Saturday, January 31, 2009

Page Playoffs Round 1

Finally back in front of a TV attached to cable from a cable provider showing the Ontario championships.
After 5 ends McCarville is up 5-2 over Hastings with the hammer.
Not sure where Goring-Middaugh stands. The Web is well behind reality.
UPDATE: Middaugh-Goring 3-3 after 5, Middaugh with the hammer.
UPDATE: Middaugh gives Goring a steal of 2 - lead 4-3 for Goring after 6.
UPDATE: McCarville 7-4 over Hastings after 7.
UPDATE: Goring-Hastings tonight - McCarville awaits the winner in the final.

Goring-Hanna at 9 this Morning

I am hoping the local cable channel comes through. Reddick missed a shot badly, needing to get 2 rocks in the House and having only her own skip shots left (and the hammer). There two Goring rocks in the back to serve as potential backing, but Reddick's first shot went through the house.
To a degree her prospects for the 2 points needed to tie the match were seriously reduced when her team's first rock came up too short and too wide to be an effective guard.
UPDATE: Not on local Cable and that sucks. 4-all after 5!
UPDATE: This is appalling. 5-5 after 7. And the local cable channel is playing all this multicultural stuff. (Ukrainian pop songs do have some merits, though.)
UPDATE: Hanna up by 1 heading into the 10th end, with Goring holding the hammer.
UPDATE: Extra end. Tied 7-7 after 10. Hanna has hammer.
UPDATE: Goring steals 2 and wins.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Sorry - No Live-Blogging Tonight

I was right the local cable likes Ice Hockey. Oh Well.
One point - seems I got tonight's matchup wrong - looks like Goring-Reddick.
So I guess Hanna against the winner tomorrow morning.

Ontario Scotties Playdowns

I think we are in the last session of the round-robin. As is so often the case, the standings for the outcome of the round-robin are in play in a major way.
I was not watching partly because I was working, and partly because for some reason TVCogeco was broadcasting a match between two teams that are certain not to make the playoffs. They have switched their attention now to Jenn Hanna again, struggling to make the playoff rounds, playing against Ashley Miharija, who is there only as a spoiler now.
Certain to make the playoffs is the Krista McCarville rink (I remember her!). She will finish at worst at 6-3. Also at 6-3 now is the Julie Hastings rink.
Hanna has missed a key double allowing a steal, and falling back by 3 after 9 ends. She looks to be heading to a 5-4 record.
Middaugh and Goring are both at 5-3 so one will finish with a 6-3 record, the other with 5-4.
Julie Reddick may also get to 5-4 if her rink defeats McArville's.
So the likely cluster at 5-4 will have more work (unless there is some other tiebreak mechanism than actually playing matches - I do not know - the only documentation I can find is rather feeble).
UPDATE: I found this.
UPDATE: Hanna has lost and finishes at 5-4.
The announcers don't seem very good at math - they do not recognize that 5-4 gets into tiebreakers. Aha - Marilyn Bodogh just figured that out. And it does seem there will be tiebreakers. Unfortunately TVCogeco seems to have some ice hockey broadcast planned and I doubt they will bump that for this far more compelling sport.
SIDE COMMENT: Wow a lot of these players look very young to me, especially some of the skips, but that may have less to do with the age profile of the field than with other developments.
UPDATE: Middaugh beats Goring. Hastings seems to be #1 also at 6-3.
UPDATE: McCarville draws for 1 to push her match into an extra end. The male announcer has a lot of difficulty with the math of the standings. Bodogh has been polite.
UPDATE: If the Reddick rink heads for the Nationals, we may have the loudest "Hurry hard" I can recall.
UPDATE: Reddick wins. Hastings is #1, McCarville #2, Middaugh #3, and Goring, Hanna, and Reddick head into tiebreakers. Hanna-Reddick tonight. Winner will play Goring. I will check the local cable channel at 7 or so and hope, but I am not dreaming!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Yikes It Is Thursday Isn't It? Live-Blogging Ontario Scotties

There is no way I can report this full match as my real priority is to watch Nadal-Verdasco at 3:30 am. Nonetheless it is a treat to see Alison Goring against Jenn Hanna in what appears to be part of the playdown for the Ontario representation at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
Hanna's rink took 2 in the first end.
Will report so long as I can but sleep beckons.
Just noticing in the second end that the Goring rink is yet another one that has someone other than the skip throwing skip stones. This has seemed to me a very logical development but was still uncommon when Doc and I started this blog.
Goring takes one in the second end. 2-1 Hanna. I am not sure I like Hanna's new hair colour (new since last time I saw her) - am I allowed to say that?
Hanna rink has started some freezing in the third end. I loved the comment, "They're going to make it a mess and then bang it around". The house is now really messy and dangerous - Hanna is sitting two but there are three Goring stones sitting on top of them. The latest shot removes one Goring stone but is otherwise not great - meanwhile the Goring rock is a disaster, almost removing control of the front of the house. The Hanna rock to follow is not so great either. One shot later we still have Hanna with a rock in the centre but threatening rocks around. With skip stones coming Goring has two rocks in the house and Hanna has decided to try to double them. That certainly did not work out. Goring has a beautiful target at the top fo the four-foot - great chance to force Hanna to take one. Nice shot - two Goring rocks now scoring - let us see what Hanna does. They take one really confidently.
I just realized we are the round-robin still. I need rest to strengthen to watch Vardesco-Nadal. Sorry - off to bed! If you really need to know what happens I did find the link.
Back for a second - just have to say Stephanie Hanna made a truly great shot in the fourth end to mess life up for Goring. And the shot required great brushing. (Stephanie's hair also has dubious color. And to be fair I would report the same way about the men if they had hair.)
That shot's influence was evanescent - in the fourth end she lets Goring take two. 3-all.
I am out of here,

Sunday, January 25, 2009

7th End; Language

I don't mind swearing. I do it a lot myself.... 8-)....
But I thought all these telecasts were on a 3-second delay so the directors and editors could cut out the swearing (remember Connie Laliberte way back when, before the tape delays? She realized she had sworn on air and got the giggles, but was too embarrassed to explain it on air to her teammates because she couldn't turn her mike off).

As the 7th end begins, Martin sets up short- and long- guards, and Howard goes into the house. Then with the seconds' rocks, Howard peels and Martin replaces. But Morris's first guard is too close to the other long guard, setting up a double peel by Hart (Howard's Vice). More in a bit after the discussion among the Howard team concludes.
Howard has Hart peel a guard. Martin puts up another guard. With his first stone, Howard does a delicate tap-tap, moving Martin's rock off the button. Martin then draws through a port, pushing Howard's stone to the back, and excellent shot. Howard decides to throw up-weight to go for one, but a backup plan is to give up a steal of one.

Miracle shot!! A very thin double! He threw enough weight that by accident, he clipped the top stone, driving it out and continued to catch enough of the other stone in the four-foot rings to drive it out, too, thus scoring 3! Martin concedes.

Howard was mightly lucky with that last shot. But even without that luck, he was in good shape. He'd have either been up two without the hammer or tied with the hammer going home.

Overall a fun match to watch. Howard 8, Martin 4.

One thing I've noticed about curling: I cheer for (nearly) all the teams to win.

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Like Alan, I've been enjoying today's curling

I must say, the missed shots by Morris and the miss by Martin at the end of the 5th looked bad by comparison with the shots from the Howard rink, but both teams have made some terrific shots, and the score is not too lopsided (yet).

6th End: Do you think that shot at the back of the rings is out? I do, but it must be hard for the curlers to know for sure.

There seems to be a lot, a LOT, of swing to the ice when the shots are draw weight. But much, MUCH less when they throw demolition weight.

So Martin gets a hit-and-stick and it's for just one.

After 6 (of only 8) ends, Howard 5, Martin 4, and Howard has the hammer.

Howard-Martin - Can It Be Better

I did not even know there was a Grand Slam in Curling. Seems one of Martin and Howard have not won this component. I cannot recall which but can likely be back later. Not quite like the well-defined Tennis Grand Slams.

End 1: Martin gets the first-end hammer. Neither team seems wedded to simplicity so we are building a crowded house. First cleanup attempt by the Martin rink slightly backfires. Lang's guard is no guard. Hart dices and slices on his first shot, sliding through guard like crazy. And Morris follows! Hart follows nicely but wow these guys are good. Morris wants to invite Howard to make a good shot - love this! He draws brilliantly behind two Howard front rocks. This is so wonderful!
Howard follows the rock in to sit on top of it. This is going to be one truly entertaining end.
As Mike Harris says, "This is a spectacular opener".
Martin's shot is utterly amazing. A major in-off.
This is only the first end!!
Howard tries to clear all the Martin trouble in the house and gets some of it gone. He may have saved the day.
Martin delicately knocks off a Martin rock and scores 2. Howard is to a degree lucky.
But hey look! If every end is like this I cannot keep up!
Apparently during the ad break Howard commented to Martin, "Eight perfect shots (every one) and we are lucky not to be down three".
This is the delicacy of this great sport.
This was too good.
OK sorry too caught up in End 1. Morris blows it a bit. Howard come in and hide between Msrtin rocks (just a GREAT Hart shot). Though Martin can blast. And does.
Howard tries to hide a rock but it leaves Martin lots of abilities. Martin misses and Howard draws very comfortably for two.
End #3: Was out of it for a bit.
Apparently Morris made two bad shots.
With Martin's last shot to come there are three counting Howard rocks. Martin gets his single.
These guys are good!
End #4. Nobody is happy. Howard takes 2. Sorry - my brain was elsewhere.
End #5 : Trying to figure out where things are. Apparently Morris needs to be told he is a screwup and won't like that. I do not like that either.
House is a mess as a rejoin with my brain. Next Morris rock is decent but looks vulnerable to me (but what do I know?). Hmm - not interested in Morris rock for now - planning to hit their own - seems not quite as planned but nobody is suicidal at this point on the Howard team. Howard is looking for a double on the next shot. Martin's shot is an utter miss. Steal of one for Howard. I think this is the end for me, especially having heard, "Oh F**k" on my TSN screen!
BTW - wandered off. Howard won! Thanks to Doc for covering with slightly more precise coverage!

Howard-Martin Coming Up This Afternoon

I shall try to post, if only as superficially as yesterday.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Howard-Burtnyk in the Quarters at the CaptialOne Championship

Live-blogging - but I promise this will be REALLY spotty. Here is tournament info.
End 1: Howard missed a great opportunity to roll into cover and steal 1. As it stands he pretty much forced Burtnyk to take one with the hammer.
End 2: First third rocks from Hart and follower from Walchuk are both bad misses. Burtnyk's first rock fails its goal of clearing the house of Howard rocks. Howard still counts one. Howard adds a rock to the house. Burtnyk gets rid of some, leaving Howard an easy double for two. Howard gets two.
End 3: Burtnyk gets one. I simply do not understand that end - perhaps it was mostly missed shots.
End 4: Walchuk and Hart both miss key opportunities to set the house up as wanted. After some messiness Howard scores 2.
End 5: Howard mostly trying to clean up though the house keeps filling. Somehow the demographics of this sport do not look too good. Combine pictures of the audience ("There are MY people") with the fact that one key advertiser is "Grey Power" (Insurance, I think) and another is Jeld-Wen windows (I bought a bunch of those but they were at the high end of my scale then). Howard misses a planned double. Burtnyk draws for two.
End 6: Hart's first shot is a big miss. Burtnyk gets a chance to put his last rock behind cover. Howard accepts the price and takes one.
End 7: Some early complexity - Hart finally cleans the house up quite a bit. Burtnyk decides to play for the blank and succeeds. Heading to the final end Howard has a one-point lead, and Burtnyk last rock Classic!
End 8: Growing messy pile of rocks - is this good for Burtnyk's double or a Howard steal? Yeah - maybe. Hart has left a little opportunity, and despite the delightful and unusual (today) sight of Don Walchuk firing on all cylinders, the shot misses badly. Howard tosses up what he wants to be an annoying guard, but Burtnyk has hope of blowing the mess away. Walchuk is coming again in a nuclear way. It does not do much - no sweeping at all - the Don Walchuk I remember and love.
There is a Howard rock on the button but there are ways of getting at it. Howard's first shot sits up front but does not really close all the paths for Burtnyk. There is now chatter about an extra end. Burtnyk gets aggressive and tosses a rock into the rings - it goes WAY too deep.
Howard leaves Burtnyk a tricky raise. And he misses!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Men vs. Women: A Small-Sample Observation

  • I know it's only one game.
  • I know it's a skins game, not a "real" game.
  • I realize I'm writing this after only the first three ends (of an eight-end game).
  • And I gather that Jennifer Jones has a bit of a cold.
But even though the Jones rink won the third end, it sure looks as if the Glenn Howard rink is going to win a lot of money in the Saturday night semi-finals at CasinoRama.

And if I'm wrong, I'll be happy to post that, too, when the game ends (assuming I see it -- switching back and forth between the curling and the NFL playoffs).

Update: As I expected, the Howard rink won 7 of the 8 ends. As Jones said in a pre-game interview, the men typically throw with more power and sweep harder, but the major difference in this game, and the difference I noticed when I posted on this topic in the previous posting, was that the men tended to be more accurate with their shots. Possibly that's because the men curl more than the women do.... I don't know. And if the men do curl more than the women, an interesting question is why that might be so.