The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have punched their ticket to the postseason with a 22-15 victory over the Calgary Stampeders.
The Ticats join the Montreal Alouettes as teams that clinched a playoff spot on Saturday. The Toronto Argonauts, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and B.C. Lions had already secured their futures entering Week 17.
Backup quarterback Matthew Shiltz was the key to the victory after taking over for rookie Taylor Powell, tossing 225 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception in the low-scoring affair. Receivers Tim White and Terry Godwin posted the majors, as kicker Marc Liegghio added three field goals.
This marks the fifth consecutive season that Hamilton has qualified for postseason play, their longest streak since 1989. They now have a path towards breaking the CFL’s longest active Grey Cup drought at their own home stadium, as Tim Hortons Field will play host to the championship game on Sunday, November 19.
There is one vacant spot remaining in the playoff picture and no teams have been formally eliminated. Hamilton’s victory closes the door on a potential West Division crossover to the Eastern bracket, forcing Saskatchewan, Calgary and Edmonton to compete within their own division.
The Ticats (7-8) will return to action on Saturday, October 7 when they face the Roughriders (6-9).