Victoriaville vs. Hull QMJHL 5OT Game (lost footage of Canadian ice hockey game; 1999)
On March 19th, 1999, the Victoriaville Tigres and the Hull Olympiques faced each other in a QMJHL division quarterfinals game, which was the opening round of a playoff tournament for the QMJHL at the time, a league of major junior teams in Quebec and the Maritimes.
This game is known by hockey fans in Gatineau (which was formed when Hull amalgamated with surrounding communities in 2002) due to its length. The game lasted 146:31 (or 86:31 of overtime), which made it the longest game in not only QMJHL history, but in CHL history. Although it still holds the QMJHL record for longest game, the CHL longest game record would be broken 18 years later.
The 1999 Playoffs marked the 30th season of the QMJHL, and marked a new tournament format. The format was changed so that the two best teams in each division would get second round byes, and teams ranked three through six in each division would play in the first round. The teams would be re-seeded for the second round, so the teams would be ranked by their division placement from first to fourth, rather than based on the bracket positioning.
The Victoriaville Tigres and the Hull Olympiques finished with the third and sixth seeds in respectively the Lebel division. This meant that they would play each other in the division quarterfinals, a best-of-7 series which would determine who would move on to the division semifinals. Prior to the game, the Olympiques beat the Tigres 3-2 in game one, and the Tigres beat the Olympiques 6-2, with both games being played in Victoriaville. Game three would be played with the series tied 1-1.
The game was played at the Robert Guertin Centre in Hull, Quebec. The game was played out like your typical ice hockey match at first.
Victoriaville scored two power play goals to take a 2-0 lead early in the 2nd period, and Hull scored in the final minute of the 2nd, making it 2-1. The landscape of the game changed when Hull tied the game 2-2 six minutes in to the 3rd period.
Both teams played evenly throughout the 3rd period, and the game went to overtime tied 2-2. Victoriaville outshot Hull in regulation, 28-27. The game had stayed close throughout with both teams failing to score after four overtime periods. This meant that a fifth overtime period was needed to decide a winner of the game. There was no quintuple overtime game in CHL history before this.
Finally, after 146:31 of hockey, and 100:17 of both teams going scoreless, Hull winger Brock Boucher scored on Victoriaville goaltender Pierre-Luc Therrien, ending the game at 6:31 of quintuple overtime, and 86:31 of total overtime played. The Olympiques had won 3-2 in the longest game in QMJHL history, and now had a 2-1 series lead on the Tigres. Not only that, Hull outshot Victoriaville 89-66 the whole game. Goalies dominated the game; Victoriaville goalie Pierre-Luc Therrien made 86 saves on 89 shots, while Hull goalie Philippe Bergeron stopped 64 of 66.
Due to the QMJHL being the least popular of the three CHL leagues, and not too many sports forums were available at the time, the game didn't make headlines outside Hull and Victoriaville.
Hull went on to win the series against Victoriaville four games to two, and made it all the way to game seven of the QMJHL's championship series. Unfortunately, they lost 3-2 to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in the seventh and deciding game.
The record of the longest game in CHL history would stand for 18 years, until the Everett Silvertips beat the 3-2 Victoria Royals on April 2nd, 2017. The game lasted 151:36, and had 91:36 worth of overtime hockey.
To this date, no video, photo, or audio recording of this game as resurfaced on the internet. Despite this, the game's box score was posted on the CHL's website after the game. This confirms that this game actually happened.
However, someone in Hull may have recorded the game on VHS or DVD, as this game may have been broadcast on television, most specifically CFGS-TV Hull, the TQS (now V) affiliate in the Ottawa region. Radio broadcasts, however, may not exist, as CFZB Ottawa likely aired the Senators game that night, and there were no sports radio stations in Hull.
As for Victoriaville feed, they're in the Sherbooke market, and CFKS-TV was likely broadcasting the Castors game that night, and there was no sports radio station in Victoriaville as well.
- The final score between the Victoriaville Tigres and the Hull Olympiques. Retrieved 28 Aug '19
- Yahoo Sports article on the Everett Silvertips winning the (then) longest playoff game in CHL history. Retrieved 28 Aug '19
- 1999 CHL playoff brackets. Retrieved 28 Aug '19
- The final score between the Everett Silvertips and the Victoria Royals surpassing the previously longest playoff. Retrieved 28 Aug '19
- Archived CHL website page of the game's box score. Retrieved 28 Aug '19