HERSHEY, PA — On December 1, 2019, Capitals Stanley Cup champion defenseman, Christian Djoos, scored a milestone marker while playing for the AHL’s Hershey Bears. Firing the puck into the back of the Hartford Wolf Pack’s net, Djoos began what is considered one of the most fun events in hockey. Bears fans threw a world-record 45,650 plush toys onto the ice — all of which would benefit charities across the region — forcing the game to stop and go to intermission early.
The ’19 Toss was a feel-good night for Hershey and the crescendo for an event in its 19th iteration, earning an E60 feature. But then everything changed. The coronavirus pandemic moved into the United States months later, sending the sports world into chaos.
In 2021, the Bears held a “drive-thru” toss and collected over 30,000 stuffed animals to keep the event going. But 783 days later, the Hershey Bears were able to host its Teddy Bear Toss game safely again. Things were a little different than before. Fans and media wore masks, but the large outpouring of support from the local community remained the same.
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby scored the goal 6:13 into the first period, unleashing a frenzy of stuffed animals being hurled towards the ice.