Stormy start for Blue

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 12:06 PM ET

REGINA -- A cynic might say it was a higher power warning the Winnipeg Blue Bombers not to start their season.

A nasty line of thunderstorms, complete with intense lightning and heavy rain, struck the Saskatchewan capital last night about an hour before the Bombers and Roughriders were slated to kick off their respective CFL seasons.

Roughrider officials decided at 7:15 local time to delay the 8 p.m. start to 8:30. The power went out for about five seconds shortly thereafter, knocking out the main stadium lights for 15 minutes. The game did start a half hour late and was ongoing at press time.

Fierce fork lightning littered the grey sky -- some bolts striking only a few kilometres from the stadium -- but several hundred spectators still decided to stick it out in the bleachers.

The Roughriders cut short their warmup and headed for their locker-room as the storm approached, but Jim Daley kept his charges on the field.

It took one of the game officials to convince Daley to pull the Bombers off the field.

READY TO RUMBLE: Wes Lysack is glad to be playing for his hometown Blue Bombers.

There are several reasons for this, but one added bonus is his participation in the rivalry with the Roughriders.

First real test

Lysack got his first real taste of the Battle of the Prairies last night at Taylor Field, where the teams met one another in the CFL season opener for both teams.

And his connection is much deeper than the fact that he grew up Winnipeg.

"Both my parents are from Regina, and all my family's here -- grandparents, aunts and uncles -- so this is like a homecoming from me," Lysack said prior to last night's match.

The Bombers acquired Lysack, 27, in a trade with the Calgary Stampeders last September -- after the Bombers and Roughriders had already played their three regular-season meetings.

"I grew up knowing the rivalry, both being a Winnipegger and coming to Labour Day games with my grandpa here in Regina," Lysack said. "I know the rivalry very well, so it's exciting to be a part of it now."

Lysack's parents may be from Regina, but don't worry Bomber fans: Lysack was born in Edmonton.

OK, so maybe that's not so great either, but he has lived in Winnipeg since he was six years old.


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