Saturday, December 10, 2005

Women's Finals of the Canadian Curling Olympic Finals

End #1: The end began very defensively, as Kleibrink went right into the rings and Scott removed the rocks. In attempts to come around the guards, Nixon (Kleibrink's 3rd) was just a tad light with two, but the stones still blocked the button and most of the 4' ring. Scott had a draw to the corner of the 4' to score two, but was about a foot heavy.
Scott 1, Kleibrink 0

End #2: Hog-line violation for Keshen, who apparently brushed the handle of the rock after it crossed the hog line. Even if the technology isn't perfect, I still like it -- it's generally better than hog-line judges would be.
Again, very defensive play until 3rd's stones. Nixon tried to draw around the guard; Shraeder (Scott's 3rd) hit and rolled over to the 12'. Nixon tried to draw again, but was a bit light and stayed open for Scott to make a nose hit, leaving shooter biting the top of the 12', to lie two after her first rock. Kleibrink went after shot rock on the side of the 12', but lost her shooter. Scott tried to take advantage of her position with a tap back to the 8'; Kleibrink had a draw to the full 8' to score 1.
Scott 1, Kleibrink 1

End #3: I'm eager to hear more about why teams start with a rock in the rings these days. And why the opposition counters with a hit and stick. Both these teams are playing similarly defensive games. Harris and McClusker (commentators) described the strategy as an attempt to control nerves and get into the game, but I think there must be more to it than that. Hit-and-stick; hit-and-stick.... Kleibrink should have frozen to Scott's first rock at the back of the button, but hit and stuck instead. Scott failed in her attempt to hit and roll out, scoring only 1. yawn.
Scott 2, Kleibrink 1

End #4: The fans seem to share my view that hit-and-stick is boring, but the teams continued the strategy until Nixon played a nice freeze. The crowd cheered for both the shot and the strategy. Schraeder removed the backing and her other own red stone, leaving one yellow on the side. Nixon tried to split the rings, but was about a foot light, and Scott made a nose hit. Kleibrink hit and stuck on the top edge of the 12'; Scott tried a hit-and-roll but was exposed, leaving Kleibrink with a hit-and-stick for 2. It was all set up by the Nixon freeze.
Kleibrink 3, Scott 2

End #5: After the leads played hit-and-stick in the rings (ending in two Kleibrink rocks in the rings), Scott threw up a guard [Harris and McClusker wonder why she waited so long to do this]. Nixon peeled the first one but missed the second. Schraeder drew around the missed guard, but drifted six inches behind the t-line. With her first rock, Kleibrink tapped it slightly, sitting 1, 3, and 4. Scott then almost froze to the shot rock, but left an inch or two, so Kleibrink nose hit that rock, squeezing it out one side and driving the other red stone out the other side to sit four. Scott had a draw for one. Right on the button. Good curling, and it is becoming more interesting and exciting.
Scott 3, Kleibrink 3

End #6:


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