Friday, March 25, 2011

Canadian Nationals - Day 5 final round robin draw

Full line scores and statistics and tables for the 9th and final round robin draw are available on our website.

BC skip Gary Cormack braced by Vince Miele
With the the top three playoff slots decided after the morning draw. just one of this afternoon's matches had playoff implications as Northern Ontario challenged 4th place BC in hopes of forcing a tie-break rematch tomorrow morning.

Northern Ontario had BC on the ropes early as they raced to a 5-1 lead at the break with successive steals in ends 3 and 4. But BC closed the gap to 1 after five ends and then stole to a 7-5 lead. Northern Ontario could only manage a single in the 8th and their hopes for a Saturday second chance disappeared; BC the winners, 7-6.

 Alberta's Anne Hibberd braced by Martin Purvis
The other game that attracted a crowd of 86 spectators was the head to head match-up of the two Alberta teams, both coming off painful morning losses. This event was the first time the Edmonton team had played at the Nationals, though skip Nuspl had appeared as an alternate last year for the Calgary provincial champions.

But for a couple of agonising defeats where Host Team let big leads slip away in the final end, the Host Team would have already claimed Saturday play; so they approached the game with some confidence they could hold their own, if not cause an upset.

It wasn't to be as Alberta stole in all six ends before shaking hands with the score 10-0. The win put Alberta into the 1 vs 2 game and guaranteed them at least a bronze medal.

Nova Scotia lead Debbie Earle
photo - Andrew Pizzinato 
Nova Scotia had never managed a plus 500 record in three previous trips to the Nationals; their best mark a 4-5 record in 2010. Having clawed past Alberta this morning they were not going to allow their place in the 1 vs 2 playoff game slip away. They were 5-0 up on Saskatchewan after 3 and finished a cautious game 6-4 winners to hold onto the top spot.

Manitoba 2nd George Horning with Dennis Thiessen
photo - Andrew Pizzinato

Manitoba remained in 3rd place with a 8-2 defeat of winless Newfoundland-Labrador. Lanie Woodfine was again unable to play and local David Graves from the reserve player pool filled in for their last three games.

Ontario 2nd Alec Denys braced by Carl Baxphoto - Andrew Pizzinato
Ontario beat Quebec 8-2. Both teams came in with high hopes of making the playoffs and will leave wondering where it all went wrong. Quebec, after the upsets of 2010 and the refashioning of their team, did not improve their record. And Chris Rees is the third successive Ontario skip to fail to reach the playoffs.

Play resumes Saturday with the page playoff 1 vs 2 game featuring Nova Scotia and Alberta scheduled for 1.30pm and the 3 vs 4 game between Manitoba and BC starting at 6.30pm.

Sunday's semi-final is at 9.30 AM and the final is at 2PM. There will not be a bronze medal game. The bronze will be awarded to the losing semi-finalist.

There were no individual player stats taken at this year's championship (coaches may have kept their personal record) so the All-Star team will be chosen by team ballot. Each team has been asked to put forward their choice of best player at each position to decide the All-Star Awards.

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