No Lion down on the job

IAN BUSBY

, Last Updated: 9:24 AM ET

For the Calgary Stampeders to advance to the Grey Cup, they have to be four-tunate today.

It's hard to beat a team three times in a season.

That must mean it's darn near impossible to do it four times.

The Stamps are 3-0 in 2008 against the Lions, but it is B.C. that stands in the way of their first Cup appearance since 2001.

They know the formula for beating the Lions, but will the visitors finally figure out the game plan in today's West final at McMahon Stadium (2:30 p.m., TSN)?

"There were a lot of myths busted this year," said Stamps slotback Nik Lewis. "We've done things this year we weren't supposed to do. We won in B.C. this year.

"I look at it as Edmonton won in 2005, B.C. won in 2006 and Saskatchewan won last year.

"This is our year. It's our time to shine."

Although the Stamps' backups whipped the Lions in the season finale 41-30, the visitors feel they have momentum after knocking off the defending champion Saskatchewan Roughriders in the semifinal.

This is the first time the Lions are on the road for the West final in the Wally Buono era, and that suits them fine.

"It's good to not have the pressure," said Lions slotback Geroy Simon. "It's good to have none of the expectations. We have nothing to lose. It's their show, and we're just playing our part."

When asked what worries him about the Lions, Stamps head coach John Hufnagel started counting off the issues.

"They have great skill, great defence and are very well-coached with arguably the best coach in CFL history," Hufnagel said, then chuckled. "Besides that, not much.

"I'm excited about this. I really am. As a coach, you want to be in these types of games."

Since the ownership group took over in 2005, the Stamps have bowed out in the first round of the playoffs each season.

This core group knows it needs to get over the hump of winning a post-season game.

"The key is to go and do what we do but do it better," said veteran slotback Jeremaine Copeland. "We'll be real physical and leave it all on the line. We want people to know the Stampeders are for real. We'll find out in this game."

In those past three playoff losses, Lewis hasn't played up to his usual standard. He only has nine catches for 83 yards in his post-season history.

But just as the previous games against the Lions this season, he will throw it all out come game-time today.

"This team is determined," Lewis said. "We don't accept losing. The way we approached every game this season is positive. We turned it around. We aren't losers any more. We're doing what it takes to win."

Lewis just laughs as the thoughts the Lions are flying high thanks to their semifinal win.

"Call it momentum, call it whatever. When we step on the field, that's all over," Lewis said.


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