Oilers defenseman Andrew Ference is usually the one foiling the plans of the opposition and saving the Edmonton net, but it was he who needed saving Monday.
In an event organized by the Children’s Wish Foundation, six-year-old Mable Tooke, who has been battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia for the past two years, was granted her dream of fighting crime alongside her hero, Spider-Man. Tooke, who transformed into Spider-Mable for the day, was tasked with recovering the kidnapped Ference and saving the city from the evil Mysterio.
“If Spider-Mable is out there and you get this message,” Edmonton Police sergeant Steve Sharpe pleaded. “If you can come down to the Mayor’s office and be a part of the team, and lead us towards safety and getting our captain back.”
After a day that included trips to Edmonton City Hall, the West Edmonton Mall and the police station, and one that saw Spider-Mable fly down a zipline, she finally chased down Mysterio at Edmonton Valley Zoo by the afternoon.
It was at the zoo that Ference remained tied up and under the watch of Mysterio. The evildoer led Ference out into the open where he frantically cried for help from Spider-Mable. It was then our hero swung into action.
Luckily for the Oilers, Spider-Mable was able to save Ference thanks to some quick thinking and a helping hand from her crime-fighting hero, Spider-Man.
“Look at her,” Ference told media after he had been rescued. “It’s just so cool. There’s not a better story. It just makes everybody happy. Especially — having kids of my own — you see a smile on a kid’s face, you can’t put a price on it, especially someone who has gone through a pretty tough time like her.”
Ference has a history of charitable endeavors. He has made connections with young fans in Edmonton since his arrival in 2013 and was a staple of the community in Boston, where he played for seven seasons prior to signing with the Oilers.
No story involving the Oilers can be complete without a dig at the provincial rival Calgary Flames, however. Ference, who spent parts of four seasons in Calgary, made sure to take a good-natured jab at the Flames.
“(Mysterio) was talking a lot about the Flames having a good year,” Ference joked. “I think there’s a tie and that might be something we have to look into. I’m sure the police will get at him in the cell.”