Five-year-old brain cancer fighter steals the show at Oilers game

Mar 25 2022, 4:51 pm

The Edmonton Oilers may have beat the San Jose Sharks 5-2 at Rogers Arena last night, but the most significant win came off the ice.Ā 

The Oilers hosted an extra special Scotiabank Skater on Thursday, five-year-old Ben Stelter. Ben is currently battling a form of brain tumour known as glioblastoma.Ā 

He was diagnosed with the tumour one year ago and underwent four rounds of chemotherapy and 30 radiation treatment sessions to remove it. The tumour returned right before Christmas, and Ben is about to undergo another round of radiation treatment next week to continue his battle.Ā 

But not before a special performance with his favourite team.Ā 

Ben joined the team on the ice for the national anthems and received a pep talk from captain Connor McDavid — one of his two favourite players.Ā 

“He lit up the building pretty quickly, so I think it was pretty easy to get up for the game after Ben skated on the ice,” Oilers goalie Mike Smith said. “It always puts things into perspective when you see a little guy like that and what he’s been through to get on the ice like that and get Rogers Arena bopping right from the first faceoff. Obviously, an inspiration to us all, and I’m happy we got a big win for him.”

Before Ben helped push the Oilers to a win, he was treated to multiple standing ovations from the crowd.Ā 

He joined them in the locker room to celebrate post-game and was presented with the Oilers’ player of the game helmet and leather vest and a trip to the media room with Zach Hyman — where he was prompted with questions from media.

How did the team play, Ben?

Ā “Really good,” he replied.Ā 

How did Hyman look?

“Good,” Ben started. “I think he played really good.”

Who is your favourite player?Ā 

“McDavid and (Leon) Draisaitl,” Ben said.Ā 

Hyman, laughing beside Ben, didn’t take offence.Ā 

“I think I need a little bit more time,” Hyman said. “I just got here. But I think Ben’s picked two great guys and two great players. Just happy to be on stage with him.”

Onstage.Ā Center stage.Ā For a truly magical night.Ā 

Aaron VickersAaron Vickers

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