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Offseason Flurries: the longest game in AHL history

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The AHL playoffs are lit, Pekka Rinne is out, and the offseason rolls on

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

My goal, in theory, has been to make sure that we get a Morning Flurries post at least every other day during the offseason. Although content has obviously slowed down quite a bit - not just here, but everywhere - providing fun stuff for you guys to read is still a lot of fun.

Wednesday night, though, I just couldn’t do it.

I was too busy listening to the radio broadcast of an AHL play-by-play announcer during the longest game in AHL history. No, really.

I was about to get started on the Flurries when I noticed, on Twitter, that people were talking about Lehigh Valley Phantoms goaltender Alex Lyon hitting 70 saves and counting in a game.

Intrigued, I checked the game page, and noticed that I’d struck minor league hockey gold: I’d just arrived at the end of triple overtime in game 4 of the Calder Cup Eastern Conference Semifinal, with the Phantoms and the Charlotte Checkers tied at a goal apiece after two full games’ worth of play.

Lehigh Valley had been down to five defenders for the majority of the game, and they were getting absolutely shelled in net; through double and triple overtime, they’d allowed 12 and 15 shots apiece in each period.

Somehow, though, Lyon had turned away everything he faced after a mid-second period tally, and he was showing no signs of slowing down - nor, it seemed, was his opponent across the ice, fellow Alex and Carolina prospect Alex Nedeljkovic.

I followed along with the start of quadruple OT on Twitter, then realized that I had to listen in; the game was creeping closer and closer to an AHL record, and there was no way I was going to pass up on the chance to experience potential history. Sure enough, the game went to a fifth overtime just before one in the morning on the East Coast - and after surpassing the game duration record marker a little over two minutes into the period, Lyon turned away his final few shots before Nedeljkovic allowed the game-winner almost seven minutes into the frame.

Lyon made 94 stops on the night, which was just absolutely stupid to think about. By the time I finished covering the game last-minute and calmed myself down, it was way too late to even get started.

So here you go! Here are some fantastic tweets from the game, as well as a story about how Lyon got to this point in his career. [InGoal Magazine]

The game-winning goal:

1:10 am, baby!

Also, check out these incredibly dedicated fans in Charlotte:

How we all felt when we realized that the game wasn’t being televised:

Now, for a brief foray into Avalanche-land!

First, let’s take a look at the story behind Joe Cannata’s mask, which he dedicated to a special friend back in Massachusetts who’s fighting for her life. [Reporter-Herald Sports]

Also, ICYMI, Mark Alt is back for two years with the Avalanche, freshly inked to a new deal. [Mile High Hockey]

We’ve also got a pretty cool numbers dive into where Gabriel Landeskog contributed the most this past year. [MHH]

Can we all beg for Andrew Hammond to re-sign, somewhere, somehow, just to keep this gem of a family on the team?

At the World Championships, a Boston standout is now headed to represent Team USA. Charlie McAvoy was officially added to the roster now that Boston is out of the postseason, joining guys like David Pastrnak and David Krejci. [USA Hockey]

Also, if you’re looking for a long read on some analytics and goaltending technique, this is about as good as it gets. Former NCAA Division III starter Cole Anderson brings his expertise at the position and marries it with his analytics work to see just what Reverse-VH seems to be doing for bad-angle goal trends. [CrowdScout Sports]

Away from the hockey world, if you’re going to read one thing today, read this. NBA legend - a man that has played for two of the greatest minds in basketball history, Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich - writes about Spurs assistant Becky Hammon becoming a head coach in the NBA.

He doesn’t tell you why she should, as he says, that part is obvious, he just tries to dispel all of the stupid reasons people have been giving as to why she wouldn’t work in the NBA. [The Players Tribune]

Finally, to leave you all on a high note: