Stamps own their house

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:51 PM ET

The Montreal Alouettes return to the scene of the crime, hoping to steal another victory.

But the pressure will be on the defending Grey Cup champions when they hit McMahon Stadium for Friday’s meeting with the Calgary Stampeders.

When the Als last saw the city of Calgary, the Saskatchewan Roughriders took a too-many-men penalty to hand kicker Damon Duval a second chance at winning the championship game.

He succeeded and the team celebrated all night in Cowtown.

The Stamps were in a similar position late last season when they visited Montreal with thoughts of their Grey Cup win still fresh.

Things didn’t work out that great, as the Als stomped them 32-11. The Stamps hope to return the favour, and they know how excited the Alouettes will be to return, where they get the same locker-room as the week in November.

“They will have good memories here,” said Stamps quarterback Henry Burris. “In many ways in their minds, this will feel like their stadium.

“It’s up to us to show them this is our home field. They did what they were supposed to do and win a championship. They got it done.

“I know when they step out here, the face of the stadium will look different without the extra bleachers but they will have a lot of memories still here.

“Hopefully we can help erase those but it will be tough against a great team.”

The Stamps failed last season in games against the Alouettes and Saskatchewan Roughriders, going 0-4-1 against those two teams. It was no coincidence those two clubs met in the Grey Cup.

Now the Stamps face a three-game stretch against the Alouettes and Riders that will test their resolve.

“We will find out a little bit about our team over the next few weeks,” said head coach John Hufnagel.

“Hopefully we can be involved in close, physical games and prevail. That’s what I expect from each and every game from now on in. We did have some games in the month of August when it wasn’t a 60-minute game. We want to return to those types of games and get battle-tested for when it really counts.”

The Stamps and Alouettes are mirror images of each other. They share the CFL’s best record at 9-3, are 5-1 at home and 4-2 on the road.

In fact, the Stamps and Als have lost the same games: At home to B.C. and on the road in Regina and Toronto.

Friday’s outing could turn the tide on the season for either team, and the Als are in for a team focused on them.

A year ago, the Alouettes were pumped to beat the Stamps in the season-opener after losing three times (including the Grey Cup) the previous year.

But when the Stamps went into Montreal in early October, the Als took control of the rivalry.

“After the disappointment at the beginning of the year, we wanted to set the tone for the rest of the season,” said running back Jon Cornish. “We failed at doing it.

“This is a big deal for this game. We have some personal things we need to settle.”

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/ianbusby57


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