Men's Early Thursday Draw
I awoke just in time to see the first end of the featured draw between Gushue and Martin. It was interesting to see, as Linda remarked, that Howard changed strategies slightly by ignoring Martin's centre-line guard initially. Afte a bunch of trades, and a slight miss by Martin's team, Gushue scored 2 with the hammer.
End #2: lots of rocks lined up on the centre line. Walchuk slightly missed a shot, allowing Gushue to put a rock behind cover on the button. Martin couldn't make any tap-backs. Steal of 1 for Gushue.
Gushue 3, Martin 0
End #3: Howard, the 2nd for Gushue, missed a peel, but Nichols made a come-in off a corner guard to sit 2 on the button. Martin ignored the button and came around the corner guard, Howard put up another guard. Gushue's first shot cleared away some stones, but Martin missed a light double, setting up Gushue for a double, which he missed. Martin was left with a draw for two.
Gushue 3, Martin 2
End #4: A lot of confusion/congestion in the rings. Time out for Gushue and he made a terrific plug-up shot, leaving Martin with an attempt to slam a bunch out of the rings. Another long Howshue discussion which was fascinating. They decide to guard against a power-triple, but Gushue's weight was way off, so Martin had an attempt at a triple. Which he made! Gushue had a tough draw against three to save 1. Fascinating end!
Gushue 4, Martin 2
End #5: Nichols bumped a red onto 4' behind a bunch of guards, and Walchuk bumped a yellow into the mess with their first rocks. Nichols guarded; Walchuk tried a nose hit on the long centre guard, but didn't get the "wiggle-through" he was looking for. There were lots of yellow Martin stones on the centre, so Gushue set another long guard in front of them.
I'm amazed at the shots these guys are discussing. Four-rock combinations, followed by, "if we do that, he'll do this...." Absolutely great curling.
After all the discussion, Martin decides to draw with his first stone, to sit second. Gushue picked it out. With the hammer, Martin missed a tick-double for 2, giving Gushue a steal of 1.
Gushue 5, Martin 2