Draw 16, Afternoon, Second Half
Northern Ontario hasn't been eliminated yet, much to the delight of the crowd. NO leads NB 3-1 and if AB loses to the Territories, NO is still alive (and AB - NT are tied in the 6th).
End 6: Martin missed a double attempt then had to draw for just one against NT; Quebec was forced to take one against MN. And NO-NB blanked the sixth end. Martin is beginning to look frustrated again even though his draw to the button was almost perfect once again.
End 7: NO has managed to split the rings against NB, forcing Grattan to draw for one but he's heavy, yielding a steal of two for NO, who now lead 5-1. Over on Sheet D, MN and QC are keeping things fairly clean (hit, stick, hit, stick, etc.). Similarly on Sheet C between AB and NT. As expected, MN and QC blank the 7th end. And Koe hits and rolls out to blank 7 against AB.
End 8: NS and PEI shake hands on Sheet B, with NS leading 12-3 after 7. PEI was lucky to win anything this year. PEI is done at the Brier and received a big ovation from the crowd.
On Sheet A, NB had corner guards while NO had a centre guard. As we go to skips' stones, NO has a corner guard with a counter behind a guard in the side 12' and peels the centre guard. Grattan draws around the other corner guard but is deep and come out the other side. Jacobs peels it but rolls out. Grattan draws but is short. Steal of one for NO and handshakes on Sheet A. NO is still alive.
Two games left on the ice: AB leads NT/YT 5-4, and MN is tied with QC at 4. Koe tried a double to score 2 or 3, but scored only one to tie AB 5-5 after 8.
End 9: Beauty triple by Naugler to remove the 3 AB rocks from the rings. and still in the 8th, an amazing needle-threading by Gagne to drift into the button, only to have Stoughton double them off and score two. MN 6, QC 4 after 8.
Martin is curling under 66%, and wrecked on the guard with his first shot. Koe has tried to split the rings, but leaves a possible thick double for Martin to try to blank. But he hits and rolls out, giving NT a steal of one. WOW!!! AB trails NT 6-5 but has the hammer coming home. This is becoming funner and funner...
End #10: Martin needs two to win. Kennedy sets him up with a double to lie two, Naugler peels one, but Morris barely clears a guard to hit and stick and lie three. Naugler tries to draw to the shot rock but over curls, leaving AB lying two. Morris draws a bit deep and freezes to the NT rock in the back of the rings. Koe can freeze to force AB into a tough situation.
[meanwhile on sheet D, QC shakes hands with MN conceding that game; also my daughter texts that she just saw Alan and me on tv.]
Back on Sheet C, Martin rubs on a guard with his first shot, and Koe guarded the chance for a steal. But Martin threw a bullet for a double-raise take-out to score two and win, thereby eliminating NO from the playoffs.
We're really looking forward to this evening. Manitoba is guaranteed a spot in the 1-2 playoffs. Alberta and Ontario, both at 8-2 play tonight. Should be tonnes of fun!
Labels: 2011 Brier