On the 168th shot of the game, the Philadelphia Phantom’s Ryan Potulny ended the longest game in AHL history, and put the Albany River Rats on the brink of elimination.
Potulny scored at 2:58 of the fifth overtime early Friday morning, giving the Phantoms a thrilling 3-2 victory over the Rats in Game 5 of the AHL Calder Cup playoffs Eastern Division semifinals at the Times Union Center.
The Phantoms, who outshot the Rats, 101-67, take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series. They will host Game 6 Saturday at 1:05 p.m. at the Wachovia Center.
The game lasted 172 minutes, 58 seconds. The previous longest game in the AHL took place May 30, 2003, in the Game 2 of the Calder Cup final between Houston and Hamilton. Hamilton won, 2-1, in the fourth OT. The game lasted 134:56.
The Rats’ previous longest game was 97 minutes, 55 seconds against Hamilton on April 1, 1999. The Rats lost, 3-2, in double overtime.
The Phantoms’ previous longest game was April 28, 2004, a 2-1 triple-overtime win over Norfolk in the East Division semifinal in a game that lasted 113:02.
The game is the longest in the history of the TU Center. The old mark of 123:53 took place March 26, 2000, when St. Lawrence beat Boston University, 3-2, in four overtimes in the second round of the NCAA Hockey tournament East Regional.
It is also the longest game, pro or college, played in the Capital Region. The previous record was 141:53, when Yale beat Union, 3-2, in five overtimes in Game 2 of the ECAC Hockey tournament first round March 4, 2006.
Jared Ross scored his second goal of the game with 4:47 left in regulation time, helping the Phantoms tie the score.
Kiel McLeod has scored both of the Rats’ goals.
Rats goalie Michael Leighton made 99 saves. Phantoms netminder Scott Munroe had 65 saves.