Page 3-4 Live-Blog
I am ready and looking forward to it.
Ontario looked amazing early in the tournament, and then a little more fallible; Nova Scotia have had their ups and downs but here they are, and they seem simply to get better and better. These are both good hitting teams with a willingness to be aggressive as well, so it should be fun.
AS TSN introduces the teams the emphasis is suitably on the youth in both squads, and an amusing quotation from Smith to the effect that her team can be fearless because "they don;t know any better", echoing nicely the other side of a comment I cited a few days ago from Russ Howard's coverage, as he made the amusing point that as one ages, one learns about things that can go badly wrong, and this does affect choices.
END #1: Ontario have the initial hammer. NS go into the house and Homan hits and clears the shooter. OK no guards this end! Exchange of nose hits ongoing. Along the way some rocks just go through the house; a useful end to teach some lessons for later. Homan blanks handily.
END #2: A little more action this end, but we are still having some trouble with reading the ice. Ontario have a rock on the front of the button, with a bunch of NS rocks in front. An Ontario shot cleans up the house, though I doubt that was the plan - there was double of just NS rocks available. With the next NS rock they seem to count three. Miskew hits the rock near the button but leaves her shot open. NS get a hit and roll almost under cover on that rock. Miskew's runback clears up the middle, but leaves a NS rock under cover, and it is shot. Smith clears the right side of the house - Homan misses on the other side and leave NS shot behind cover and put a guard in place near the center. Smith is no fool and comes around that center guard, slightly visible. Homan's draw is heavy and NS steal one.
END #3: NS has a center guard and Ontario badly miss on an attempt to move it. It guards a NS rock on the button. Now NS piles up center guards; but they left the rocks so Kreviazuk could double them and remove all the other bother in the front of the house. Another center guard. Peeled. And another - I love how terse Smith can be - "Another guard". Mind wandered a tad - we now have two open NS rocks behind the T-line and the NS center guard is still there. Miskew is a bit short coming around the center (NS is still shot). Homan does a runback and is now shot (she moves NS rocks only). Smith's runback misses, and Homan has a draw for two. She makes it handily.
This is looking to be a very attractive match between two very attractive (in several senses) teams.
END #4: Ontario center guard, NS come around but a little too deep, and Ontario follow in on top. NS come in nicely onto the button. Ontario runback misses. NS add a third rock to the cluster around the button. Ontario clean up, sit two on the button. NS post a center guard. Ontario are way short on a come-around. NS runback misses. A rock later NS has a rock in the front of the button. which Homan nicely does. Smith picks out one Ontario rock from the button but Ontario still have shot, with a , with a neighboring NS rock. Ontario pick the NS rock. They have two counters in the four-foot. Ontario also have a biter so Smith really cannot blank. She draws to the button perfectly for her one.
END #5: NS centerguard, a bundle of comearounds. Ontario on the button and at the back of the house. NS back of the four-foot with a couple of rocks. Ontario put a rock into the twelve-foot, backed by the NS rocks. NS come into the other side of the house and touch the twelve-foot. These skips are crazy (but fun crazy for me)! Ontario do a plan B tap-back as rocks pile up in the house. Smith guards to shut off access. Miskew peel some of the NS guards and cleans up the front a bit. NS make a nasty miss and simply remove one of their own rocks. Ontario do another plan B tap-back but it leaves them with two rocks in the four-foot backed by NS rocks. Smith plans a very toughdraw to the button. The button is surrounded by Ontario rocks. It is a beauty! Can she ever make shots under pressure! Unfortunately it lets Homan make one of her artillery-fire hits and she does, and Ontario now lies five. What an end! I did feel it was ominous watching all the rocks piling up early. Smith sure tries but Homan now has a draw for five. Linda Moore makes the interesting point that Smith played the kind of end she would play against herself, but perhaps not such an amazing hitter as Homan. Homan makes her five.
This is really too bad. I think the match is over and it was a lot of fun while it lasted.
END #6: OK you all know me; my attention is indeed compromised. there is very minor complication in htis end and Homan is no fool, focusing on removing threatening guards. "We were looking at the out-turn missile there for a while; that could have been dangerous". Russ Howard, reflecting on Homan's consideration on her last rock, and it made me laugh really hard. She did something more rational thanks to advice from Miss Miskew; Smith, meanwhile, decides for higher risk, trying to get two. This is scary! Ahh they backed off and are going for one. They barely make it.
I know this is inappropriate but given that I already posted regarding Kim Schneider I want to say that Mses. Weagle and Kreviazuk also manage the Euro-weenie glasses nicely.
END #7: Things are going as you might expect. I think we are now in blasting mode. "It's kind of risky; they could be lying three after it. I don't think we need to." And that is Homan the crazy woman! After a certain indecision there is a call to peel. And we get that. Smith's last rock is a disaster and allows Ontario to score two.
END #8: "Kind of what she's hoping for?" I love the mikes on the skips. Homan chooses, conservatively, to peel. As Linda Moore points out, Smith needs dumb choices by Ontario at this point. Homan seems impressively resistant to that, with a six-point lead. Homan's first shot does just what she did not want H- peeled only one guard and left her shooter as one, but a six-point lead is not too troubling. Homan happily leaves a draw or hit for two; Smith takes the draw.
END #9: Ontario back to peeling a few rocks into this end.
Ontario score four. Handshakes. An utterly diminating oerformce. I will be sorry to miss Heather Smith's team.