Clash is key

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 1:13 PM ET

MONTREAL -- This is going to be fun.

You could just feel the tension in the air around Winnipeg head coach Doug Berry this week as he prepared his legions to face his former Alouettes for the third time this season. He wants to win so badly that the Blue Bombers will likely taste his fury if they don't.

Berry didn't take too kindly when the Bombers blew a lead to the Als the last time they visited Mount Royale. And he hasn't forgotten the missed field goal, the missed field goal return and the bonehead roughing infractions that turned that one around.

But it was the last meeting that took the proverbial cake. The Bombers were actually nursing a small lead when disaster struck. They lost three starting offensive linemen to injury in one game, finishing the match with a pair of backup defensive linemen as emergency replacements. The Alouettes not only took advantage but ran up the score late in a game that was already well out of reach. And Berry and Bomber defensive co-ordinator Greg Marshall responded by the flipping bird at the Bird bench.

In his own way, Berry vowed revenge.

"There will be another game so, take notice," he said after the last match.

But this afternoon's contest has other implications. With a win, the Bombers could move into a tie with Montreal in the standings, either for first or second in the CFL East, depending on last night's outcome between Toronto and Calgary. Both Toronto and Montreal headed into this weekend tied atop the East with identical 7-5 records. Winnipeg is third at 6-7.

Although the Als are currently on a five-game losing skid, the Bombers have only beaten them once at Percy Molson Stadium in their last 14 trips here. And the injury-riddled Bombers have only won one of their last five outings.

Lose this one and the Bombers fall four points back of at least Montreal and will have to start looking over their shoulders.

Winnipeg, by the way, plays host to the Alouettes in a re-match this Friday.


Videos

Photos