Teddy Bears Were Tossed in Hershey, But Visiting Admirals Won 5-1

Posted December 2, 2012

A good samaritan frees a casualty of the toss (All Photos Credit: M. Richter)

Every year in Hershey (and nearly every minor league arena in the US and Canada), there’s a day where fur flies and synthetic fluff rains down in the midst of a hockey game when the home team scores its first goal.  In 2011, over 10,000 stuffed animals landed on the ice at Giant Center as the Bears made their way to a 7-1 victory.

Members of the volunteer ice crew loaded bins with fluffy goodness. Lots and lots of fluffy goodness.

This time around, the numbers were a bit different.  On the positive side, the stuffed animal totals were higher – 12,497, a new Hershey Record and around 1,500 more toys than there are seats in Giant Center.

Patrick Maroon celebrates a teammate’s goal against Braden Holtby. It happened rather a lot – Maroon assisted on three of the five goals scored by the Admirals.

Unfortunately, the scoresheet was not as kind to the Bears as it was in last year’s bout with the Portland Pirates.  The Norfolk Admirals snapped a six game losing streak, defeating the Bears 5-1 and nearly shutting out the home team on Teddy Bear Toss night.

Some very relieved Hershey Bears watch the stuffed animals begin to hit the ice, 58 seconds into the second period.

Defenseman (and Hershey’s Movember Donation Champion) Tomas Kundratek scored the lone goal for Hershey, slotting one past rookie goaltender Frederik Andersen with help from Ryan Potulny.  Braden Holtby was in net for all five scored against the Bears, and he took an awkward hit behind his own net in the third period as well.

Alex Berry answers to Patrick Maroon for his hit on Chris Wagner.

As might be expected of a game where the home team trailed by at least two goals for most of regulation, there was an exchange of pleasantries between the two parties that resulted in fighting majors.  Following what was generously assessed as a boarding penalty, Alex Berry dropped the gloves with Patrick Maroon for a brief spat with five minutes left in the third.  It was the only such altercation, though Steve Oleksy and Norfolk’s Kyle Palmieri both received misconducts for Unsportsmanlike Conduct at the same stoppage.

The loss ends Hershey’s three-game winning streak, and brings their record for the season to 9-11-1-0.  The Bears play again on Thursday at Verizon Center, where they’ll face the Norfolk Admirals again in an AHL Showcase game.

More Photos of Hershey’s 2012 Teddy Bear Toss:

Linesman Bob Goodman lends a hand during the 2012 Teddy Bear Clean-Up (it took over 20 minutes to collect the 12,000+ bears).

A member of the clean-up crew skates an over-sized bear over to the zamboni entrance.

Jon DiSalvatore uses his skate to clear some space for stretching out the kinks.

An unsuspecting volunteer is swallowed by a stuffed dog.

Mike Carman lends his stick to the cause.

In some parts of the rink, the piles were several feet deep.

Mike Carman was amongst the more active participants in cleanup, from the players’ end of things.

At one point, Barney the Dinosaur got an up close and personal view of the Norfolk Admirals’ bench.