The 11 Day Power Play surges on at Buffalo RiverWorks this week, as Thursday marks Day 5 of the event for players and staff members involved.
As of Wednesday afternoon, more than $1.87 million has been raised for cancer research supporting organizations such as Roswell Park, Oishei Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Program, Make-A-Wish and Camp Good Days. The fundraising goal for the 2021 event is set at $2 million, adding to the more than $5 million the event has raised since 2017.
The 2021 event features the “Frozen 40”, which consists of 40 players taking part in a continuous hockey game that stretches the entire 11 days en route to breaking a Guinness World Record for the longest hockey game played. This year’s 11 Day Power Play goes “back to its roots” after the original event in 2017 featured 40 players who broke the Guinness World Record playing at Harborcenter.
So how are the players holding up through the first handful of days at RiverWorks? According to Amy Lesakowski – co-founder of the 11 Day Power Play along with her husband, Mike – the group is holding its own.
“The players are doing amazing and spirits are up. They’ve been very supportive of each other,” Lesakowski said on Wednesday. “Day 3, Day 4 are probably the most difficult days for them. We have a few injuries, but they’re trucking through. [One player has] a broken hand, [but] he’s still playing. They’re determined to get through this event.”
“Holding up pretty well,” said WKBW-TV chief meteorologist Aaron Mentkowski, who happens to be one of the “Frozen 40” players in this year’s event. “I tell you, Day 4 is definitely difficult. Every body part hurts; A lot of ibuprofen today.”
“It’s still competitive hockey, but Day 4, from what I’ve heard from the veterans, it’s kind of like delirious. You kind of lose what day [it is], track of time. You knew it was going to be a physical and mental grind, that’s why it’s a world record – no one else has done it – and you can see why.”