LIVESTREAM: CFL Season opener – Hamilton Tiger-Cats @Calgary Stampeders, June 16, 4p (7p EST, 1a CEST June 17)

CALGARY — The Calgary Stampeders and Hamilton Tiger-Cats are two teams that appear to be trending in the right direction heading into the 2018 season.

The Black and Gold are looking to pick up where they left off at the end of last year. After dropping their first eight games of 2017, the Tabbies found new life after a coaching change saw June Jones take over the team.

Hamilton finished the second half of the season with a winning 6-4 record, could not overcome their disappointing start and ultimately missed the playoffs.

“We know it’s a brand new season,” defensive lineman Ted Laurent told “We can’t worry about what happened last year…. We know it’s a brand new year. Everybody is going to look at us different and we should do the same.”

The Ticats have placed their trust in Jeremiah Masoli, who enters the season as the undisputed number one quarterback. The 29-year-old has been part of the Black and Gold for the past five years, but this is the first time he is starting the season as the go-to guy. Masoli took over the reins of the offence midway through last year, and his position as the starter was solidified when the Ticats traded former franchise quarterback Zach Collaros to the Saskatchewan Roughriders during the off season.

However, a high-profile pivot is waiting in the wings if Masoli falters. Former Heisman trophy winner Johnny Manziel impressed in the preseason, but Jones has never wavered from Masoli as his number one.

“Jeremiah has done very well,” said Jones. “He understands. He put the effort in. He’s a leader. Competitor. He’s got all the stuff.”

Masoli has a wealth of riches when it comes to targets. Jalen SaundersLuke Tasker, and Brandon Banks are all coming off of 1000-yard seasons for the Black and Gold.

Nikita Whitlock gets the nod at running back for Week 1 with projected starting Alex Green out for two weeks while still recovering from a hand injury.

The Ticats would like to forget their last game at McMahon Stadium; a 60-1 stomping. It was the third-worst loss in CFL history.

But the Tabbies refuse to dwell on the past.

“Obviously we’re all human and we remember that from last year,” said Masoli. “But it’s a new team. New year. We’re not really focusing on that. That doesn’t really have too much to do with the game.”

But the Calgary Stampeders won’t be any easier of an opponent this time around.

Last year’s Grey Cup finalists have lost some key additions, but are still no doubt a force to be reckoned with in the West.

The biggest change on defence for the Stamps is the absence of last year’s sack leader Charleston Hughes, who was traded during the offseason.

However, the Stamps secondary received a boost with the addition of Emanuel Davis, who’s first game in the Red and White just so happens to be against his former squad.

Davis says that focusing on his own team is the priority heading into Week 1.

“I’m going to try to make every play I can within the defence and just treat it like any other game,” Davis told “I feel like I’m a competitor first and foremost so this game won’t be any different.”

The Stamps defence is anchored by last year’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player Alex Singleton. In his sophomore season, the 24-year-old racked up an astounding 123 tackles and shows on signs of slowing down.

On offence, Bo Levi Mitchell enters his seventh season under center for the Calgary. The 2016 CFL’s Most Outstanding Player will be without his top target from last year, Marquay McDaniel, who was release by the team in February.  Jerome Messam, who racked up over 1,000 rushing yards last season, is also gone.

The young wideout duo of Marken Michel and DaVaris Daniels, along with slotback Kamar Jorden, round out a strong receiving core.

Head coach Dave Dickenson says that he has been impressed with his team thus far.

“I like our squad,” said Dickenson. “I’m wondering how locked in we’re going to be. I guess that’s just stress as a coach. But I’m anxious to see if the had work pays off. We’re going up against a team that is going to be highly motivated and ready to play us.

“We need to be at the top of our game to win.”

Crunchin’ Numbers:

12 – Straight meetings that the Stamps have won against the Ticats. That is the longest active winning streak by any CFL team over another rival.

13 – Straight years that the Stampeders have made the playoffs.

41 – Returning players from 2017 for the Ticats, the largest contingent of returning players in club history.

96 – Average receiving yards by Brandon Banks over the last 10 games of 2017. That is a pace of 1,726 over 18 games.

The Calgary Stampeders are the undisputed favourites heading into the match up, but they have made it clear they aren’t taking the Ticats lightly.

The Stamps narrowly got past the Black and Gold in their final match up of 2017. Calgary notched a field goal with no time left on the clock to edge the Ticats 28-25.

Are the Ticats overdue for a win over their West rivals, or will the Stamps win a 13th straight game over the Tabbies?

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. ET and can be seen on TSN and ESPN2.

– With files from

AFI, Yare Media and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Yare Media and the Canadian Football League to present 2017 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the top flight TSN network television broadcast.

LIVE STREAM: CFL Season opener –Hamilton Tiger-Cats @Calgary Stampeders, June 16, 4p (7p EST, 1a CEST June 17)

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