HITMEN COLLECT OVER 21,000 BEARS

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Calgary, AB - Ukrainian import Pavlo Padakin scored the highly-anticipated teddy bear goal in the opening frame of the 18th annual Petro-Canada Teddy Bear Toss, triggering an avalanche of stuffed toys.  Thanks to the generosity of 16,912 fans and the Hitmen’s community partner, Petro-Canada, a Suncor Energy business, 21,453 bears will be donated to more than 50 local agencies.

“Thank you to all the fans who came out for the 18th annual Petro-Canada Teddy Bear Toss and threw teddy bears on the ice. It was an exceptional display of the generosity of Calgarians,” said Kris Smith, senior vice president, Supply Trading and Corporate Development, Suncor Energy. “The teddy bears certainly help in spreading holiday cheer to the children and families who need it most this holiday season.”

“Every year it continues to be astounding,” commented Hitmen Director of Business Operations Mike Moore.  “We never anticipate the level of tremendous support, but fans continue to deliver year-in and year-out. It’s an extraordinary event, we have special fans in a special city that love to give back to the community. We are privileged to do it in this setting.”

Greg Chase also netted a pair of goals in the annual game, while Alex Roach added a tally in the win.  Brooks Macek chipped in two helpers for Calgary, setting up Padakin’s teddy bear marker and Roach’s game-winning goal.

Chris Driedger made 18 saves in the Hitmen net as Calgary improves to 18-6-1-2.

During the game, players wore teddy bear jerseys that will be featured in an online auction until Thursday, December 6 at 9 p.m.  Fans can bid on the game-worn jerseys by visiting www.elevateauctions.com/teddybeartoss2012.  Proceeds from the jersey auction will support the CBC Calgary Suncor Energy Food Bank Drive.  Winning bidders will be presented with game-worn jerseys following the home game on Saturday, Dec. 8 versus the Edmonton Oil Kings.

The distribution and delivery of Sunday’s bears will take place on Monday, Dec. 3.  The morning begins at the Petro-Canada gas station, 5505 Signal Hill Centre SW, where more than 50 agencies will visit the teddy bear distribution site to collect their donated bears from 8:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.  Calgary Hitmen players will then visit the Alberta Children’s Hospital to deliver 400 stuffed toys to patients.

Since 1999, over 213,000 bears have been donated to local agencies including the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Boys and Girls Club of Calgary, YWCA, Red Cross, Salvation Army and Calgary Food Bank.

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