Fur flies on Duval's big day

SCOTT FISHER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:44 AM ET

Ian Duval likes playing the role of Santa Claus.

First, he made it rain stuffed animals when he scored the Calgary Hitmen's first goal of the annual Teddy Bear Toss game. Then, by scoring in the first minute of the third period, he won a lucky fan a Panasonic 50-in. plasma TV.

"It was pretty awesome getting that (first) goal," Duval said after the Hitmen beat the Prince George Cougars 6-2 at the 'Dome. "It's bragging rights in the room right now."

It also gave the Hitmen fans bragging rights for tossing the most bears on the ice at a CHL game. The Lethbridge Hurricanes held the record for less than 48 hours with 22,736 stuffed animals collected Friday night. The Hitmen's Petro-Canada Teddy Bear Toss netted 26,919.

"It was awesome to hear we broke the record," Duval said. "So, Lethbridge, take that."

Kyle Bortis also scored a pair while Bostjan Golicic and Ryan White added singles for the Hitmen, who improved to an Eastern Conference leading 20-8-1-2.

Duval's goal wasn't a thing of beauty. He centred a pass during a Hitmen powerplay and had it bank off a Cougars defender and into the net at 4:52 of the opening period.

That sent the players and officials scrambling for safety as the stuffed animals poured down for more than 10 minutes from the 17,341 fans in attendance.

The Cougars went to their room while the Hitmen helped volunteers pack up the bears, which will be doled out to numerous children's charities. The game resumed a half-hour later and the Hitmen continued right where they left off en route to the lopsided victory.


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