EDMONTON -- Two hundred, fifty-two hours and $1.84 million later, the World's Longest Hockey Hame came to an end in Alberta Monday morning.

The players in Sherwood Park called it just before 6 a.m., celebrating with fireworks.

"This has been an emotional roller coaster," Team Hope goalie Andrew Buchanan told CTV News Edmonton. "But there's 40 guys in there that I'll be friends with for life." 

He added, "These guys are absolute warriors, but it's still nothing compared to what these cancer patients are going through." 

The marathon game started Feb. 4. Since then, those participating in the fundraiser for Edmonton's Cross Cancer Institute counted 750 volunteer shifts during a cold snap so brutal a puck cracked.

World's Longest Hockey Game

It wasn't for nothing, however. The group surpassed its $1.5-million goal on Saturday at hour 218 and headed toward $2 million. Over the week-and-a-half, an anonymous donor matched donations to the event up to $100,000 and the Edmonton Football Club donated half of the proceeds of a 50/50 draw.

This year's fundraising effort will support a clinical trial of a new cancer drug called PCLX-001, which has shown positive results in treating blood cancers in particular.

A medical oncologist at the Cross Cancer Institute said the effort will make a "huge difference" in the University of Alberta's research. 

"This is insane. We're in the middle of a pandemic. They're not allowed to have the kind of support or even the medical care that they'd normally get. It's minus 95 and they're out here for 12 days straight playing hockey to raise money for cancer research," Dr. John Mackey exclaimed. 

He expects the first patient will go to clinical trial in May. 

"It's an amazing thing they've done here." 

World's Longest Hockey Game

In order to receive a provincial exemption to public health rules, participants had to isolate at home and on site and were tested for COVID-19 daily. Even though they lived in a bubble, they also limited their interactions with each other, refs needed to stay off the ice, and no spectators were allowed.

The circumstances meant organizer Brent Saik -- who has fundraised for the Cross Cancer Institute since 1996, after losing his own father to cancer in 1994 -- took on the role of "the warden" in ensuring cohorts were maintained at the game. 

"This is our world and nothing came and nothing went out," he told CTV News Edmonton Monday morning. "I'm very happy that I can say, 'Go home to your families safely." 

So, how many goals can be scored over 200 hours? More than 5,000. Team Hope finished slightly ahead of Team Cure, 2,649 – 2,528.

Since 2003, more than $5 million has been raised by the world's longest game.