Victoria Royals Ralph Jarratt watches as a giant teddy bear lands on teammate Jared Freadrich as bears rained down on the ice during a Teddy Bear toss. (Black Press files)

Flames start December with two wins

Teddy Bear Toss night this Friday

The Ridge Meadows Flames started December with two wins.

Friday night they beat the Surrey Knights, who were coming off their first of the Pacific Junior Hockey League season.

But the Flames took care of business, beating the league’s perennial last-place entry, who have a record of 1-26-0-1, by a score of 4-1.

Tetsuya Prior had two goals, and Nic Amsler and Jesse Nelson also scored. Brett Didyk had two assists, and a bored Paul Tucek got the win in net, stopping 11 of just 12 shots. The Flames directed 46 at the Knight net.

Then on Sunday, the Flames beat the league’s sixth-place Grandview Steelers (16-12) by a score of 3-2, getting a pair of goals from Jarod McKay and another from Brandon Armstrong. Eric Bourhill had a pair of helpers. Tucek was again in net for the winning, stopping 25 of 27 shots.

With the win, the Flames improve to 14-11-0-3, and are in third place in the Harold Brittain Conference.

They have just four more games in December, and the schedule does not appear to be tough. They will go against the Port Moody Panthers (11-17), expansion White Rock Whalers (11-16-0-2), Langley Trappers (16-11-0-1) and end 2018 against the league whipping boys, the Knights.

Their next game will be Friday night, at 7:30 p.m. at Cam Neely Arena.

Teddy Bear toss

The great hockey Christmas tradition of the Teddy Bear Toss comes to Maple Ridge on Friday night.

All fans are encouraged to bring a teddy bear, stuffed animal or new packaged toy that they can throw onto the ice when the Flames score their first goal of the game.

The teddy bears will be collected and donated to less fortunate children through the Ridge Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.

The teddy bear toss is believed to have started with the Kamloops Blazers in December of 1993. Brad Lukowich scored, assisted by Darcy Tucker and Shane Doan. Some 2,400 bears and toys came over the boards and onto the ice.

The tradition has spread to hockey leagues around the world.

The Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League claim to have the record of stuffed animals earlier this month, as they had some 34,000 rain down.

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