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Playing for real: Hamilton Tiger-Cats take on Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2022 opener

182 days after they suffered a gut-wrenching overtime loss at home in the 108th Grey Cup, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats are back on the field Saturday night as they try to end the Canadian Football League‘s longest active championship drought.

The Ticats open the 2022 season at Mosaic Stadium in Regina with a battle against the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The Pregame Show on 900 CHML begins at 6 p.m. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. and you can listen to the action on 900 CHML radio. A half-hour after the final whistle, catch The 5th Quarter postgame show on CHML, 900chml.com and on CHML’s Facebook page.

The teams split their season series last year in what were two lopsided games.

The Riders roughed up Hamilton 30-8 in Regina last August before the Ticats returned the favour with a 24-3 dismantling of Saskatchewan in November.

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Hamilton enters the contest with a fairly healthy roster following training camp, which included two preseason games — a 25-23 win over Montreal and an 18-17 loss against Toronto.

Quarterback Dane Evans will have a few familiar faces to share the football with, including receivers Bralon Addison, Steve Dunbar Jr., Papi White and running backs Don Jackson and Sean Thomas Erlington.

On defence, returning stars such as linebacker Simoni Lawrence, defensive tackle Dylan Wynn and safety Tunde Adeleke will be once again counted upon to lead one of the league’s best units in 2022.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Despite losing their two exhibition games this spring, the Roughriders are expected to again challenge the two-time defending champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers for first place in the West Division.

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Armed with stars such as QB Cody Fajardo, receivers Duke Williams and Shaq Evans, and linebackers Derrick Moncrief and Darnell Sankey, the Riders are hoping they have enough talent to go all the way this season.

Read more: Winnipeg Blue Bombers confident in Collaros as they chase third consecutive Grey Cup

Saskatchewan is this year’s Grey Cup hosts and the Roughriders will be trying to win their first title since 2013 which just so happens to be the last time they hosted the CFL final.

That game was played at old Mosaic Stadium in Regina and the host Riders beat none other than Hamilton 45-23.

Tiger-Cats fans are hoping for a much different result on Saturday night, and in this year’s Grey Cup,  should Hamilton reach the championship game for a third consecutive season.

3 quick stats:

  • Hamilton is 2-5 in season opening games since 2014. Saskatchewan is 3-4.
  • With a win Saturday, Saskatchewan’s Cody Fajardo would become the 7th QB in CFL history to win 22 of his first 30 starts. He is 21-8 as a starter. Calgary’s Bo Levi Mitchell holds the 30-game record at 26-4.
  • Hamilton’s Dane Evans is 11-4 in his career and has a 100.7 QB efficiency rating. That puts him behind only Montreal’s Trevor Harris (102.8) among active quarterbacks.

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