Friday, February 19, 2010

(Wes Seeger - 2010-02-19) - Martin Continues to Steamroll Opponents!

Both Canadian rinks are undefeated after Day 3 but while Cheryl Bernard's rink has had to pull a rabbit out of the hat in the 10th or 11th end of each their games to record the win. By comparison Kevin Martin's rink is making it look easy.
Bernard needed two in the 10th against Japan and a last rock point in the 11th against Germany to get those wins.
Martin's opponents shook hands early in their two day 3 wins. Sweden kept it within striking distance until the 9th but were never really in contention. Martin's free draw for 2 in the 1st and three in the 5 put Canada ahead by 4 and Sweden never recovered.
In the evening draw the French team could have conceded after 4 end following a 5 by Canada and a 7 point deficit, but hung until the 8th before shaking hands after giving up a 3 to renew that 7 point gap.
While his opponents aren't making all their shots, Martin and team are attempting difficult shots and making them as if they are nothing but routine. Perhaps for this rink making double and triple take-outs, long raise take-outs and goining through paper thin ports are just routine.

The US teams reside at the opposite end of the win/loss spectrum with no wins for either the men's or women's teams.

John Shuster blew another 11th end hammer to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Against Denmark, a team they outshot statistically, the USA team made key mistakes at the wrong time letting the Danes stay in contention. On the last rock of the extra end Shuster needed only to to chip the Danish shot rock 2 feet to get the win. But rather than opt for a controlled weight take out that the sweepers could handle, he threw parking lot weight, missed the broom and the sweepers could only watch as he nosed the Danish stone on to his own 2nd shot rock and voila, extended their winless streak.
American spirits were lifted though by an emotional and perfect free skate from Evan Lysacek to capture the gold and break the Russian stranglehold on men's skating. From our position (in the top row) while silver medalist Evgeny Plushinko had the greater degree of difficulty (including a Quad/Triple combo) and executed flawlessly, Lysacek put it all together into a more fluid package.
Daisuke Takahashi took home bronze and Canada's Patrick Chan just missed the podium coming fifth.
The most spirited skate of the evening came from Nobunari Oda, a young Japanese skater with a royal heritage, who broke a boot lace landing a triple axel and fell. The judges permitted him to fix the skate and continue the program from a point after the fall and he finished the rest of the program without incident; and to a standing ovation. Unfortunatley the fall dropped him into 7th place.

From a sunny but cold lower mainland morning,..... good curling!

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