Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Brier: Ends 8 and 9

End #8: ON 7, NF/L 5

Let's hear it for the free-guard rule! otherwise Howard would be cleaning like mad, clearing red NF/L rocks like mad. So ON starts with two on the button, but NF/L set up guards and draws, with ON removing the drawn rocks.
With Nichols last rock, he made a terrific draw around the corner guard. Hart tried to corner freeze to it, but bumped it a bit and rolled into the open. NF/L can't hit it without jamming it. Nichols tried to freeze to the two at the centre of the house, but he, too, bumped a bit. Howard punched it through to leave ON sitting four with three rocks to go.

Gushue moved all three, but one hit his own, leaving ON sitting second and third shot. Howard removed Gushue's shot, along with one of his own, to sit two. Hit and stick by Gushue for 1, but he gives up the hammer

After 8, ON 7, NF/L 6, Ontario has the hammer going into 9.

[digression: in how many sports do you hear a competitor use the word "adamant"?]

End #9:

Howard begins by putting rocks in the house, and Gushue tries to set up guards. Schille split the guards by accident, leaving the centre open.

More guard and peel; guard and peel, guard and peel...

Did you hear that great sarcastic question from a NF/L curler: "Great ice, eh?"

Hart's second shot looked like a great hit and freeze to their own. Mike Harris commented that Gushue used the wrong turn for his hit (double) and roll, and ended up wide open and didn't remove both ON rocks. So with Howard's first rock, he threw a hit that rolled just a tad to lie two.

Gushue tries a tough draw to lie shot and makes it, leaving Howard to try a gentle chip to score three. They swept like MAD, getting it past the guard and tapped the red shot rock out.

ON 10, NF/L 6, with NF/L having the hammer going home. Let's see if ON throws their first two rocks through the rings. In fact, let's see if NF/L does, too, as Stouten/Manitoba did in the tenth end last night.



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