Montreal endures marathon travel day

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:35 AM ET

The Montreal Alouettes were a weary bunch when they finally reached their hotel yesterday in Calgary.

The bus to the Montreal airport picked them up at 5 a.m. Calgary time yesterday morning and the flight left on time.

However, once they were in the air, the plane's landing gear wouldn't retract.

To burn off fuel so it could land safely, the plane spent the next 90 minutes circling Montreal before the ground crew found a plane in Toronto.

The Alouettes flew into Hogtown only to wait another two hours before taking off.

They arrived and checked into their rooms in Calgary at 5 p.m.

BEN AWAITS BABY: If Ben Cahoon steps onto the field tonight at McMahon Stadium, those sore ribs that kept him out of practice all week likely will be the last thing on his mind.

Cahoon's wife, Kimberli, expects the arrival of the couple's fourth daughter within days and the Montreal Alouettes all-Canadian receiver didn't travel with the team yesterday.

Cahoon, who has nursed sore ribs since the Als beat the Toronto Argonauts last week, took a late flight last night. At any moment he could get the call to rush home.

Quarterback Anthony Calvillo said the team is planning on Cahoon being in the lineup for kickoff against the Calgary Stampeders (8 p.m., CBC) but will have to make due if he doesn't play.

"We have quality receivers who can take over," Calvillo said.

"Dave Stala is dying to take over that position. If Ben can't make it, Stala will step in."

NEW DEAL FOR THE DON: Alouettes head coach Don Matthews has received a two-year contract extension, which wasn't formally announced but was reported yesterday in Montreal. The coach wasn't in the mood to talk about the deal.

"That was a long time ago. It's not really an issue. This is the same contract that I've had with (owner) Bob Wettenhall for years," said Matthews, who preferred to talk about tonight's game but didn't have much to say.

"We've had a great week of practice and we're excited to play."


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