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Flames’ Tkachuk shows support for Edmonton Oilers super fan battling brain cancer

Click to play video: 'Calgary Flames show support for Ben Stelter, the 5-year-old Edmonton Oilers superfan battling brain cancer'
Calgary Flames show support for Ben Stelter, the 5-year-old Edmonton Oilers superfan battling brain cancer
As the Battle of Alberta intensifies for Game 2, in Round 2 of the NHL playoffs, a softer side of the rivalry is coming to light and it involves Ben Stelter, a young boy battling cancer, and Matthew Tkachuk — a player he's not too fond of. Chris Chacon reports. – May 20, 2022

A softer side of the Battle of Alberta rivalry is coming to light ahead of Game 2. It involves a young boy battling cancer and a player he’s not too fond of.

Back in March, 5-year-old Ben Stelter recorded a video shooting a nerf gun at Edmonton Oilers public enemy number one: Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk.

“Hope you guys win the game. Let’s get Tkachuk,” Stetler says before firing a toy gun at a picture of the Flames forward.

A huge Oilers fan, Stelter recorded the video ahead of a regular season Battle of Alberta game.

It recently caught the eye of Tkachuk himself, leading him to share a message of his own.

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“Hey Ben, I’m sure you’re not the biggest fan of me — I can tell by the video of you shooting a nerf gun at me,” Tkachuk said in a video on social media Thursday. “But everyone here in Calgary is cheering you on and we’re all big fans of you.”

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It’s the latest show of support from Oilers rivals for Ben who was diagnosed with brain cancer last year.

Click to play video: 'Battle of Alberta divides families with diehard Flames, Oilers fans'
Battle of Alberta divides families with diehard Flames, Oilers fans

During round one against the L.A. Kings, that team also shared a message supporting Stetler.

“It’s way bigger than hockey,” Tkachuk said in a press conference Friday. “It doesn’t matter who you’re rooting for, we’re cheering him on. He doesn’t like us — that’s just what the game brings — but we’re all obviously thinking about him and his family.

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“He’s a true warrior.”

Ben’s family saw the video and thanked the Flames and Tkachuk on social media, saying “Thanks for the love” and “We can be friends off the ice.”

For other Edmonton fans who love to take aim at Tkachuk and the Flames, this moment may have eased the Battle of Alberta tensions a little.

“It is great to see that support, for sure,” Oilers fan Chad Frey said.

“At the end of the day its about Ben, its not about the rivalry between Calgary and Edmonton right now,” Oilers fan Crystal Frey said.

“I think it’s really honourable of Mathew. One check mark for him, but I still don’t like him.”

Click to play video: 'Edmonton Oilers inspired by young superfan battling brain cancer'
Edmonton Oilers inspired by young superfan battling brain cancer

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