Awesome Of The Day

March 30th, 2008at 10:38pm Posted by Eli

This is a really great story:

The second-longest game in hockey history was played last weekend, as host Kölner Haie beat Adler Mannheim, 5-4, in the sixth overtime of their German DEL quarterfinal, a contest that lasted a total of 168 minutes 16 seconds. But there was something even more incredible about that game.

The winning goalie, who stopped 96 of 100 shots, is recovering from a malignant brain tumor.

Kölner goalie Robert Müller is in his first full season back after undergoing an operation in November 2006 to remove most of the tumor, followed by a full course of chemo- and radiation therapy. At the time he received the diagnosis, he was playing for Mannheim.

(…)

Just three months after the operation, Müller, who said he never thought about ending his career, returned to the ice for the DEL All-Star game, “an amazing feeling,” he said. He was in the Mannheim lineup when the team won the German championship, although he played little.

He joined Kölner midway through the current season and became the starting goalie, though he must keep close watch on his condition. “The tumor couldn’t be removed 100 percent — there is still a little part in my head but it’s shrinking,” he said. “Once a month I get chemotherapy for five days, but it doesn’t affect me.”

The marathon game… was second in length only to the Detroit Red Wings’ 1-0 win over the Montreal Maroons in 1936, which ended when Mud Bruneteau scored at 176:30. Normie Smith had the shutout in that game, stopping either 89 or 92 shots, according to varying sources.

The next Kölner-Mannheim match, two nights after the six-OT contest, was tied after regulation as well, but ended after just 14:30 of extra time when Kölner won again, 4-3. Müller turned aside 56 of 59 shots in that one. The team has reached the semifinals, with Müller sporting a .950 save percentage.

Kölner’s general manager, Rodion Pauels, said that Müller’s playoff performance has left him “without words.”

(…)

Müller says he has gotten a lot of support from fans after coming back from the operation. “It was unbelievable,” he said. “From all over Germany I received greetings and wishes. After my comeback even the fans from other teams welcomed me in the stadiums with applause. That was great.”

Sanguine about facing 100 shots in a single game — “It was a new experience. The biggest feeling was to win the game finally; it was hard to play the game but still okay.”…

I know hockey players are tough, but dayumn.

Also: Mud Bruneteau.

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Sports


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