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Dueling with Dubuque this Thanksgiving

October 22, 2020 - United States Hockey League (USHL) - Waterloo Black Hawks News Release

Waterloo, Iowa - The challenges and difficulties of 2020 have had an impact on everyone, whether large or small. With that in mind, the Waterloo Black Hawks are asking fans to be kind to a special group whose sole mission is to make us feel better: America's Teddy Bears.

Rather than sending cute plush toys hurtling hundreds of feet through the air and landing on the cold, hard ice during the annual Thanksgiving Teddy Bear Toss, the Black Hawks will hold a gentle Teddy Bear Round-Up before the November 26th meeting with the Dubuque Fighting Saints. Fans providing new bears with tags will still be helping Toys for Tots, People's Community Health Clinic, and other organizations which will use the toys to brighten the lives of children this holiday season. The Black Hawks will also round up teddy bears ahead of the Wednesday, November 25th Thanksgiving Eve matchup against the Lincoln Stars.

"In all seriousness, we are asking fans to approach this traditional part of the Thanksgiving game a little differently - just this year - out of an abundance of caution related to the COVID-19 situation," said Black Hawks President of Business Operations Joe Greene. "We are still very proud to act as an intermediary bringing together Black Hawks fans with some great organizations."

The Teddy Bear Toss has been an annual part of the holiday at Young Arena since 2001.

Another substantial change for the 2020 Thanksgiving game is the opponent. For the past 20 years, the Black Hawks hosted the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders for the traditional contest. With the RoughRiders on hiatus in 2020/21, Waterloo meets the other member of the Dupaco Cowbell Cup rivalry series, the Dubuque Fighting Saints. Although this will be the 50th time a Thanksgiving hockey game has been hosted in Waterloo, it will be just the second time Dubuque has visited on Turkey Day. Back in 1985, the Hawks edged the Saints on Mike Notermann's second goal of the game, coming back for a 5-4 victory at McElroy Auditorium.

Each day this week, the Black Hawks have been releasing Thanksgiving-related news. One more important update related to Waterloo's 50th Thanksgiving home game is scheduled for Friday.

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