Tuesday, April 04, 2006

WMC: Day Four Recap

Look at that! Look at that! I picked four teams at the start of the tournament, and after rough starts by the Canadian and Finnish teams, all the teams would currently advance out of the round robin, either to a tiebreaker or the semifinals, if the draws were over. Okay, maybe that was because the team helmed by U15 got to take on two of the weaker teams in the tournament, but the leader board is starting to sort itself more into the form that I was anticipating.

Finland got to have a go against both the Irish and the Australian teams today. The Irish team has been poorly performing the entire bonspiel, and the Australian team was an upstart who should start settling down in the bracket. U15 and his team handed both a 9-5 defeat. The Aussies took the match to the end, but the Irish team concede after a three point stolen ninth by the Finnish team.

Canada also managed a pair of wins today, both of them close. In early action, they were taken to the 11th end by the Denmark team. Much less, the Danes had the hammer. However, Canada stole the extra end, and won it 7-6. In late action they won a tight game against the Norwegian team that gave some of the top performers such fits yesterday. Norway tied the match at 4 all after the seventh, giving the Canadian team the hammer. They held on to it for the rest of the match, blanking two ends before putting up the only point they needed in the tenth end.

To continue the kickass performance by my four teams, the Scottish national team also managed to pull off a pair of victories today. In the first draw of the day, they had no problem with the Japanese team, winning an 8-3 game that was conceded after nine ends. They then turned around to absolutely blow Germany out of the water, stealing each of the first 5 ends to start out with an 8-0 lead. Germany bowed out after six scoring a save-face point to avoid the shutout.

As I've been writing this post, I've been following the last end of the US/Switzerland match, hoping that it would finish up just in time for me to get to this paragraph, and what do you know. At the time, the US was trailing 3-2 with the hammer in the tenth end. Pete Fenson's team managed to pull off two points, giving them the victory in regulation. This combines with a victory over Sweden in the first draw of the day, walking away with a 7-4 win in just nine ends.

What does this all add up to? It adds up to my four teams going a combined 8-0 today.

In other action, Switzerland has now dropped four straight after starting 3-0. Ireland still has just one victory in the tournament, putting them a game behind Japan in sole possession of last place in the robin.

I'm going to start drawing lines in the standings. Above the first line will be teams that would advance straight to the semifinals. Between the first and second lines will be teams that would go to tiebreaker draws.

United States 6-1
Canada 5-2
Scotland 5-2
Finland 4-3
Norway 4-3
Australia 3-4
Denmark 3-4
Germany 3-4
Switzerland 3-4
Sweden 3-4
Japan 2-5
Ireland 1-6

The United States are still very much in control of their own destinies at this point. They've got four draws left to play, and by my count, they need two wins to be guaranteed advancement out of the round robin to at least a tiebreaker. Two of their remaining games are against teams below that second line, the other two are above. However, I think that Fenson's rink can match up with any team in the field, and they've proven it thus far.


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