Sports Editor

The Orlando Solar Bears will host their annual Teddy Bear Toss against the rival Florida Everblades on Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. at the Amway Center in Orlando.

All fans in attendance are encouraged to bring new teddy bears or stuffed animals to throw onto the ice when Orlando scores its first goal of the game. The teddy bears and stuffed animals will then be collected and donated to children in The Teddy Bear Toss is a popular event throughout the professional and junior hockey ranks during the holiday season. The concept originated with the Western Hockey League’s Kamloops Blazers during the 1993-94 season, and since then has been adopted by a number of teams, resulting in thousands of teddy bears and stuffed animals going to needy children. The Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League hold the record for most stuffed animals collected in a single Teddy Bear Toss, with 34,798 collected in Hershey’s 6-3 win over the Binghamton Devils on Dec. 2, 2018.

OSB Teddy Bear toss

Hundreds of teddy bears will rain down on the ice at the Amway Center when the Orlando Solar Bears score their first goal (or during the second intermission) on Friday against the Florida Everblades. The bears will be donated to underprivileged children.

The Solar Bears will also wear specialty Ugly Holiday Sweater jerseys, which will be auctioned off following the game. Fans in attendance are also encouraged to wear their own ugly holiday sweaters to compete in an ugly holiday sweater contest throughout the game.

Of late, the Solar Bears’ game at home has rivaled those ugly sweaters. The team dropped a 7-4 decision Sunday to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, the Bears’ fourth home loss in six tries.

“I didn’t think anybody played well. That’s it,” Coach Drake Berehowsky said. “We didn’t compete hard enough. I think we had some chances but we needed more and I thought we gave up too much as well.”

Four scorers did play well enough to put a puck in the net — Mathieu Foget, Otto Sommpi, Brent Pedersen and Cody Donaghey, his third score in three games.

To help spread holiday cheer, the Solar Bears are proud to present a Buy One, Donate One offer for groups getting at least 15 tickets for the Teddy Bear Toss game. For any qualifying group that attends the Teddy Bear Toss game, the Solar Bears will donate a matching amount of tickets to a non-profit/charitable organization of that group’s choice for a future Solar Bears home game during the 2018-19 regular season.

The Solar Bears will look for revenge against Greenville in their next home game, Sunday at 1:30 p.m. The teams will play again on Monday at 7.