Practice is underway for the first draw. In front of me (Sheet A), it's Saskatchewan and Yukon/NWT, on Sheet B it's Ontario/New Brunswick, NL vs PEI on Sheet C, and BC/MB on Sheet D.
Judging from the positioning of the overhead cameras, TSN appears to be planning to feature Sheet B, and it will likely catch most of my attention, not just because it's Ontario, but also the family connection; the Ontario skip is the uncle of the New Brunswick second (and the father of the Ontario alternate), and possibly the brother of the TSN color broadcaster.
A swarm of camerapeople show up in front of me aiming camefras into the audience. Turns out our prime minister is here. Everybody in the audience near him is getting photo ops; I hope he gets some peace when play begins.
END #1: NB use the first several stopes to filll the house with their own, and Ontario starts using them. Howard misses a double opporuntity. Grattan sits on an Ontario rock and count two. Howard, with hammer, draws to the four-foot for one. Saskatchewan take one with the hammer as well. Manitoba lead 2-0 after one, and NL leads PEI 1-0 after one. All started with the hammer.
END #2: Ontario center guard and NB come around. Ontario put up another guard just off center line and NB put a corner guard up. Savill cleans away the NB rock in the house with a raise. NB double away the Ontario guards. Lang goes in behind the NB guards. NB miss a raise but the Ontario rock is now open. Hart puts a second rock beside the Ontario rock in the front of the house. NB clear one, move the other, and Hart hits the NB rock which stayed. But he leaves a double, which is made. Hart hits and stays. NB return the favor. Howard hits and rolls but not quite into cover. Meanwhilee Y/NWT make an open hit for two in the second. NB blank.
PEI ties it up 1-1 with NL. MB steal one from BC to lead 3-0.
END #3: Play is now going away from me so it is hard to really see. I see TSN has ads and updates on through at least two rocks, side by side in just in front of the house. Savill brings Ontario in behind its own guard. So NB come in around theirs. Ontario hit it and stick. NB double off the guards and bump the Ontario rock in the twelve foot. Lang makes a beautiful pick and Ontario lie three. NB hit back andstick up front. Hart removes that - lying three again, all up front in the house. NB hit and stick to lie one. Hart hits and sticks; there may be a triple here. That seems not to have been the call but I also doubt hitting one Ontario rock and rolling away was either. Ontario go in behind their two rock to the T-line. NB come down beside it and Howard picks it out, forcing a draw to the four foot for one which Grattan makes. Y/NWT force SK to 1, so it's 2-2. NL get 5 in three so lead 6-1. BC are forced to one in three so it's 3-1 MB.
It's a bit unsettling to try to watch four matches and keep hearing loud cheeers for no reason you can detect, as it's already too late.
END #4: NB come to button, Ontario put up a corenr guard. NB come in behind it.Ontario wreck on their guard, and put arcok in the front eight-foot, now gone with NB lying three. Reminds me a bit of the first end. Ontario hit the front rock and stick but are open. NB hit it away and roll over to create a bit of a pocket of three stones. Ontario remove two and stay in the house; NB hit and stick. Ontario come to the front center eight-foot. NB pick it out. Howaard calls for a freeze, getss an angle freeze that looks pretty pickable. And it is. It leaves Howardd thinking; his freeze looks a little better. NB pick it! Howard must now draw to the four-foot for one. He uses the backing. 2-1.
Y/NWT take and lead 3-2. NL steal one and lead 7-1. MB take 3 to lead 6-1.
END #5: NB have two rocks in front of the T, Ontario one behind, with a corner guard and a center guard not really covering any of them. Laing's first shot went through the house and this one hits but does not roll enough for cover. NB wreck on the front guard. Ontario hit nicely but leave a little biter at the back. NB hit and stick but get only one Ontario rock. Hart gets a rock behind cover in the front of the eight-foot. NB follows it in very nicely. Howard follows it and Ontario may be lying three. This has Grattan thinking. (NL steal two more and lead 9.) Grattan JUST misses getting into the pocket but rolls away. Y/NWT And SK go to the break at 3-3. Howard puts his last rock where Grattan wanted to be, in a bundle of stones in the four-foot. Grattan makes theraise tothe button, the only shot he haad, to save his one. 2-2 at the break. Meanwhile, BC get two to be down 6-3 to Manitoba.
Labels: 2011 Brier