Brier, Page 1-2 Playoff, Last two ends?
So far this has been a very close game. A bunch of really good shots.
Martin would like to blank this end and have the hammer in the 10th. Howard would like to force him to take one so Ontario has the hammer going home. Centre guard, Alberta rock in the rings, freeze attempt by Ontario but a bit of a bump. It sure looks, after a couple more rocks, as if this end will NOT be blanked.
Tap-back by Ontario. Tap-and-roll by Alberta, but it taps the other Alberta rock into the open. Ontario hits the open Alberta rock, but lies open. Time out, Alberta. These guys are discussing shots two or three moves down the line -- fascinating. Morris slams into the rocks, driving out an Ontario rock and opening up the other rocks. Hart is narrow and gets a nose hit instead of an outside roll. Morris then doubles off the two Ontario rocks, and Alberta sits two.
Howard hits and rolls, but rolls outside the Alberta rock in the top 12, leaving a hit and short roll for Martin. It didn't roll, so Howard tries a double, but gets only one, leaving Martin with a draw for one.
Alberta 6, Ontario 5 after 9
Which would have been better for Ontario? down one with the hammer or up one without? In this case they're down one with the hammer, which means Howard's miss in the 9th wasn't absolutely horrible for them.
Earlier, Alan noted that TSN often is busy running ads and/or meaningless little vignettes (my assessment) and misses the first couple of shots. But tonight, the curlers appear to have been forced to wait for the commercials, etc., to end before starting. Whatever, it's nice to see all the shots.
Two corner guards from Ontario; two in the rings from Alberta. Fun discussion on the Ontario rink:
Hart to Laing: What's your plan here?
Laing in reply: I don't have a plan; I'm the second.
Some disagreement on the Alberta rink about whether to try to double peel the guards. Martin seems more than a little disappointed when the double is missed. Nice come-around by Laing; Morris is light and touches the guard (blames a pick -- nonsense). That leaves Hart with a runback double attempt; gets one, but the other is moved well behind cover. Morris makes a runback to kill the only Ontario rock that is fully in the rings. Very pretty shot. Hart's freeze attempt is outside and light. Alberta sits three but there are three Ontario rocks in front of them.
Martin draws top 4 behind cover. Howard is in deep doo-doo. His first shot is an attempt to come in off an Ontario rock, and .. Wow ... he went between the two Alberta rocks near the button. Martin guards, trying to make it hard for Howard to get even one to tie. Howard's only shot is to draw to the 4' to tie the game and force an extra end. Perfect.
Ontario 6, Alberta 6; Alberta has the hammer in the 11th.
Two guards from Ontario and two TERRIFIC nudges by Alberta, leaving the centre open.
Things proceed as expected until Morris's peel attempt is a nose hit, leaving a centre-line guard, which Hart draws around, but it's not biting the 4'. Morris peels the centre guard. Howard replaces the guard. Morris wants Martin to put one on the top of the button, but Martin elects to peel the guard. Great, fascinating discussion by the Ontario team: their goal is to make Martin hit and hope he rolls just enough that Ontario scores. Howard's shot is outer 4', leaving a draw by Martin to touch the button for the win. He (really his sweepers) just barely got it close enough for the win -- within an inch. Wow.
Alberta wins and goes through to the final. And tomorrow night at 8pm, Ontario plays the winner of the 3-4 playoff (noon tomorrow between Manitoba and Nfld).
Labels: 2009 Brier