December has arrived and that means it is Teddy Bear Toss season.
Truly the greatest time of year where hockey teams and their fans from all levels and all parts of the globe participate in a great charity effort. Once the home team scores, the fur starts flying down to the ice with numerous local organizations benefiting.
This past weekend we saw a trio of strong Teddy Bear Tosses.
First up, the the AHL’s Hershey Bears, who beat the Hartford Wolf Pack in overtime 4-3, but not before a world-record total of 45,650 stuffed animals were collected following Christian Djoos’ goal.
Bears fans delivered and surpassed the previous record total of 34,798 collected during the 2018 event. Over 40 charities will receive the stuffed animals, including schools, food banks, churches, lions clubs, as well as the Milton Hershey School, Children’s Miracle Network, and the American Cancer Society.
Heading out west and staying in the AHL, the Bakersfield Condors held their event on Saturday night and it was Josh Currie getting the party started late in the first period of a 3-1 victory in front of the fourth-largest crowd in team history.
Here’s the great Ryan Holt to take us through the Condors’ 21st Teddy Bear Toss goal:
The Condors announced on Monday that they collected 8,380 stuffed animals, which will be benefiting local children through the United Way of Kern County.
Staying out west, Carson Focht may have scored the most memorable goal of his career for the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen on Sunday afternoon. He only needed 94 seconds to open the scoring to allow the fans inside the Saddledome to toss their stuffed animals from everywhere.
The 25,025 teddy bears that were picked up will benefit 70 local charities with players distributing them on Monday, including a stop at Alberta Children’s Hospital. The Hitmen have been holding the annual event since 1995 and have now collected 402,608 stuffed animals in the last 24 years.
Finally, the WHL’s Vancouver Giants will be holding their Teddy Bear Toss this weekend, but they did release the jersey they’ll be wearing for two games and boy, are they in the holiday spirit.
That’s one way to get festive, and a nice departure from he “ugly sweater” jerseys that have cropped up over the last few years.