Saturday, March 25, 2006

Canada Outcurled by US in World Semi-Finals

The matchup between Canada and the US at the Ford World Championship of Women's Curling was closer than the first time they met. But the US scored two in the tenth to defeat Canada by a score of 8 to 7.

Canada gave the US a good run for their money. And after Canada's extra-end thrilling victory over Norway and their rather work(wo)manlike dispatch of Germany, I was beginning to hold out some hope for Canada to defeat the US and, dreamer that I am, possibly even Sweden. But it didn't happen.
Something I have noticed over the most recent two weeks of curling involving Kelly Scott and the BC/Team Canada rink is that this rink not infrequently outshoots their opponents, even in losses. For example, in the semi-final Team Canada's shooting percentage was 78%, for the US it was 77%.
In their previous loss (during the round robin), a 9-7 loss to Denmark, Team Canada shot 77%, Denmark 70%.

And recall that during the Olympic trials, Scott's rink outcurled Kleibrink's rink by a small margin.

The differences were small, but perhaps indicative: Either the scoring mechanism is imperfect (of course it is; see here), or Scott's rink gets out-strategized despite making their shots (see here and here) or perhaps a bit of both.

Update: It seems that many commenters at TSN also think Team Canada's strategies could use some improvement. I was especially amused by one, who (perhaps inadvertently?) said "stragedies" instead of "strategies".


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