It's about that time of year for Teddy Bear Tosses to get into full swing, but Saturday's charity event from the Calgary Hitmen, the Flames' WHL affiliate, was like nothing you've seen.
For the uninitiated, a Teddy Bear Toss is where fans bring stuffed animals they want to donate to underprivileged children and throw them all on the ice after the home team scores its first goal.
Charitable fans are into it and have made it a popular day on the calendar. The Grand Rapids Griffins, Bakersfield Condors and Erie Otters had Teddy Bear Toss events this season, but Hitmen backers really brought their A game on Saturday.
A flurry of furry bears hit the ice after captain Michael Zipp scored with about 12 seconds remaining in the first period. So big were the piles of stuffed animals, some Hitmen players dove into them wearing full gear and big smiles.
According to the Calgary Herald, the 17,601 fans in attendance tossed 23,954 bears on to the ice that will go to 60 area charities. The game was delayed 42 minutes as workers collected the donations.
The Hitmen have been having the Teddy Bear Toss since 1995. Last season they hauled in a record 28,815 stuffed animals.