>The Teddy Bear Affair
>(alternately titled Beargate 2006.)
Well, Saturday’s game has come and gone, but scandal has only just begun!
This press release, from Tuesday, announces UMD’s 4th annual Teddy Bear Toss, a charitable event where fans are encouraged to hurl teddy bears onto the ice. The bears would then be distributed to local hospitals and charities. All in all, a generous endeavor for UMD athletics.
Or so it seemed…
Saturday night, fans were still trickling in, when Mason Raymond decided to get the teddy bear party started, scoring on the power play a mere 1:26 into the game. This prompted the Call Heard Round the World from UMD play-by-play man Bruce Ciskie, “AND HERE COME THE TEDDY BEARS!” A steady torrent of bears rained down on the ice. It’s raining bears! Hallelujah! The players frolicked amongst the fuzzy precipitation, playing crack the whip, spinning and jumping through the bears, Mason Raymond showing off the quadruple axel-triple salchow-triple toe loop combination he had been working on in his spare time.
Little did the team know, but there were some evil forces at work. Bear-hating forces. Within moments of the aerial bear assault, WCHA Head of Officials Greg Shepherd was on the phone to his minions at the DECC.
Shepherd: I don’t care what you have to do! These bears must be stopped!
So the bears were removed from the ice, and play continued. Referee Randy Schmidt felt it was safe, because the Bulldogs weren’t going to score anymore goals. It just wasn’t possible.
But six minutes later, plucky freshman Drew Akins, whose porridge had been eaten earlier that day by an unknown party or parties, managed to squeak a goal past bear-loving Bemidji goalie Matt Climie, who just wanted to see more bears go to charity. And so another wave of bears was launched onto the ice.
Schmidt, fearing the wrath of Greg Shepherd, conferred with his assistants, Jerome Krieger and CJ Beaurline. (Yeah right, like we would be fooled by your alternate spelling, CJ.) Schmidt warned the benches and the fans, who were only doing their part to help out needy children, that any further bears on the ice would result in a penalty for UMD.
Now, this is where the details get a little fuzzy. Pardon the pun. Because ten and a half minutes into the first period, notorious pick-a-nick basket stealer Matt Niskanen scored, again on the power play (which Schmidt was forced to give the Dogs, in order to keep a lid on the anti-Bear conspiracy), a bear came flying out of nowhere. Or, seemingly nowhere. An eyewitness (who somewhat resembles a bear himself) claims to have seen a fan from Bemidji, possibly motivated by the DQ Cup and/or Babe the Blue Ox Trophy, both of which were within Bemidji’s grasp, throw a bear on the ice. Earwitnesses say they heard from the pressbox that it was a young UMD hoodlum, but you can’t trust the press. All we know for sure is, more bears were on the ice, Detroit Wheels was in the penalty box, and Bemidji scored on the ensuing power play, as well as on a power play from a phantom trip from Trent Palm (who would never, EVER trip someone!) later in the period. Those two power plays turned out to be the difference-makers in the game, as the score would have been 5-3 UMD, we wouldn’t have gone to overtime, and the ‘Dogs would have won.
RWD wonders if UMD alum and Boss of Greg Shepherd Bruce McLeod will be taking any action, now that the anti-Bear conspiracy has been exposed.