Hershey hockey fans set world record by tossing over 45,000 stuffed animals on ice | TribLIVE.com

Hershey hockey fans set world record by tossing over 45,000 stuffed animals on ice

Chris Pastrick
Hershey Bears/Caroline O’Connor
A player for the Hershey Bears sits amid stuffed animals, tossed by fans at the game on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019.
Hershey Bears/Caroline O’Connor
Fans at the Hershey Bears game on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, tossed more than 45,000 stuffed animals onto the ice for charity.

If there’s one thing Hershey, Pa., does right it’s … well, it’s chocolate.

But followed closely behind that is tossing stuffed animals onto a hockey rink.

If you’ve never experienced the Teddy Bear Toss first-hand or even seen it on video, it’s an incredible sight to behold.

The idea is simple: Bring a stuffed animal to the hockey game (many minor league teams do it) and toss it on the ice when the home team scores its first goal. The lovable toys are then distributed to children at local charities, oftentimes with players doing the handing out.

As good as it sounds, it’s even better in action.

Armed with tons of stuffed animals, Hershey Bears fans had to wait 8 minutes and 11 seconds Sunday night before they could unload their furry fury onto the ice below.

But what a moment it was.

In all, fans tossed 45,650 stuffed animals on the ice at Giant Center. And that’s a world record, with Hershey fans beating their own record of 34,798, set last year.

Christian Djoos punched in the rebound of a Joe Snively shot, claiming the title as 2019 Hershey Bears CommunityAid and abc27 Teddy Bear Toss goal scorer. The Bears are the American Hockey League affiliate of the Washington Capitals.

Fans came ready to toss plush.

You won’t get this kind of silliness in the NHL (the league doesn’t look kindly on anyone throwing stuff on the ice), but that’s why the minor leagues are much fun.

To be fair, an NHL spokesman told ESPN that “Player safety is an obvious reason, but so is fan safety. At NHL arenas, a high percentage of anything thrown from the stands would hit other fans.”

OK, OK. But these are stuffed animals, after all.

Even players had a field day.

View this post on Instagram

NEW RECORD!! 45,650 Bears!! #TeddyBearTossHershey

A post shared by Hershey Bears (@thehersheybears) on

A spokesperson for the Bears says it took about 30 minutes to clean up all the stuffed joy on the ice. (And another 10 to do a dry scrape of the ice with the Zamboni.)

After that, the Bears got back to the business of hockey. And not only was it a great night for stuffed animals, but it also was a great night for the Bears, who defeated the Hartford Wolf Pack in overtime, 4-3.

It’s not certain who started the whole idea of throwing plush animals onto the ice, but an ESPN report says the concept has its roots in the 1990s.

The WHL’s Kamloops Blazers are considered to have held the first recorded teddy bear toss on Dec. 5, 1993. That first outing resulted in over 2,400 bears and stuffed toys.

Seeing how far it’s come, one can only image what next year will hold.

Chris Pastrick is a Tribune-Review digital producer. You can contact Chris at 412-320-7898, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.