Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Draw 9 preview - Can Canada maintain momentum?

It was a completely different Team Canada on the ice last night playing Korea. Sonja Gaudet, who has been reworking her delivery to add takeout weight, an increasingly important shot for leads, brings sunshine to the ice, and from up in the stands the team looked happier than they have been all week.

Chris Sobkowicz's struggles at lead had meant that Canada were not setting up their ends early and that inevitably makes for more difficult, or more vital shots for those following, though it would be unfair to accord him all the blame for Canada's slow start. Korea's game plan last night played into Canada's hands given that everyone was shooting so well. With so few stones in play, and rarely anything inside the 12 foot, there wasn't anything to get in the way.

In six games I have yet to see skip Jim Armstrong come to the line without a plausible shot, and at least one way into the centre of the house, and that's remarkable testimony to his game calling. With centre stones, he chooses a side to come around and keeps playing to that side, leaving the other open for his skip stones.

I doubt that Swedish skip Jalle Jungnell will be as cooperative as Korea in his game calling. Jungnell skipped the bronze medalists at Torino. His one loss so far this week was to Italy, and he has already beaten Germany, the other team at only one loss.

No wheelchair team can withstand an opponent posting numbers you'd be pleased with at the Scotties, taking place a ferry ride away in Victoria. Did Canada have a generous official scorer last night? Will Sonja's pixie dust work against the more experienced and unflappable Swedes? You'll find out right here.

In other matches, Germany, at 6-1 already assured of at least a tie-break, play Norway, sitting on the dreaded 3 losses. Italy (4-3) play Scotland (1-5) and China (3-3) play Switzerland (1-5).


Tia said...

I think there is a collective sigh of releif now that Sonja is back on the ice. Last night was another testiment that she's a high caliber player. Good luck Canada!

Anonymous said...

Ice didn't look as predictable today, but Jim performs his magic of keeping the game simple enough to survive a bit of a soft game. He has found his game, himself, and with any support, should be hard to beat.

Anonymous said...

Look for Team Canada to survive a difficult day and be in the semi's. And then, would you bet against them?