WATCH: Hockey fans make 24,605 stuffed animals fly for charity after goal
Vladislav Yeryomenko was the Teddy Bear Toss goal scorer for the Calgary Hitmen
The Calgary Hitmen's annual Teddy Bear Toss, one of the best holiday traditions in sports, continued on Sunday when Vladislav Yeryomenko scored a goal at the 9:36 mark in the first period. Hitmen fans responded by throwing 24,605 stuffed animals onto the ice, all to be donated to charity. It's a glorious sight, and the aftermath is absolutely terrific.
It took 40 minutes to clear the ice after the fur blizzard, and then play resumed. The Hitmen would eventually lose 6-3, but obviously this game was about significantly more than winning. The 22-year-old tradition has netted hundreds of thousands of stuffed animals for charity. The most ever thrown is 28,815 in 2015. Last year fans threw "only" 23,924.
"It's an unforgettable moment," Yeryomenko told the Hitmen website.. "It's possible it can only happen once in your life and it happened to me. I enjoyed the moment of it all."
The 18-year-old also got a photo op after the game, surrounded by stuffed animals and holding the puck that donated over 24,500 items to charity.
Since the inception of the event, the team has gotten 347,948 stuffed animals. It's ironic that one of the kindest traditions in sports comes from the Hitmen, but this promotion has earned its annual status as an all-timer.
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