It didn’t take long for teddy bears to find the ice at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Friday night, Dec. 3.
The players hit the ice, the national anthem was played and the game began.
Two minutes later, the 2021 edition of Teddy Bear Toss reached its climax.
The Penticton Vees found the back of the net just one minute and 41 seconds into the first period against the Cranbrook Bucks, courtesy of Brett Moravec.
And as the Vees’ goal horn sounded off and the players celebrated, hundreds of fans tossed their teddy bears onto the ice in support of the Salvation Army and for those in need this holiday season.
The bears and other donate-ables were then cleared off the ice, delaying the game by about 10 minutes.
Prior to the Vees’ showdown against the Bucks on Friday, the team had asked fans to bring new or gently used teddy bears, stuffed animals, pajamas, mittens, toques and other items wrapped in a plastic bag. The annual Teddy Bear Toss cues fans to throw all of their donatable items onto the ice after Penticton’s first goal of the game.
Friday night’s Teddy Bear Toss also marked the first time in nearly 600 days that the SOEC had hosted 100 per cent of its capacity. A season-high 3,141 people were in attendance to see the Vees defeat the Bucks 7-1.