Ticats get cold weather rehearsal

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers play the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the CFL's East final on Nov. 20, 2011, in...

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers play the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the CFL's East final on Nov. 20, 2011, in what will be the last football game at Canad Inns Stadium. (JASON HALSTEAD/QMI Agency)

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:57 AM ET

HAMILTON - The law of averages favour the Ticats, much like they sided with the Argos last fall.

Partisans of the Double Blue may recall the 0-3 record Toronto would post in its regular-season matchups against the Tiger-Cats heading into the Eastern semifinal, which was played in Hamilton.

It was windy and cold but at the same time very comforting.

As much as any team can try to replicate conditions on the road, the Ticats caught a break on Thursday when the conditions were as close to any as the ones they'll likely to see Sunday in Winnipeg.

About the only element they did not see was snow.

"The conditions were excellent and I was just telling the team that,'' head coach Marcel Bellefeuille said when he gathered with the media.

"It might be a little colder (Sunday), but it'll be similar. Offence, defence, special teams, we practised with the wind and against the wind."

For the past three weeks, the team has piped in noise when its first-string offence ran plays at practice, knowing full well every game would be played on the road.

Just before practice ended on Thursday, the team's penultimate before it wings it to the Peg, word began to filter that Sunday's Eastern final is officially sold out.

"It's good to get this kind of weather because we can prepare for it,'' Hamilton's starting quarterback Kevin Glenn said. "It's football.

"We're going to go out there and do everything in our power and actually not think about those (natural elements) you can't control and just play football."

Chris Williams believes the key in catching the ball in the cold is focus.

"Honestly, as a receiver you should be doing that anyway,'' the playmaker said. "By practising in this condition, it's going to reinforce a good habit."

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN'

Justin Medlock knows exactly what he'll be doing when he's not on the field in Sunday's East final.

"I'll be bundled up and pretending there's a fireplace next me,'' Hamilton's punter/kicker said.

A native of California, Medlock has seen his share of prairie weather during his time in the CFL, which is coming to an end seeing how he's too good not to try the NFL again.

During a visit to Regina with the Argos in 2009, Medlock noticed the snow fall before kickoff, but remembers mainly the cold.

"There was a fire pit,'' he said. "I'm hoping, praying actually, they'll have one in Winnipeg. I'll move all the big guys out of my way."

Whether it's the cold or wind, Medlock says he has to be mentally engaged on Sunday.

During Hamilton's regular-season visit to the Peg in late August, Medlock punted six times into the wind, being able to turn the ball over five times, which is a good ratio.

"You have to stay positive the whole time,'' Medlock added. "You can't get down on yourself."

Recognizing when a gust of wind will pick up is as important as a clean snap.

"We didn't do a good job in Saskatchewan (against the wind,'' he admitted. "It was a good learning experience and we've been practising on it."


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