Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Brier - Draw #15

Manitoba-NL. Gushue's team are at 7-2 and so set at worst for a tiebreaker. Stoughton is on the cusp at 5-4, having been whipped badly by Alberta last night.
END #1: Manitoba win the hammer. The end features a very crowded house, filling up because peel attempts run the risk of jamming and making things even worse. Stoughton has become intoxicated with the idea of a big score in this end with the right combination - so we'll finally see a rock thrown hard again. In the end he gets one only.
END #2: "From lots of rocks, to none". Blanked.
END #3: Great triple by Rob Fowler opens the house and clears it of NL rocks. A Gushue shot unintentionally clears the scene of newly accumulated NL rocks and leaves Manitoba counting three. Stoughton now lies four with a couple of front rocks in the 12-foot to obstruct access to his rock at the button. Gushue seems prepared to hold the steal to one. And so it goes.
END #4: Another Rob Fowler cleanup! All NL rocks out of sight, and the responding NL shot goes through the house. One Manitoba rock at the edge of the 8-foot in front guarded by a center-line Manitoba rock. Manitoba adds a rock on the button. Nichols clears the guard and the front Manitoba rock.
Meanwhile - wow! - NWT score 5 in the fifth end against BC. May be the end for BC, at 4 losses.
Park puts one up in the 8-foot; Nichols kills it but leaves a Manitoba rock in the house and his shooter wide open. Stoughton nose hits it. Gushue puts a rock on the button. Stoughton clears it and the shooter goes out. Gushue takes one reluctantly with a perfect draw.
END #5: Late in the end, Nichols just cleaned up about half what NL need cleaned up.
NWT steal one more against BC. Looks like game over for BC.
Nice Nichols freeze to a Manitoba rock in the 4-foot. Park is asked to tap back a Manitoba rock in the 12-foot. He moves the NL rock into a more vulnerable position. We now have Manitoba rocks in the front of the 8-foot, front of the 4-foot, and back of the 8-foot, almost lined up vertically. The NL rock sits beside the Manitoba rock at 3 o'clock in the 4-foot. "I think we're in a lot of trouble." Not sure whether that was Gushue or one of his team.
Gushue puts a beauty into the button, slightly open. More GREAT sweeping. Stoughton picks it perfectly. Gushue comes up a little light and wrecks on the front rock. I think this leaves Stoughton with a draw for two. Aha - he is more ambitious - potential for three if he can remove the NL rock. He picks it out - three for Manitoba. 5-1 at the break.
Also at the break, NS are up 4-3 over Ontario, with Ontario having the hammer. I still want a Bill James to sort out whether that is good or bad for Ontario. Surely I do not have to become that Bill James!
End #6: My mind wandered - should not be allowed a break, especially long enough for me to initiate some cooking. Gushue's final rock is a draw for two - and he gets it, though not prettily.
END #7: This was all too complicated for me to describe. So I summarize. Stoughton's first rock is a brilliant hit and roll behind NL cover. Gushue leaves the blank an option. Effected.
Disclosure - I am a long-time Stoughton fan largely because of the resemblance noted by my wife, of him to her former roommate. And then there is the spinning delivery he occasionally does.
END #8: Sorry - was cooking. Stoughton shooting for a hit for three! He gets it. This one is over.
Also - NWT have won over BC.
Manitoba hang on at 6-4. The rest of the day will tell the story.
The younger Howard also defeats NS and is now for sure in the Page 1-2. A giant step. Means tonight's game against Alberta seems rather uninteresting.



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