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Short Shifts

Oilers fan invites stranger to first NHL game, makes new friend

Rob Ford went viral after bringing man he met in Edmonton Light Rail to Rogers Place

by Pat Pickens @Pat_Pickens / Staff Writer

Rob Ford didn't want his ticket to the Edmonton Oilers preseason game on Tuesday to go to waste. And that's when he met a friend that was new to the area.

Ford met Imron Andrews, who goes by Andrew, on the platform of the Edmonton Light Rail. So he invited the native of Grenada to his first-ever hockey game against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Place.

Andrew accepted. The result went viral.

Tweet from @ROBFORD99: This is Andrew.Andrew is from Grenada. 🇬 I met Andrew on the LRT.I had an extra Oilers Ticket.I gave my ticket to Andrew. Andrew has never been to a hockey game.Andrew is having a blast.Say hi to Andrew.

"My first hockey experience was amazing. Full of fun and excitement," Andrew told via email. "Everyone who heard Rob explaining the game to me was super nice and also gave great feedback to me."

Andrew got to see Ty Rattie's hat trick and the Oilers' 6-0 win. The Oilers took notice of the gesture and gave each free Oilers jerseys.

Tweet from @EdmontonOilers: Longtime #Oilers fan Rob had an extra ticket to last night's game. Andrew from Grenada is new to #yeg & had never seen hockey live before. Rob met Andrew by chance on the LRT & invited him along. This is what #LOILTY is all about!

"He loved the game," Ford told via email. "He thought it was very fast and exciting. He even rooted a bit at the end for the Canucks to get a couple goals so the Vancouver fans could cheer for something."

Fate seemingly brought the new friends, Ford an Oilers season ticket holder for 20 years and Andrew, who had never been to a game, together. 

Andrew, an electrician, is new to the Edmonton area after moving from Toronto about two weeks ago. He was trying to figure out the light-rail system when Ford approached him to help. Andrew wanted to see the sights of his new hometown, and Ford directed him to Rogers Place.

"I asked him where he wanted to go, and he said 'Downtown, to see the sights,'" Ford said. "You could see Rogers Place from the platform, and I told him 'I'm going there' and asked him if he wanted to go. He said he'd love to, and we got on the train and went."

The Oilers caught wind of the experience later on Twitter and shared it Wednesday. The experience left a mark on Andrew, who is working to try to support his daughter back in Toronto. He said Tuesday's game won't be his last. Andrew even updated his Twitter bio to say he is now an Oilers fan.

Tweet from @PressoMan: Thank you @EdmontonOilers .standing next to @ROBFORD99 and the great #Waynegretzky ..GRENADIANS LOVE D OIL . #jab ..lets go oilers..📸📸📸🎥🎥🎥👏👏👏🎼🎼🎶🎵🎵🎤🎤

Tweet from @PressoMan: thanks to my new friend rob ..he was kind enough to give me a ticket to watch my first live hokey game.. #Edmonton #Canada #Grenada #oilers #6-0 😊📸📸📸📸📽📽📽🍾🍾🍾🍾🍾

"The experience was life changing for me. Now I am in love with hockey," Andrew said. "I am very happy with the Oilers for reaching out and giving us those [jerseys]. It shows great love for the fans."

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