Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Draw 9 recap - Canada back down to earth, but still win

Canada came back down to earth from the heady heights of 80 plus percent shooting to score a competent if not very exciting 6-3 win over second place Sweden. Sweden will consider themselves unlucky to lose as a succession of shots grazed guards or traveled an inch too far. Skip Jungnell seemed upset with his difficulty in placing the broom, complaining that some takeouts needed a foot of ice and others two feet. He certainly had trouble placing the broom for his 3rd, Glenn Ikonen, who missed a succession of takeouts. And when an opponent struggles with a particular shot against this Team Canada, they tend to have plenty of opportunities to practice.

Canada stayed with the line-up that played so well against Korea, with Sonja Gaudet at lead. Coach Rea said before the game that Sweden had a habit of scoring at least one big end every game and Canada's plan was not to let that happen. The Swedish coach said they had no particular plan for Canada. "We play our game and adjust as we go along," he said.

You can see our commentary in the post below. Overall the score flattered Canada, but the team won, and the scores on the other sheets broke their way. Italy, Norway and China all picked up a fourth loss, so Canada are sure of a playoff spot if they win their last two games tomorrow.

On Sheet A Germany played Norway in what may remain for years wheelchair curling's lowest scoring 8 end game. Germany won 4-1, but the teams were scoreless at the break. Norwegian skip Rune Lorentsen missed an open hit for 2 in the last end that would have sent the game into an extra. Norway play USA this evening with both teams on four losses.

Scotland had a frank team meeting this morning and came to the ice with renewed determination. Michael McCreadie skipped and threw 3rd stones in a 10-2 defeat of Italy. "We felt we needed Michael's experience at skip," said coach Pendreigh. Italy have now lost three in a row after a run of four consecutive wins.

China fell to Switzerland, who for a second game managed to maintain a mid-break lead, winning 7-2. The Team China coach appeared unhappy with his very young team, scolding his skip at a time-out. China has only two curling rinks, one in Beijing and the other in Harbin. The team manager said the team comes from different areas and trains together outside of competition for maybe four week-long sessions during the year.

To accommodate the possibility of three rounds of tie-breaks, tomorrow's games start at 9 am. Cate, who has been doing all the heavy lifting, the setting up and also the typing during the games, dragged herself from her sick bed to allow coverage of the afternoon draw. She is now burrowed under the covers hoping to feel well enough to help bring you the Canada/Germany game tomorrow morning.

Though Germany have secured their place in the 1/2 game, I am sure skip Jens Jaeger, who is being cheered on by vocal group of supporters, would be more than happy to force Canada into tie-breaks by winning.

Last year Japan were relegated and forced to try to re-qualify on the basis of a pre-tournament draw to the button that came up an inch short of allowing them a berth in this year's competition. That rule has changed. Teams level on points will play tie-break games if necessary to decide on relegation.

All being well we'll see you live online tomorrow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Armstrong is starting to work with the ice conditions....someyhing that no other team can do effectively. With any support, they will be there on the weekend.