VIDEO: Calgary Hitmen goal triggers 25,000 teddy bears tossed to ice

By Chris Peters | Hockey Writer

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The Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League have a pretty menacing name, but they could also go by a cuddlier moniker if they wanted to: Teddy Bear Kings of the World. That's seemingly what they've become over the last few years.

The Hitmen's Teddy Bear Toss tradition has been around for nearly 20 years, benefitting many local charities. However, over the last few seasons, it has become an outright phenomenon.

Sunday night, the Canadian major junior team which shares a home arena with the NHL's Calgary Flames welcomed a crowd of 17,199 who were ready to toss the teddies as soon as the Hitmen scored their first goal.

It took a little while, but forward Pavel Padakin triggered a torrential downpour of more than 25,000 furry friends at the 3:42 mark of the second period.

Padakin actually has a knack for charity, apparently. He also scored the goal that triggered last season's 25,000-bear shower.

The official count from the team for 2013 was 25,921 bears, which tops last year's number according to Neate Sager of Buzzing the Net, who also shared this:

In Calgary, Hitmen players also visit the Alberta Children's Hospital on the day following the game to hand bears to ailing and sick youth. There are typically few unmoved souls on the day that happens. Some of the bears are are donated to animal shelters to be used as chew toys.

Here's a few more images from the amazing event in Calgary.

The Teddy Bear Toss has become a staple in junior, minor league and college hockey, but few do it better than the Calgary Hitmen.

(h/t Buzzing the Net)

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