice.
“That’s the toughest,” Kenny Haynes said, referring to playing the four-hour overnight shift of a game that began with plenty of buzz on June 22 and isn’t scheduled to end until Monday morning.
“There’s no one here. You get up. It’s the middle of night,” Haynes said. “And when the sun start’s coming up, and you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s cool.'”
“Yeah,” interjected Mike Lesakowski. “But then you’re going to bed.”
They’re not complaining.
This is, after all, what the 40 Buffalo-area rec-league players — many of them in their 40s — signed up for a year ago when Lesakowski broached the idea of “The 11-Day Power Play ” to raise $1 million for cancer research and break the Guinness World Record mark of 250 hours, 3 minutes, 20 seconds set during an outdoor game in Alberta in 2015.
They’ve already surpassed the monetary goal by raising $1.09 million for…
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