Friday, April 07, 2006

WMC: Round Robin Recap

First, sorry for not getting the last draw reported last night. This is still an amateur blog, and there was a need for me to crash before I could get all the scores updated and reported. The two major games of import last night saw Sweden losing, which set the field of four, and Canada beating the US, which set the seeding.

For Pete Fenson's team, this means a little trouble. They're going into the playoff round riding a three game losing streak, having dropped consecutive games to the Aussies, Finns, and Canadians. Not the way to end the round robin, and hopefully he can rebound going into the playoffs. Unfortunately time is not on their sides. The women's tournament was set up so that an entire day of tiebreaking draws was scheduled, but not so with the men. The most Team USA gets to do is sleep in and enjoy and early dinner.

For those who missed the women's playoffs, here's how Page Playoffs work to determine ranking of the top four seeds.

Today at 2pm, the first and second seeded teams will play, this being Scotland and Canada. Then and 7pm, the third and fourth seeded teams will play, this being Norway and the United States. The loser of this second game is eliminated from the playoffs, and gets the #4 ranking.

The victor of the Norway/US match will then take on the Canada/Scotland loser in the semifinal, which is tomorrow at 1pm. The loser of this game will be eliminated, and will take bronze home from Lowell.

Finally, the winner of Canada/Scotland will take on the winner of the Semifinal match on Sunday at 12:30pm for the whole ball of wax.

The United States has only a 1-2 record against the other teams that advanced. The Norwegian team they start out against is the same one that handed Fenson's boys an 8-5 defeat during the seventh draw on Monday. That game featured Pete Fenson shooting an uncharacteristically low 68% during the match, doing worse on hits than draws with only 65% accuracy. He's going to need to do much better than that in hopes of winning this thing.

Finally, a post mortem to my fourth team, the only one eliminated by the round robin. Markku Uusipaavalniemi was suffering most of the tournament from a wrist injury, and wasn't able to play some matched, and wasn't able to skip others. This resulted in him missing the first three Finnish draws, which they dropped 2 out of three. If his presence would have turned just one of those around, there'd be a playoff today, and U15 would be in it. There's now a long off season for him to recover, and I hope to see him back for next winter's international season.

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