Wednesday Afternoon Men's Draw:
Morris v. Martin
I gather I will not be live-blogging this evening's women's draw because TSN is showing hockey instead of curling; the curling will be shown on tape delay at 10:30 pm EST or so. 8-(
This afternoon's feature match is one of the many battles of Alberta: John Morris (5 - 1) versus Kevin Martin (4 - 2). There are three rinks from Alberta, plus Ryan, who has also curled in Alberta in the past. In all, five of the ten rinks are from Alberta and BC.
End #1: Walchuk, Martin's 3rd, had a slight miss on a raise take-out attempt, leaving come-arounds for Morris. Martin had to try a thin double, which he made, forcing Morris to blank the end.
End #2: Blanked again! What's with these guys? I know they like to play up-weight, but their strategies seem very defensive so far. I thought the 4-rock free-guard rule was supposed to generate more scoring....
End #3: Interesting observation by Linda Moore: Morris knows Walchuk's and Martin's skills, and is trying not to leave run-back shots. Walchuk's draw around the guard coasted too deep, followed by a beautiful draw to the button by Koe (Morris's 3rd). Linda and Ray seemed to imply that Morris made a strategic error by guarding that rock; Martin put up another guard, leaving Morris with a draw to the 4' for two -- didn't quite curl enough, so Morris scored only 1.
- How many of us thought the Ryan rink would be this good? Even though they aren't leading the round robin at this point, they sure look good.
- The Ferbey rink looks worse than unlucky. Despite all their work, they just seem off.
A great run-back triple by Kennedy (Morris's 2nd) left Walchuk a double, which in turn set up a raise take-out by Koe. Martin doubled (barely) to clear the rings. Morris drew around the guard, leaving Martin undecided as to whether to try a raise double or a come around draw. He tried the raise, but left one in the rings, so Morris had an open draw for two.
Morris 3, Martin 1
End #6: Morris filled the house with yellow stones, but Koe mistakenly cleared them all out; Walchuk drew around a guard, but over curled just a tad. Again, Morris "laid the angle freeze on" to quote Ray. With the hammer, Martin was left with a draw to the 4' for only 1.
Morris 3, Martin 2
End #7: After the 2nds' stones, the rocks were lined up on the centre line. After a whole mess of freezes and draws, Martin bumped his red stone a bit in, but didn't get the double he was looking for. Morris's first shot moved the stones around the button a little. Martin threw up a long guard; and Morris responded with a difficult draw/tap for 2.
Morris 5, Martin 2
End #8: Martin missed a double to blank the end; steal of 1 for Morris. Is he this good? It's hard for me to tell, since he seems to play a 1980s style game.
Morris 6, Martin 2
End #9: Martin was again forced to take one with the hammer. That leaves Morris up by 3 with the hammer going home.
Morris 6, Martin 3
In the 10th, Morris ran Martin out of rocks. Morris won. The Morris and Gushward/Howshue rinks lead the field with records of 6 wins and 1 loss.