Monday, March 26, 2007

Women's Worlds

Well, better late than never I suppose. The world women's were a bit of a surprise. Of course, I didn't see any of the games, but the only favoured team to make it to the playoffs (other than the US) was Canada, and after Scotland beat the US in the 3 vs 4 game, it was a foregone conclusion that Kelly Scott and Team Canada would win. Yes, this despite their loss (their only loss) to Scotland in the round-robin. And so it was.

Team Scott stayed cool and collected throughout the year and this was their ultimate reward. I was very happy for them--they deserved to be there, and they were the best all week, and they deserved the win. I watched only part of the game, having taped only some of it, so it is hard to comment. But there you go.

In the Canada Cup, a fun game between Jennifer Jones and Cathy King resulted in a win for Team Jones with their new lead. They're still on top of the tour, that's for sure.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Brier Semi-Final

More comments about the Brier soon, including my visit there last weekend, but I just wanted to comment on the classy ending to the semifinal game. Jeff Stoughton just couldn't get things to work his way all game, and Glenn Howard's team played a good, consistent game. Thus, Manitoba was down 4 with the hammer in the 10th. Just before commercial break after the 9th, he commented "I think we have to play 10" although clearly it was a moot point. So what did they do?

When Howard called for Ontario lead Craig Savill to throw his rocks through the house, instead of throwing guards Stoughton called for the same shot. At first the crowd didn't seem to understand, but when Howard and Stoughton were standing side by side in the house, brooms down, with their teams throwing rock after rock through the house... they rose to their feet and gave a long, deafening round of applause and cheering for both teams. It was a very classy ending to a good afternoon of curling.

Stoughton and Howard have both impressed me with their class. Me, who generally follows men's curling simply because it IS curling. But Stoughton, so gracious in defeat, and Howard, gracious in victory... plus I found it very very classy that Howard's team brought along Steve Bice as their fifth man since he played for them in the provincial final when Brent Laing had to leave on account of his baby being born. Really great sportsmanship.

Not like John Morris, who I would argue is actually good for the sport, but a poor sport (breaking his broom in half on Thursday evening--in arguably the most exciting game of the week--elicited justified boos from the crowd). I was secretly very pleased that no Alberta teams made it to the playoffs: it's nice to see other provinces well-represented for a change.

My prediction for tomorrow's final: Howard wins. Gushue's team was red-hot Friday evening in the 1-2 game, but I would be shocked if they could play another pistol like that tomorrow. It'd be nice to see Howard win in his home province. Too bad it's so late in the day or I would go and watch live!

Sunday, February 25, 2007


A dismal game. Canada DID step it up like I said they'd need to, and defended their lead (they started by scoring 2 and stealing 2, just like in the semi-final). Each of the Saskatchewan players was just a little off, and while they played better than Manitoba in the semi, it was definitely not enough.

Congrats to Team Canada, successfully defending their title and truly earning their championship this year.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


This was a bit of a heartbreaker, when I thought it might become a come-back story. Kelly Scott scored 2 in the first, and then stole 2 more in the second. Manitoba ticked guard after guard after guard. Janet Arnott in particular had some bad throws, and so Manitoba's aggressive game was thwarted right from the beginning of most ends. Jill Officer was inconsistent, Cathy played okay, and Jennifer ticked guard after guard after guard.... What killed them was line calling and the placement of the broom, and even a few times miscommunication from the front end about weight. Despite hand-picking the rocks, none of them seemed comfortable.

Strategically there were a couple of odd calls by Manitoba, but I think it was just the extreme aggressiveness of Jennifer Jones, especially after being down 5-1 at the break. Although I had the feeling early on, from the way she looked and spoke, that Jennifer was pretty resigned to it not being their day. The missed call on the in-off in the second end really cost them: instead of being tied, they were down two. After that, I never saw any spirit.

But Canada didn't play well either, and Kelly Scott missed some key shots and continually left the door wide open for Manitoba. But while Manitoba made some of the pressure shots required in the last half of the game, the points given up early on were too much to overcome, and Jennifer couldn't even throw her last rock. The score was 7-5. Credit where credit is due, Kelly Scott's team were the better foursome. And whatever anyone else says about her, there is something in her soft-spoken, exceedingly positive attitude that I really admire. After all, would you rather play on her team, or for Kelley Law?

However, Canada had better step it up a notch, or Sunday will be a cakewalk for Jan Betker. I'm rooting for Saskatchewan. It'd be nice to see them win, and Kelly Scott will almost certainly be back next year anyway representing BC.

As for Jennifer Jones... they'll be back too, hopefully giving us the same kind of aggressive game she's good at.

Playoffs - 1 vs 2 and 3 vs 4

The feature was the 3-4 game, thankfully. It wasn't a super-well played game, especially by PEI. Manitoba played pretty well, actually, and PEI surrendered early.

The 1-2 game actually appeared more interesting, but ultimately Kelly Scott didn't play all that well, and they lost to a jubilant Jan Betker and Saskatchewan. They are red-hot: I am certain they will win the whole thing.

Because Kelly had a bad game, and Jenn had a good game, I predict that Kelly will win. Why? Same thing happened last year: they had a great semi-final against Colleen Jones, but a poor game against Kelly Scott (then BC) in the final. So, it should be a Saskatchewan - Team Canada rematch on Sunday, unfortunately.