Since the Ontario Hockey League returned to Hamilton, the Bulldogs have hosted an annual Teddy Bear Toss game where fans are encouraged to throw stuffed animals onto the ice after the Bulldogs score their first goal!

This year’s edition of the game is even more special, as the Hamilton Bulldogs host the Windsor Spitfires in a rematch of the 2022 OHL Championship on Saturday, December 10th, with a 4:00pm start time. The last time the two teams faced off was in the historic Game 7 of the 2022 OHL Finals where the Bulldogs won the J. Ross Robertson Cup for the second time in franchise history in front of nearly 12,000 fans in June. The Bulldogs will be led into action on Saturday by the 2nd leading scorer in the OHL in captain Logan Morrison and OHL leading goal scorer in assistant captain Avery Hayes who will carry scoring streaks of 14 & 13 games respectively into the Championship rematch.

Over the history of the Bulldogs Teddy Toss game, Hamilton holds an all-time record of 3-1-1-1, winning back to back games in 2019 & 2021, and over the 6 games have had 6 different scorers record the goal that “Releases the Bears”.

The tradition began on December 11th, 2015 when the Bulldogs hosted the Peterborough Petes. At 6:40 of the second period, Ben Gleason fired a breakout pass from behind his own net to Matt Strome for a clear breakaway and with the goal for the player who would go on to be the 3rd captain and 3rd all-time in Bulldogs scoring, the bears rained inside FirstOntario Centre for the first time.

Connor Walters became the only defenseman to score a Teddy Toss for the Bulldogs to date on December 10th, 2016 against the Saginaw Spirit. After his long time defense partner Jack Hanley slid him the puck at the right point, Walters fired past Evan Cormier at 7:16 to bring on the bears.

The Saginaw Spirit provided the opposition for the second straight season on December 9th, 2017 and in a season that saw the Bulldogs capture their first OHL Championship, it was recent NHL debutant Will Bitten who set the fastest mark for a Teddy Toss goal. After Ben Gleason made a brilliant diving rescue along the blueline to poke the puck to Brandon Saigeon in the left circle, Saigeon sent the puck to the right for Will Bitten who called on the bears at just 4:15.

The 2018 Teddy Toss game, played on December 15, 2018, was a rematch of the 2018 OHL Championship series with the Bulldogs hosting the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. After a series of posts and crossbars for the Bulldogs, the bears were finally released off of a Brandon Saigeon power-play goal at 12:15 of the second period, the latest Teddy Toss goal to date, with Saigeon striking from his familiar spot at the top of the left circle.

The east division rival Kingston Frontenacs provided the opposition on December 14th, 2019 and quickly got off to a 2-0 lead. At 9:06 of the opening period, Ryan Winterton sent Avery Hayes away on a short-handed breakaway tucking the puck past Ryan Dugas to call on the bears and start a run of 5-straight goals for the Bulldogs, leading to a 5-2 victory.

In the most recent edition of the Teddy Toss game on December 17th, 2021, the Bulldogs posted 10 total goals but the most important of the game occurred at 9:14 when Cole Brown became the 2nd rookie to release the bears, following Matt Strome in 2015, when he tipped a Nathan Staios left point drive past Peterborough Petes netminder Tye Austin.

Who will score the score to ignite the parade of bears to hit the ice in 2022? There is only one way to find out, be at FirstOntario Centre on December 10th at 4:00pm and have your bears ready to fly when the Bulldogs score their first!

Once the tossed toys are all cleared from FirstOntario Centre ice, they will all be donated to the Salvation Army to be distributed throughout the community so that families in need can enjoy a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season!

Glanbrook, bringing 500 association members with all players and families donating teddy bears for the game, Ancaster, who are making a $1,500 donation, and Glancaster minor hockey will all be on hand to help the Hamilton Bulldogs host the game with proceeds of the game going to MAC KIDS!

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