On Saturday night, the Regina Pats return to the Brandt Centre for the first time in a couple weeks when they welcome the Red Deer Rebels.
But the evening matchup has much more meaning for children in the city.
After the first Pats goal, the ice will be quickly littered with teddy bears and plush toys.
It’s part of the team’s annual teddy bear toss where the team collects stuffed toys thrown onto the ice and donates them to children at the Regina General Hospital, Salvation Army and some Regina schools.
“We go to the NICU unit at RGH and give the guys a chance to go into each room to talk to the kids and give them a plush teddy bear,” said Pats play-by-play commentator Phil Andrews. “It’s going to a good cause.”
Andrews believes they’ve averaged 2,000 to 3,000 bear at each teddy bear toss over the last couple years. He thinks it will be no different for the 2019 edition of the event.
And the players even enjoy being a part of the teddy bear toss game.
“In previous years, I think there have been some bets and that type of thing where they guess who is going to score the goal,” he admitted. “It’s really exciting for the guys because they all want to score that goal, and it’s an eye-opening experience for them to be able to go to the hospital and meet with the kids.”
Puck drop for Saturday’s game between Regina and Red Deer is at 7:00 p.m. Tickets to the game can be purchased on the Regina Pats website.