Other than playing for the Prince George Cougars what do Ethan Samson, Ilijah Colina, Vladislav Mikhalchuk, Josh Maser, Josh Curtis Colby McAuley, Zach Pochiro, Tyler Mrkonjic and Alex Forsberg have in common?
Put yourself at the head of the class if you said they all scored a Teddy Bear Toss goal at CN Centre.
Saturday should be fun as the Cougars play their final game prior to the Christmas break hosting the Kamloops Blazers in the Teddy & Toque Toss game (6 PM start).
It is the second half of a doubleheader as the two teams also play tonight (7:00 Friday) in PG.
The event is in support of the Salvation Army.
All fans who attend Saturday’s game are encouraged to bring a new or gently used stuffed toy or warm winter clothes (coats, toques, socks, blankets, and mittens).
When the Cougars score their first goal, fans can throw bagged donations onto the ice.
Going by recent history, the goal should come early and there is a very good chance the Cougars will win the game in front of a large home crowd.
Would you believe that over a 10-year time frame, the Cougars are 8-0-1 in their last nine home Teddy Bear Toss games?
Seven of those nine goals came in the first period and the other two in the second period.
Last year in 2021, Ethan Samson opened the scoring at 4:07 of the first period and the Cougars went on to a 3-2 victory over Kamloops before a COVID-19 capacity crowd of 2,951 (building half full).
— The WHL (@TheWHL) December 12, 2021
There was no Teddy Bear Toss game in 2020 because of the pandemic.
In 2019, Ilijah Colina scored on the first shot of the game at 1:28 of the opening period and the Cougars went on to beat Victoria 4-2 in front of 3,395 fans.
First shot. First goal.
Ilijah Colina nets this year’s Teddy Bear Toss goal for the @PGCougars!
— The WHL (@TheWHL) December 15, 2019
— My Prince George Now (@mypgnow) December 15, 2022
In 2017, the Cougars did not get the victory but they got a point.
Josh Maser started his hat trick with a goal at 13:41 of the first in a 5-4 overtime loss to Victoria in front of 4,175 fans.
— Prince George Cougars (@PGCougars) December 11, 2017
In 2016, Josh Curtis got the Teddy Bear goal at 6:02 of the second period and the Cougars went on to beat Seattle 6-4 before 5,775.
In 2015, Colby McAuley got PG on the board at 14:30 of the first in an 8-2 triumph over Victoria in front of 5,560 fans.
— Hartley Miller (@Hartley_Miller) December 20, 2015
Fun story: I used to be the in-stand host for the @PGCougars. During the 2015 teddy bear toss I wiped out hard on the ice during cleanup, half died of embarrassment and had to wipe away some tears 🙃 anyway, teddy bear toss is the best and shoutout to everyone who came out today! pic.twitter.com/QLgePxEufV
— Cami Kepke (@CamiKepkeGlobal) December 4, 2021
In 2014, Zach Pochiro tallied the Cougars Teddy Bear goal at 19:43 of the first in a 4-3 win over Saskatoon before 4,800 jubilant fans.
In 2013, Tyler Mrkonjic scored at 5:36 of the first in a Prince George 5-2 win over Tri-City before 2,498 fans.
In 2012, Alex Forsberg scored at 17:47 of the second in a PG 2-1 win over Vancouver in front of a crowd of 4,629.
Over the last 10 years, in nine Teddy Bear Toss games at CN Centre the average crowd has been 4,155 and the Cougars have outscored the opposition 41-24 (for an average of 4.5 goals compared to 2.6 against) while not losing in regulation.
The last time the Cougars lost a home Teddy Bear Toss game in regulation time was 11 years ago in 2011 when they fell 3-1 to Vancouver before 4,696. (Alex Forsberg had the PG goal at 15:26 of the third)
The (14-15-1) Cougars have struggled of late, dropping their last five, but this weekend against the top team in the BC Division they have a golden opportunity to get their game back in high gear.
In other words, a chance to “bear” down.
Cat Scan podcast:
Part 2 with 30-year Sportstalk host & author @DanRussellST is on @PGCougars Catscan #podcast. Dan discusses going into #BC Sports Hall of Fame, 11 years with #WHL on #Shaw, rocky relationship with Brian Burke, final days of his show & would if offered he come out of retirement. https://t.co/QmuKYAyGp5
— Hartley Miller (@Hartley_Miller) December 14, 2022
FROM THE QUOTE RACK:
When asked about the Bucs 49ers game that featured a great performance by Mr Irrelevant, Giselle Bundchen said, ‘I got rid of Tom months ago.’
*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California
So Giselle Bundchen might have been forgiven for smiling while she watched the man who chose football over their family get schooled Sunday by Mr Irrelevant.
*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com
Happy 60th birthday to former Chicago Bear William “The Refrigerator” Perry. For those who might have forgotten, Perry struggled his first few years in the NFL until a little light went on inside his head.
*Contributor Marc Ragovin of New York
Fifty-year-old Jaromir Jagr, owner of the Kladno Knights in the Czech pro league, dressed for a game after illness swept through his team. He got two assists and told numerous opponents to get off his ice.
*Western Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com
Hartley Miller is the news and sports director/supervisor plus morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97fm. He is in his 10th season as the radio colour commentator for Prince George Cougars’ home games. Hartley has been on the airwaves in PG since 1979 and is the author of You Don’t Say (sports quotes).