KITCHENER – Students packed the Kitchener Aud on Wednesday afternoon to watch the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks take on the Windsor Lancers for the annual Teddy Bear Toss.

An exciting game between the two teams came down to the wire, with Windsor eking out the win in a shootout.

This year, though, things were a little different: for the first time, the Wilfrid Laurier University women's hockey team took the ice for the big game.

It's a first for the seven-year tradition and it's been met with open arms. More than 5,000 students from the region were there for the game.

The university says that it wanted to encourage women in the sport this year.

"Just because you're a man or a woman doesn't mean that you should be discouraged to play any type. Sports is for everyone, it's a fun game and everyone should be allowed to play," says Laurier forward Jaden Head.

The school says that, with the success of the men's team in past years, the Hawks wanted to give the same sport a different look.

While getting people to fill the stands is more challenging for the women's team, it's important to give the fans a good experience and show students that any gender can do whatever they want.