Nanaimo Clippers fans are getting ready to let the teddy bears tumble.
The Clippers are hosting Teddy Bear Toss night this Friday (Dec. 12) at Frank Crane Arena when they host the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in B.C. Hockey League action.
The teddy toss is one of the junior A hockey club’s favourite promotions every year, players say. Fans are asked to bring a new plush toy to the arena that night, and then throw the stuffed animals on the ice when the Clippers score their first goal of the game. Volunteers gather up the teddy bears and donate them to the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive Christmas charity.
For the players, the fan participation adds a little extra incentive during a mid-season game, and most of the Clippers want to be the one to trigger the teddy bears.
“I’ve never experienced a teddy bear toss, but I’ve heard guys talk about it from last year, so I know people are certainly excited for that,” said Cole Maier, Clippers forward. “Everybody wants to be that guy.”
Last year Devin Brosseau scored the teddy bear goal, but the veteran is injured this year and so someone else will have the honour.
“I don’t know if there will be competition,” said Anthony Rinaldi, Clippers forward. “I’m sure whoever gets the first goal, everyone will be pretty happy for that person because teddy bears will be flying all over. I think it will just be exciting for everyone.”
There isn’t much likelihood of the Clips being held off the scoresheet that night. Nanaimo is the BCHL’s second-highest scoring team with 3.9 goals per game and hasn’t been shut out on home ice yet this season.
The Clippers won their most recent game Wednesday night in Duncan, getting past the Cowichan Valley Capitals by a 3-1 score. Goalie Guillaume Decelles was first star after making 31 saves and Edwin Hookenson, Brett Roulston and Spencer Hewson scored goals for Nanaimo.
GAME ON … The Clippers and the Bulldogs face off Friday at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena. The Clips then have another home game on Sunday, a 2 p.m. faceoff against the Vernon Vipers. For ticket information, please call 250-751-0593.