LIVESTREAM CFL: Montreal Alouettes @ Hamilton Tiger-Cats, June 24, 01:30 CET (1:30 am, 7:30 pm June 23 EDT)

HAMILTON — The Hamilton Tiger-Cats home opener couldn’t come soon enough as they try to get their season turned around when they welcome the Montreal Alouettes to Tim Hortons Field on Friday Night Football.

With the short week there won’t be much time for the Ticats to dwell on their 32-14 road loss to Toronto on Sunday night.

Rest won’t be an issue for the Alouettes as they come off a Week 2 bye that followed a season opening win over Ottawa.

» Depth Chart: MTL | HAM
» Als, Ticats Injury Reports: Stay up to date

The Ticats offence will look different on Friday night as Matthew Shiltz will get the start at quarterback after Bo Levi Mitchell exited Sunday’s game with a groin injury.

But that may not be a bad thing as Shiltz looked right at home after taking over against the Argos, completing 13 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown.

Shiltz shouldn’t miss a beat as he saw considerable playing time a year ago in head coach Orlondo Steinauer’s offence.

Tyler Ternowski caught the lone touchdown pass and was one of six receivers with at least one reception. A complete effort from the receiving game will be needed as they hope to improve on their 14-point performance.

Watch for Shiltz to lean heavily on veteran D’haquille Williams, who has totalled 158 receiving yards in two games.

Montreal Alouettes @ Hamilton Tiger-Cats, June 24, 01:30 CET (1:30 am, 7:30 pm June 23 EDT)

If the offensive line led by veteran David Beard can give Shiltz the time he needs to allow plays to develop, the change could spark the Ticats offence.

As the offence tries to get going, the play of running back James Butler will be critical as he hopes to regain his 2022 form.

It may only be a one game sample but if it’s any indication he’ll be in tough as the Alouettes defensive front held the REDBLACKS to 55 yards on the ground in their opener.


Linebacker Chris Edwards has emerged as a stopper for Steinauer’s defence early in the season, recording a sack and five tackles against the Argos. Add in the likes of Tunde AdelekeJavien Elliott and Richard Leonard in the secondary and Alouettes quarterback Cody Fajardo will need pinpoint accuracy to avoid turning the ball over.

The Alouettes offensive line gave up six sacks in Week 1, an issue that seems to have followed Fajardo around the past few seasons. The physical Ticats front of Ja’Gared Davis and Ted Laurent will look to keep that trend going.

With new coach Jason Maas and Fajardo still trying to get comfortable in their new surroundings, the early season bye may turn out to be a positive.

“There’s pros and cons to it,” Fajardo told “A con is you kind of lose the momentum, you feel like the season’s starting over again. A big pro is coming out of training camp your body has some bruises. Our opponent has played two games so we have two games to break down and they only have one game of us to break down, so that’s nice in the strategy department. You always want to keep the momentum rolling after you win.”

Fajardo has already found a connection with rookie Austin Mack, who pulled down four catches for 120 yards in Week 1. If he can find success in getting the ball to veterans Hergy Mayala and Kaion Julien-Grant, it’ll make for three receiving threats the Ticats secondary will need to focus in on.

Running backs William Stanback and Jeshrun Antwi will again be expected to carry the ball with consistency.

It’s an aspect of the game Maas will want to see improvement in after they combined for just 49 yards on 17 carries in Week 1.

The pair could be primed for a breakout performance against a Ticats front that has coughed up 255 yards on the ground through two weeks.

Shiltz will need to be well aware of Ciante Evans and Najee Murray when he puts the ball in the air. Evans had two picks in the opener and Murray brought down one, as well.

With Marc-Antoine Dequoy also roaming, Maas would love nothing more than points from his defence.

The Als defensive line and linebackers were just as impressive to open the season. With Butler motivated to have a break out game and get his team in the win column, Jamal Davis and Avery Williams will need to do a good job containing him and closing gaps.

Maas knows the Als will see a hungry Ticats team but is focused on feeling out his own side.

“The first couple games of the season there isn’t a lot of film to go off of,” Maas told “It’s hard to say what you do well after one week. Ultimately you’d like to improve in every phase. We don’t put a lot of stock into the other team, they’re 0-2 playing their first home game of the year, they’re a veteran team, a great coaching staff, I know that. They’ll be ready to play. Go in there and play really good football, control the line of scrimmage, don’t turn over the ball and have a low amount of penalties. Compete and don’t give them an inch.”

The Ticats are in search of their first win of the season and will need to beat the 1-0 Als to do it.

Montreal can be the first team to 2-0 in the East with a victory.

Montreal Alouettes @ Hamilton Tiger-Cats, June 24, 01:30 CET (1:30 am, 7:30 pm June 23 EDT)

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