Canada vs. China: Draw #2
As expected, I woke up in time to see a huge chunk of the opening draw at the 2011 Women's World Curling Championships from Denmark [oops, I just realized it's the opening draw for Canada, but there was an earlier draw that didn't include Canada]. TSN is showing this game, and I noticed right away that it is only Vic and Russ; Linda is not there.
Canada, skipped by Amber Holland of Saskatchewan, struggled through much of the game. Their play has reminded me of how they played in the Saskatchewan play-downs, missing shots all over the place. Part of the problem, as Vic and Russ point out, is that the ice is green and variable, as evidenced by the fact that China is missing quite a few shots as well. Also, early on, Russ mentioned that Holland's rocks seem seriously mismatched.
Early on, Holland missed a split. Later she came up way light on an open draw for three. Fortunately for Canada, the China skip missed a crucial shot in the sixth end, allowing Canada to hit and stick for 4, giving Canada a huge advantage for the game. But then China scored 2 in the seventh, and in the eighth, Holland's first shot undercurled to remove her own shot rock and tap China up, but Holland made a gentle angle raise to salvage one from the end and be up by two with two ends remaining.
More mistakes in the 9th and 10th ends led to China's scoring one in the 9th. Many more mistakes led to China splitting their rocks to lie two, forcing Holland to hit and roll to the button (excellent shot) to score one for the win.
Even though there were lots of curling mistakes on this sheet, I should point out that everyone on all the sheets seemed to struggle, trying to learn the ice and the stones. In fact of all the teams curling in this draw, Canada has the second-highest team percentage (more on curling percentages here). Most teams had substantially lower curling percentages.
Labels: 2011 Women's Worlds