Chicago Steels fans to continue 'Teddy Bear Toss' tradition Jan. 19
One of the most anticipated nights of the season for the Chicago Steel Hockey Team is the annual Teddy Bear Toss presented by Geneva Family Dental on Saturday, Jan. 19.
The Chicago Steel play in the United States Hockey League, the nation's premier amateur development league for the next generation of college and NHL stars.
When the Steel face off against the Sioux City Musketeers that night, they will bring back this historic hockey tradition to Geneva's Fox Valley Ice Arena.
Fans are encouraged to throw new, unwrapped stuffed animals on the ice as soon as the Steel score their first goal of the game.
The toys will be donated to Marklund, a local nonprofit organization that serves infants, children, teens and adults with serious and profound developmental disabilities and special health care needs.
"One of the things that fans love most about minor league sports is how interactive the entertainment is," said Chicago Steel President Dan Lehv. "Outside of a hat trick or perhaps an octopus in Detroit, most teams frown upon fans throwing items onto the ice during the game. On this night, we encourage it."
The Steel have held a Teddy Bear Toss in every season since the team moved to the Fox Valley Ice Arena prior to the start of the 2015 season. Fans have donated over 1,000 stuffed animals to charity in the three previous events.
The Teddy Bear Toss has been a popular event in junior hockey and the minor league circuit over the past couple decades, and continues to grow as more casual fans are introduced to this unique hockey tradition. After the first home team goal is scored and the toys are thrown onto the ice, players often dive into the piles of stuffed animals and then help to gather the donations.
Earlier this season, the Hershey Bears (American Hockey League affiliate of the Washington Capitals) set a Teddy Bear Toss record with 34,798 bears thrown onto the ice during their Dec. 1 home game.
The Chicago Steel are known for pushing boundaries. On Nov. 30, the Steel created a lot of noise in the hockey world when they became the first hockey team in history to wear individually designed helmets that were then auctioned off for charity -- a promotion that has the legs to become a new tradition in the junior hockey world.
The puck will drop at 7:05 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, when the Chicago Steel host the Sioux City Musketeers at the Fox Valley Ice Arena, 1996 S. Kirk Road in Geneva. Tickets start at $10 and parking is always free.
For tickets or more information, call (855) 51-STEEL, stop by the box office at Fox Valley Ice Arena or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.
ABOUT THE CHICAGO STEEL
The Chicago Steel are competing in their 19th season in the United States Hockey League and fourth season playing at Fox Valley Ice Arena in Geneva, IL. The organization's focus is providing affordable, family-friendly entertainment. Steel players are recruited from across the country and internationally. They are assigned a host family and adviser to arrange housing and education options while with the team. Education, and development as a player/individual, are keys to their success. 194 Steel players have earned NCAA Division I scholarships since 2000 and 46 have been NHL Draft picks since 2002. Follow the Steel on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @ChicagoSteel. Visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com for more information.
ABOUT THE UNITED STATES HOCKEY LEAGUE
Headquartered in Chicago, the United States Hockey League celebrates its 17th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2018-19. The USHL had a record 45 players selected at the 2018 NHL Draft, more than any junior league in the world, and more than 400 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world's foremost producer of junior hockey talent.