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The Ruttle Report - Spotlighting our local history is a blast

"I love being able to tell the stories of those legends..." - The Ruttle Report
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This job can be capable of being downright fun at times.

As readers are aware, we run a fun little 'looking back' feature every week in our print edition (pick one up today!) called Stored Stories, where we look back on some of the headlines from 100 years ago, 50 years ago, 25 years ago, and 10 years ago.

It's always neat seeing how this area came to grow, expand, change and move with the times, and every once in a while, I'm reminded of stories that I'd written that carried massive weight and got a whole lot of attention from a whole lot of people.

Take the events of Friday night, January 24, 2014, for example.

The rink over in Rosetown was playing host to a pretty standard event; a girls hockey game between two teams in the North Sask Female Hockey League. On one side of the ice were the hosting Rosetown Redwings, and on the other were the visiting Elrose Aces. Things started out very normally, just as they would in any other hockey game in any other rink being played in any other community around the province.

But then regulation time ended with neither team having scored. Hmm, well that's got to be a little frustrating for both rosters, eh? Okay then, let's take this game into an overtime period.

But here's the thing.

They went into overtime once, twice, three times, four times, five times, six times, seven times, and finally, they went into their eighth overtime period before someone finally managed to slide one past the goalie. Elrose's Kaylee Wickenheiser scored the game-winning goal for her team, and that weekend, the online world around these parts was abuzz after all of these girls managed to pull off the impossible.

They had all competed in what would go down as the longest league hockey game to ever be played.

The game, which had started at 5:30 pm that Friday evening, ended up finally wrapping just minutes after midnight on Saturday. The girls all left the ice, their legs feeling like used rubber bands after playing nearly seven straight hours of hockey.

I know we Canadians love this game, but come on!

This game had managed to eclipse the longest NHL game ever played from way back in March of 1936, when Detroit beat Montreal after just over 176 minutes of gameplay.

As soon as I heard about what happened, I knew I had some digging ahead of me because I really, really wanted this story. It also didn't hurt that a number of local Outlook players and one Conquest player took part in the historic match-up. I remember driving down to Elrose on Friday afternoon to meet up with the Outlook players and get their perspectives on the history that they'd just taken part in days earlier. Landry Derdall, Kenzie Derdall, Maggie Ballek, and Ashley Dean, who were on the winning Elrose team, were already young veterans of the sport, but nothing could describe taking part in a hockey game that just kept going on and on and on and on and on.

"It was pretty intense to think that it happened to us, as it could've been anybody that had such a long game," Ashley told me. "We're never going to forget it because it was fun, too. Long and tiring, but really fun!"

"You had to push through it the entire time," said Kenzie. "You had no feeling in your legs, but it was just something that you had to push through. It was really long, but also fun."

For each of these girls, there was a different moment in the game that told them they were taking part in something very special and unique.

"It was probably in about the eighth period," remembered Landry. "I realized that it was starting to get really long, and I started wondering just what was the longest game ever. Once the 11th period came, I saw that this could be something that has never happened before."

"I wasn't really thinking about it until the very end and we finished, and it was like 12:30 and we started back at five!" Maggie said with a laugh.

A couple of days after speaking with these four girls, I got on the phone with Conquest native Shelby Allen, who played goalie for the Rosetown team that historic night. And although Elrose *eventually* went on to best Rosetown on that long night, Allen said she had a blast being a part of something epic that was playing out in front of people.

"It was definitely tiring, but fun at the same time," she said. "It's not very usual for a game to go that long! I just kept telling myself to watch the puck and stay focused for all the girls."

I remember Aces team manager Glenn McDonald telling me that these girls will grow up to be 45 years old, sitting somewhere having a drink, and this game will still come up. I don't doubt that for a second.

Sometimes, history is made right here at home in rural a random rink on a random night in a random town.

On those nights, legends can be made.

And I love being able to tell the stories of those legends.

For this week, that's been the Ruttle Report.