Li­ons hope to make cross­over his­tory

Medicine Hat News - - SPORTS - GEMMA KARSTENS-SMITH

SUR­REY, B.C. There have been a lot of early morn­ings for the B.C. Li­ons this week.

Prac­tices and team meet­ings were bumped up in an at­tempt to get play­ers work­ing on eastern time while they trained at the club’s fa­cil­ity in sub­ur­ban Van­cou­ver.

The mod­i­fi­ca­tions are sim­ply part of be­ing a cross­over team, said Li­ons head coach Wally Buono.

“I don’t think play­ing in the east will have any ef­fect on their body clocks be­cause we’ve turned their body clocks so they’re more on eastern time,” he said af­ter prac­tice on Thurs­day.

The Li­ons (9-9) will bat­tle the host Hamil­ton Tiger-Cats (8-10) on Sun­day in the CFL’s Eastern semi­fi­nal.

The CFL’s cross­over rule started in 1996, and comes into ef­fect if the fourth-place team from one divi­sion has more points than the third­place team from the other divi­sion — the Li­ons are the 11th cross­over team, with all com­ing from the West.

A cross­over team never has reached the Grey Cup game, though some have come close.

Last year, the Saskatchewan Roughrid­ers beat the Ot­tawa Red­blacks in the Eastern semi, then lost a tight bat­tle with the Toronto Arg­onauts in the divi­sion fi­nal.

The Ar­gos went on to cap­ture the cham­pi­onship, beat­ing the Cal­gary Stam­ped­ers 27-24.

This year marks the fifth time B.C. has clinched the league’s cross­over spot, send­ing the squad across the coun­try to kick off the play­offs.

It’s also the third year in a row that a west­ern team has headed east in the post-sea­son.

The team flew out to Hamil­ton on Thurs­day af­ter­noon, look­ing to get in as much prac­tice time as pos­si­ble in un­fa­mil­iar ter­ri­tory.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.