It seemed like such a good idea. I mean, local fans donating teddy bears to needy children during the holiday season. It's a great idea. What could possibly go wrong? As Stephen Colbert reminds us, when bears are involved, anything can go wrong.
Minnesota-Duluth decided to hold their fourth annual fourth annual Teddy Bear Toss this past Saturday. Fans were instructed that throw their teddy bears onto the ice after the Bulldogs first goal of the game.
Bulldogs fans had a little trouble with the whole "first goal" concept though. Most of the bears made their way onto the ice after the first goal. But then a few errant bears were tossed onto the ice after Drew Akins scored to put the Bulldogs up 2-0. In accordance with NCAA rules, an announcement was made over the PA that the Bulldogs would be penalized if anything else was thrown on the ice.
When Duluth scored their third goal, to make the score 3-0, two more bears were thrown on the ice, and the Bulldogs were assessed a two-minute penalty. The Bulldogs almost escaped unscathed, but Bemidji's Travis Winter scored a powerplay goal with 9 seconds remaining on the penalty, to make the score 3-1. The goal seemed meaningless at the time, but Bemidji came back to tie the game at 5, and eventually win in overtime.
The Teddy Bear Toss is a nice tradition, and hopefully it continues at Duluth. But next time, they should probably have the toss between periods instead of after a goal.
For more on the bear debacle, RWD has her own take.