Blaine picked up its ninth win of the season in a 3-1 win over rival Coon Rapids Dec. 14.
For the first time in four years, Blaine (9-4) scored first in the annual Teddy Bear toss game, in which the first goal of the game triggers fans of both teams toss stuffed animals onto the ice. The animals are collected by both teams and donated to area hospitals, police, fire and crisis shelters.
Blaine’s Katie Swanstrom sent the stuffed animals sailing with her first goal, 12 minutes into the game. Kiersten Falck and Sam Swanstrom set her up on the goal. The goal not only brought down a ton of stuffed animals, but Blaine coach Steve Guider made a deal to give the scorer of that goal a big bag of the team’s favorite candy Laffy Taffy.
Katie Swanstrom followed with a shorthander in the closing minutes of the second period and Abby Vogel made it 3-0 for Blaine with a power play goal at the 3:08 mark of the third period. Former Coon Rapids standout-turned Bengals key defenseman Amy Schlagel collected an assist on Vogel’s power play goal.
Coon Rapids’ Lily Hackett broke up the shutout eight seconds after Vogel’s goal to make for a 3-1 final score, while the Cardinals dropped to 2-11.
Blaine outshot Coon Rapids 39-26.
Guider didn’t have a number on how many bears were donated since they also accepted monetary donations.
Earlier in the week the Bengals donated time at the KARE-TV Toys For Tots donation drop-off area at the station in Golden Valley as a volunteer project. The team helped gather donations from vehicles and moved them into the area for collection.