Heartlanders host first Teddy Bear Toss Friday
Coralville, IA – The Iowa Heartlanders (5-12-2-1, 13 pts.) will participate in one of minor league hockey’s most-notable traditions – the Teddy Bear Toss – Friday at 7:00 p.m. as the Toledo Walleye (13-5-0-0, 26 pts.) are in town again to continue a three-game series. The Teddy Bear Toss will occur after the Heartlanders score their first goal. Tickets are available by visiting iowaheartlanders.com/tickets.The Landers are seeking their first win ever against the Walleye; Toledo has taken the first five games of the season series. They top the Western Conference and are four points ahead of Fort Wayne for first in the Central Division. The Landers and Walleye also meet Saturday at 7:00 p.m. for Healthcare Heroes Night pres. by Mercy Iowa City. Broadcast Coverage: Listen at Iowaheartlanders.com/listenlive or mixlr.com/goheartlanders. Watch on FloHockey.tv. NHL Affiliates: Iowa Heartlanders (Minnesota Wild/Iowa Wild) | Toledo Walleye (Detroit Red Wings/Grand Rapids Griffins)Teddy Bear Toss TraditionThe Teddy Bear Toss is a popular promotion in minor league and junior hockey in which fans are encouraged to bring teddy bears to a game and throw them on the ice after the home team scores its first goal. All bears thrown on the ice for the Heartlanders Teddy Toss will be donated to Toys For Tots for those in need this holiday season.The first ever Teddy Bear Toss originated in 1993 with the Kamloops Blazers (WHL); future NHL defenseman Brad Lukowich scored and fans threw more than 2,400 bears on the ice.The record for most Bears thrown on the ice is held, coincidentally, by the Hershey Bears (AHL). In 2019, fans tossed 45,650 bears on to the ice and the game was delayed by more than 40 minutes while cleaning up the Bears.Last Time OutJohn Albert scored the game’s opening goal for the third time in the five-game series and Toledo cruised to a 4-0 win over the Heartlanders.Trevin Kozlowski once again gave the Landers a chance to win, making 36 saves (3 GA). He faced 13 shots in every period. Kaden Fulcher only needed 19 saves to register his fourth professional shutout.Marcus Vela, Conlan Keenan and Brett Boeing also scored for Toledo. Iowa leaders The Landers penalty kill stymied the Walleye’s three chances Wednesday (0-for-3), improving Iowa to 80.6% on the penalty kill, the team’s highest mark since Nov. 19. On the other side of the special teams, the Heartlanders have scored 12 power-play goals this season and five have been by Bryce Misley. His five goals rank second on the squad to Kris Bennett, who is currently in the AHL with the Iowa Wild.Kaid Oliver leads active Landers with ten assists (11 pts.).Scouting the WalleyeThe Walleye have won five games in a row, matching a season-high winning streak for the top team in the Western Conference. Toledo is two points back of Newfoundland for the league’s best record.Dan Watson is the fifth-year Head Coach for “the Fish”; the team has made the playoffs every year he has been behind the bench.TJ Hensick (14g) and Marcus Vela (12g) lead the team in goals. Seven of Vela’s goals have been against Iowa this season.Season SeriesCole Golka has two goals against Toledo to lead all Landers. He scored both of his goals Oct. 30 in a 5-2 loss to the Walleye. That is the only time in the season series the Heartlanders have scored at least two goals.Trevin Kozlowski has faced Toledo twice and made an average of 35 saves per contest. He stopped 36 of 39 in defeat Wednesday.The Walleye have used three netminders vs. the Landers this season. Billy Christopoulos is 2-0-0-0 (3 GA), Kaden Fulcher is 2-0-0-0 (1 GA) and Victor Brattstrom is 1-0-0-0 (1 GA). Upcoming Home GamesOn Saturday, Dec. 11, the Heartlanders rematch the Walleye for another Healthcare Heroes Night, pres. by Mercy Iowa City.Season ticket memberships, group tickets, mini-plans, flex vouchers and single-game tickets are available for the Heartlanders inaugural season by calling 319-569-GOAL and visiting iowaheartlanders.com/tickets.