Jings crivens – this is getting exciting now. Finally, Kevin Koe and his Alberta team got a break tonight after a week when everything has gone horribly wrong. From the skip going down with food poisioning to losing to a once in a lifetime shot from Brad Gushue. After losing to Saskatchewan this afternoon they looked to be heading for the exit door tonight when tied with Manitoba without last stone in the 10th. But, amazingly, Manitoba skip Reid Carruthers came up an inch short leaving Alberta lying one. That was lifeline number one but all us Alberta fans here in the prairies had to stop cheering and whooping when we realised if Saskatchewan beat Ontario in their extra end Alberta were out anyway. Thankfully Ontario made their last hit for the win to really complicate things on the leader board
We know that Northern Ontario and Newfoundland-Labrador are in the 1v2 game. Team Canada definitely make the 3v4 game but who they play is between Saskatchewan, Quebec, Alberta and BC. In the last round-robin game tomorrow morning, Saskatchewan must beat BC they get straight through. But if they lose and Alberta beat New Brunswick there will be tie-breakers later in the day.
The sweeping power of Alberta’s Hebert and Kennedy and any of the ‘buff boys’ from Northern Ontario is phenomenal. I must have watched them sweep three of four of Koe’s draw shots that were light and drag them to the four foot with their power sweeping or ‘scrubing’ as they say here. And they do it end after end for three hours. Incredible fitness levels. And I can’t work out how the front ends are timing stones as rockwatchers seem to have disappeared. Perhaps they have something on their gloves now or just do it so often they know the speed.
The chinook wind blew in last night raising temperatures by 20 degrees. It was spring like when we were shopping in town this morning. But the curling commentators were concerned about the sudden blast of warmth affecting the ice and there were noticeably more pick ups tonight. Team Canada were going for a draw behind a guard in the last end of their high quality game against NO to try and steal a single for an extra end when Pat Simmonds’ stone picked much to his and his team’s frustration.