Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Canadian Nationals - Day 3 Draw 4 - and then there were two

Full up-to-date results and tables can be found on our website

 Teams waiting for the clocks to begin at the start of play in Draw 4 
photo - Andrew Pizzinato

Four teams began the afternoon with unbeaten records in Draw 4 of the Canadian Nationals, and they played head to head.

British Columbia nosed ahead early against Alberta. A couple of Alberta misses led to a steal of 1 in the 1st and in the second a hit and roll thwarted a potential big end for Alberta and gave BC their second stolen point.

Alberta had to settle for a two that tied the game in the 3rd when Bruno's last rock was heavy, and BC got another big shot when they needed it with a hit and stick facing 3 to earn a single and a 3-2 lead at the break.

Another steal by BC after the break had Alberta coach Andy Jones tweeting "Call the cops." But Bruno Yizek made a cold draw in the 6th to tie the score. With lots of rocks in play in the 7th, BC threw a big weight takeout to nose ahead by 2. In the 8th BC were light on a draw which allowed the Alberta team to tie again. Though Alberta's last stone slide to the back of the house, it stopped just in time to count. Alberta then stole a single in the extra end to remain undefeated.

You want what!! Alberta's Anne Hibberd, Jack Smart and Bridget Wilson
photo - Andrew Pizzinato

Unbeaten Nova Scotia got off to a good start against Manitoba, stealing the first three points but yielded a steal of 2 in the 5th to see the game tied at 4. They reclaimed the lead with a single in the 7th and stole 2 in the 8th to stay tied with Alberta at the top of the table.

 Wayne Ficek NO and Chris Rees ON
photo - Andrew Pizzinato 
At every Canadian Nationals since Northern Ontario began competing in 2008 they have been in competition with Southern Ontario, as they like to call their cosmopolitan neighbours, for the John McCrae Trophy. Last year in Kelowna it was Bruce Cameron's Ontario team that wrested the trophy from the Ficek rink, graciously handed over by their 2nd Chester Draper.

 Chester Draper had some lost property to retrieve
Photo by Kevin Malinowski

Ontario began with hammer and were 4 ahead before Northern Ontario posted a 3 before the break. Steals in ends 5 and 6 saw Ficek 7-4 but Chris Rees took 2 in the seventh to pull within one, then stole to force an extra end. It wasn't quite enough, as N. Ontario took their single to win 8-7: this year Chester will be taking the trophy back.

Edmonton fans may have been forgiven for wondering what mysterious force has been at work on their Host Team, inflicting last gasp 4's when their favourites have won more ends (21) than any team in the competition.

There must have been groans of "not again" as they outplayed Quebec, recovering from a 4-1 deficit in the 2nd to pull ahead 7-4. But just like the previous two draws, with a win seemingly in hand, they gave up another 4 to fall behind 8-7. Today however, Hosts rallied with a 2 in the final end to secure their second win and leave Quebec still looking for their first.

Carl Marquis and his long stick
 photo - Andrew Pizzinato

Saskatchewan finally got into the win column, handing Newfoundland another double digit defeat, 10-2.

 Saskatchewan's Terry Hart 
 photo - Andrew Pizzinato

No comments: