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Bears abound at annual event
Published Monday, December 3, 2012 2:44PM MST
Last Updated Monday, December 3, 2012 2:49PM MST
The fur was flying at the Saddledome this weekend after the Hitmen netted the first goal against the WHL’s Kootney Ice
The 18th annual Petro-Canada Teddy Bear Toss encourages fans to bring small and medium sized stuffed toys to throw on the ice after the home team scores its first goal.
21,453 stuffed animals hit the ice when the Hitmen's Pavlo Padakin scored at 6 minutes and 36 seconds in the first period.
The team collected up all the bears in bags and loaded them onto pickup trucks before continuing with the game.
“It was not expected. I thought it will be loud but not like it was you know there was a lot of fans, I never seen more than 10,000 fans and yesterday happened and its pretty cool,” said Padakin.
The Hitmen went on to win the game 4 to 1 in front of 16,912 fans.
The players took some of the toys to the Alberta Children’s Hospital on Monday and handed them out to the kids. The rest will be spread out among several other local agencies.
The Hitmen also donned special sweaters for the game which featured snow capped numbers and a teddy bear patch on the shoulder.
Since 1999, the team has donated more than 213,000 bears to the Calgary community.