Forecast calling for teddy bears

The next goal that the Nanaimo Clippers score at Frank Crane Arena will be a big one.

The game this Sunday (Dec. 12) against the Vernon Vipers features the annual Teddy Bear Toss, where Clippers fans will celebrate their team’s first goal of the game by showering the ice surface with plush toys.

All the stuffed animals collected will be given to the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive.

“It’s great to see people support that, especially this time of year,” Olson said.

All 18 Clippers skaters on the ice tomorrow afternoon will want to be the guy to cue the teddy toss.

“I’m sure it’s a cool feeling,” said Michael Olson, Clippers assistant coach.

It’s just one more reason to come out ready for puck drop Sunday.

“I didn’t know it was Teddy Bear Toss, that would be pretty awesome to score it,” said Ryan Stanimir, Clippers forward, at practice earlier this week. “But any goal’s a goal and as long as it’s the first goal of the game we’ll be happy.”

It won’t be easy against the reigning Royal Bank Cup champs.

“You want to be the giant killers; you want to be the team that knocks them off,” Olson said. “If you’re not ready to compete and play against the two-time defending national champion then there’s something wrong.”

Olson said with a day off today (Dec. 11), his team should be more well-rested than the road-trip-weary Snakes. The Clippers (16-13-1-3) aren’t daunted by playing the Vipers (17-8-2-6).

“In past years there’s sort of been an aura around them of a super team,” Stanimir said. “This year they’re no better than we are and teams are hopefully starting to look at us now as a team that’s like a Vernon of the past three years, and should be worried to play us.”

GAME ON … Sunday’s game is a 3 p.m. faceoff at Frank Crane … The Clippers played Alberni on Friday at home after press time.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com