Thursday, February 26, 2009

Draw 11 Recap - Canada has a plan and it's working

Canada assured themselves of at least a tie breaker in the 7 - 4 win over a listless Germany. It was hard to avoid the thought that this game was more important to Canada than it was to Germany, who at 7 -1 are already guaranteed a place in the 1 - 2 game.

The ice was very fast --- 14 seconds hog to hog for a tee line draw. Canada's skip, Jim Armstong struggled with his early draws. But as he has in every end of every game, left himself a way into the house.

Once Germany had fallen behind 5 -2, they didn't have a game plan that challenged Canada to play in the rings. After the game, Jim Armstrong agreed that Germany had not played an agressive game. He was surprised that they chose not to mix it up. Canada coach Joe Rea was a happy man. "We had a plan, we stuck to the plan, and the plan worked," said Rea.

German skip Jens Jager was philosophical in defeat. "Sure we wanted to win, and we always try to win. But this wasn't really an important game for us." That's how it appeared from the stands. Germany just didn't play with the intensity they showed in previous games.

In the other game, Italy and China both had four losses and knew that whoever lost would probably be eliminated. It was a close game up until the break, with a very animated Chinese team screaming at their rocks, both when they were going too far and when they weren't going far enough.

China pulled away over a tiring Italy, who have lost their last four games.

China plays a resurgent Scotland this afternoon. Scotland need a win to avoid relegation to the qualifying tournament in 2011. (There are no Worlds in Paralympic years.) China, with a record of 4-4 will gain at least a tie break with a win, depending on the outcome of this afternoon's Sweden - USA match.

USA had a convincing win against Norway last night, with their skip Goose Perez regaining confidence in his draw. USA needs to win to remain at four losses and assure themselves a spot in a tie break.

If USA wins and China loses this afternoon, then USA goes through to the playoffs. If China wins and USA loses, then China goes to the playoffs. If they both lose, then all the teams with five losses will have the potential to be in tie breaks as they start this afternoon's game. Switzerland is out. Germany and Sweden have already qualified for the playoffs.

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