Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Brier - Draw 17 Continued

Before I take over the live-blogging, let me thank Alan for all his blogging of the 2009 Brier! It has been a busy week for me, and I have really appreciated being able to follow the games more closely with his running commentaries.

Also, I'm going to try doing these in reverse order to see how that works.

End #5
A typical start with Ontario having a centre guard and a centre rock in the rings, and an Alberta corner guard. Freeze by Hebert (Alberta lead); freeze by Laing; this is going to be weird and fun! Tap- squeeze by Kennedy. Laing shoots through a small gap, hits, and rolls. Looks great, but Kennedy slams down the center line for triple! Wow, that sure cleaned out the rings. Hit-roll by Hart is a bit open. Morris got through the same gap that Laing did, but took out only one Ont rock, leaving Ont with shot rock. Hart draws to the button, not quite buried. Morris tapped it back with another beautiful shot. On to skips' stones:

Howard tries to guard the path to the rings, but his shot over-curls. But Martin comes the other way through the "Laing" gap and taps his own stone back for shot. Lots of discussion by Ont about whether the double is there, but it doesn't matter. Howard is going to try to freeze. Either way, Martin would have a shot for one. Oops, I was wrong: The freeze attempt is too hard, leaving Martin with a tricky, angle gentle tap for two.

Alberta 3, Ontario 2.
End #4
In the background, Alan and I have both been wishing we could see more of the other games as well. What might be good for those who have big-screen HD televisions would be a 4-way split screen so we could watch 'em all!

The end started out looking well-set-up for Alberta with good rocks, but in the middle. Laing (Ont 2nd) didn't quite get a double with his blast. Nice little hit-and roll for a biter by Kennedy (Alberta 2nd), followed by a hit-roll by Hart that over-rolled into the open. Morris hits and sticks (Alberta has the only two rocks in the rings). Hart tries another hit-roll and again over rolls right out of the rings. Hart is struggling. Morris then draws around the centre guard to the top of the button -- great shot!

Howard makes an amazing, AMAZING run-back double, taking both Alberta rocks out of the house. There is one Ont rock in the rings, and it is open. Martin hits and rolls, but doesn't quite get behind the centre guard. Howard peeled it, barely avoiding a jam, leaving the rings empty. Martin throws it away. Such an exciting end for no score!

Ontario 2, Alberta 1
End #3
Isn't it fascinating/odd/ironic that all three of the other games matter more than this one? Two teams (Quebec and NB) are fighting to survive into the tie-breakers, and Nfld needs to win to avoid having to go into the tie-breakers.

Ontario is well-set-up with rocks behind cover, but Laing's first shot over-curled leaving Ont stones exposed. Then Morris's first shot was straighter than expected and his take-out jammed, followed by a hit-and-roll-out from Hart. The commenters note that both skips are having a bit of difficulty reading the ice.

Morris's second shot is a perfect hit and roll/freeze to put Ontario in a bit of trouble. Hart really overthrew his second shot and ended up knocking out his own stone AND losing his shooter. Martin can hit and stick to sit two, forcing Howard to try to freeze. Ray says, "There is no such thing as a perfect freeze against Kevin Martin."

Howard's freeze attempt comes up short; Martin picks it, and Howard is obliged to try to draw for only 1. At the same time, on the next sheet, Russ Howard drew for one as well

Ontario 2, Alberta 1
[and NB 2, BC 2]

End #2

A couple of minor misses by Alberta, followed by a hit from Hart (3rd, Ontario) that didn't roll behind the centre-line guard, and Morris (3rd, Alberta) got a perfect hit and roll. Howard puts in a light-peel through a fairly narrow port to hit out the Alberta shot rock, but roll out in the open on the outside. Martin ignores the Ontario rock and draws to the button around the centre guard -- perfect shot. Howard does a near freeze to the shot rock -- tapped it about 3 inches. Martin is left with an impossible draw (or roll off the Ontario 3rd shot rock) to try to get two, but couldn't do it.
After 2nd end, Alberta 1, Ontario 1



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