Sunday, April 09, 2006

WMC: Championship Day!

Welcome to the last big day of international curling for several months. Kinda sad. Though it's going out with a bang, and two of the biggest historic juggernauts in the sport going at it for the championship of the 2006 World Men's Championship.

Scotland went into the tenth end of yesterday's semifinal ties with the Norwegian team that had dispatched Pete Fenson's rink from the tournament. However, they also went into the tenth end carrying the hammer, and were not about to screw that up. Thanks to a well executed takeout with that last rock, the Scottish lay two when the dust had settled, and thus set things up for a rematch with the Canadian team today.

This marks the third time the two teams will meet on the Lowell ice, and they've split the two previous matches, so this will serve as a best-of-three rubber situation. The first match saw the Scots score in four consecutive ends to put away the Canadian team with little trouble. The Scots shot 80% in that game, led by vice skip Ewan McDonald managing to shoot an excellent 89%. The Canadians managed 79%, but were dragged down a great deal by their skip, Jean-Michel Ménard, shooting just 66%.

In the second meeting, just two days ago in the page playoffs, the Canadian team rolled, stealing the first end, and not looking back. Scotland was only shooting 67% in that match, with Murdoch himself only managing 52%. The Canadians had two curlers at 89%, including their skip who faltered in the first meeting, and had just no problems at any point in the shortened match.

This is all going to come down to who can make the shots. Both teams have excellent potential to shine, but both have also shown the ability to falter and fall. No room for mistakes today. Here's to a good ten ends!

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