A two-plus decade tradition will give Bakersfield Condors fans the chance to shower the ice with stuffed animals Saturday night.
The club will host its 21st annual Teddy Bear Toss at Mechanics Bank Arena, when the Condors welcome the Ontario Reign for a 7 p.m. puck drop.
As in previous years, fans are encouraged to bring teddy bears and other stuffed animals into the arena, then throw them on the ice when the Condors score their first goal. The items will then be collected and donated by the United Way of Kern County to less-fortunate children in the area.
Prior to the game, there will be a Christmas Tree Lighting and pizza party on the plaza, beginning at 5 p.m. The game will also serve as Big Buddies Night, allowing underprivileged children and military members to be admitted for free.
Over 100,000 items have been thrown onto the ice for donations in the previous 20 years. The team has scored at least once in every Teddy Bear Toss game, though left things a bit close for comfort a season ago, in a 6-1 loss to Tucson.
There should be plenty of scoring opportunities against an Ontario defense that has allowed 29 goals during a losing streak that was at six-games entering Friday.
The teams entered their respective Friday night contests neck and neck in the standings. Ontario is 8-9-2-0, with its 18 points good enough for fourth in the Pacific Division. Bakersfield is right behind in fifth place, holding a 7-9-2-1 overall record and 17 points on the season.