Friday, March 11, 2011

The Page 1-2 Playoff: First Half

Gushue (NL) starts with the hammer vs. Stoughton (Manitoba) because NL defeated MN in the round robin and they had the same record. The winner moves on to the final, and the loser must face the winner of the 3-4 playoff.

I must say that at the beginning of the tournament, I didn't expect either of these teams to be in the top two, though I did think they had both had good chances to make the playoffs.

End 1. Nichols missed a peel, Stoughton drew around the centre guard, Gushue peeled one but just tapped the other behind the guard. Stoughton draws again, forcing Gushue to draw and tap for one. NL 1, MN 0

End 2. A couple of minor misses, one by Fry (2nd NL) who rubbed on an guard and one by Mead (Vice MN) who drifted a tad deep. Gushue froze to the MN stones in the back of the house, and Stoughton froze to that one. And Gushue tapped it a bit, forcing MN to draw for 1. Tied up at one after 2 ends.

End 3. Nice salvage with plan B by Gushue to lie 2; draw by Mead to the button. Angle tap by Nichols (3rd, NL). 2 rocks from each team in the 4' after Mead's second draw. Nichols taps one MN rock out, and Stoughton draws to top 8' as a guard but overcurled a bit. MN lies one, but Gushue has the hammer and is lying 2-3. Gudhur peels the shot rock, removing a NL rock, too, and lies 2. Stoughton's final draw is a bit heavy, leaving a tap for three. He tapped a different rock and scored only two. His plan B adjustments have been pretty good. NL 3, MN 1

End 4. Guard-peel game until Nichols jams a run-back. Stoughton hits and rolls out, leaving another run-back attempt, this time by Gushue. The house is empty, leaving a blank for MN.

End 5. Lots of guards and action, but eventually the front is cleared with 3 MN rocks on the side. Unusual call by Stoughton to draw around the guards, allowing Gushue to split the rings, forcing Stoughton to draw to touch the button to score one. NL 3, MN2



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