Teddy bear toss
A teddy bear toss is a popular Christmas season promotion at many minor and junior hockey arenas throughout North America. Fans are encouraged to bring teddy bears to the game, and to throw them onto the ice when the home team scores its first goal. The toys are then gathered up to be donated as Christmas presents to hospitals and charities. In many cases, the players themselves personally donate some of the bears to children at area hospitals. The tradition is said to have started in Kitchener, Ontario at Kitchener Rangers games.
The 7,485 fans and supporters of the Portland Winter Hawks were the first to break the WHL and CHL Teddy Bear Toss record in the 2006–07 season with an on-ice donation of 14,361 stuffed animals Saturday, November 25, 2006. The teddy bears rained down from the stands when Kyle Bailey broke a scoreless tie exactly one minute into the overtime period. This record was eventually broken by the fans of the Calgary Hitmen less than a month later. On December 10, when Ryan White scored a short-handed goal 14 minutes into the first period of their game against the Prince George Cougars. 15,540 teddy bears were thrown onto the ice by the 16,380 fans in attendance.
On November 24, 2007, the Portland Winterhawks briefly reclaimed the record with 20,372 stuffed animals coming from the 6,343 fans at the Memorial Coliseum on the 10th Annual Teddy Bear Toss Night. However, fans had failed to realise that the goal that initiated the toss had been disallowed. The record quickly fell again, as six nights later, fans of the Lethbridge Hurricanes set a new mark of 22,736 bears. The Hitmen once again reclaimed their record on December 2, 2007, as 26,919 bears hit the ice when Ian Duval scored against the Cougars.
- Game Summary - Prince George @ Calgary, December 10, 2006, whl.ca
- "The Oregonian". Portland 4, Chilliwack 3 Hawks' goalie shuts the door (65 saves). Retrieved November 30, 2007.
- World Record Caps Big Night for Canes, lethbridgehurricanes.com, accessed December 1, 2007
- "Hitmen vs. Cougars box score - December 2, 2007". Whl.ca. Retrieved 2011-12-04.
- Video of 2006 Calgary Hitmen Teddy Bear Toss
- Video of 2007 Record Setting Calgary Hitmen Teddy Bear Toss
- A more typical teddy bear toss in the Alberni Valley Bulldogs arena