The idea was to hurl teddy bears onto the ice when the Spokane Chiefs scored their first goal.
But when a penalty was called just before Collin Valcourt knocked in the puck, the Saturday-night crowd of 7,638 didn’t notice – or didn’t much care.
In total, 4,668 animals came hurtling down, enough to stuff the beds and cabs of four pickups.
It was Teddy Bear Toss night at the Spokane Arena, but teddy bears were just the beginning. Defenseman Tanner Mort, 17 (shown in the accompanying illustration), said he spotted a Serta Counting Sheep and something that looked like a dragon amid the piles of toys.
“I was amazed at how many there were,” said Mort, a senior at Genesis Preparatory Academy in Post Falls.
A panda got its paws stuck in some netting. At least it was facing the action.
Spokane resident Courtney Landon, 32, brought a stuffed Eeyore.
“Eeyore’s been my personal mascot for a while,” she explained, since the time she went deer hunting and sighted a potential kill – but declined to take a shot because she was convinced it was a donkey.
The bears and friends will be distributed to children at the Christmas Bureau as well as through Toys for Tots and to kids at area hospitals.
And, despite that false start, the Chiefs beat the Portland Winterhawks, 4-3.