Friday, March 07, 2008

A bunch of Brier Hot Shots

TCN’s own Jill Officer is blogging live from the Tim Hortons Brier in Winnipeg. Here’s her first posting...

WINNIPEG – I showed up at the MTS Centre today only to find people actually waiting to get in to watch the Ford Hot Shots preliminaries. Now that I’m set up on the media bench (my view in photo above), I look around to see almost 300 people in this still brand-new arena just to take in the Hot Shots.

Just like curlers are eager to arrive, slide on the ice and get their first game under their belt, some fans are clearly diehards and can’t wait to get down to the venue, find their seats for the week and check out the very first rocks to be thrown on the fresh ice (the curlers did get to practice already this morning, but we won’t tell the diehards that).

There’s also a pile of young fans already clamouring at the boards for autographs. It’s always a good sign to see young fans out… this could mean our junior programs are working. Right?

So something new for this year’s Hot Shots – sweeping. In years past, there was no sweeping in the preliminary rounds, so in terms of makin’ themselves look good, throwers were on their own. Now this skills competition is played as a team with sweeping and line calling included, but still scored for each individual competitor.

At this year’s Scotties in Regina, the scores were generally higher than in the past, which should prove (if there was every any doubt) how much impact sweeping has on the outcome of a shot. In the past anywhere from 16 points and up could get you into the next round, but now you need at least 20. In the case of the Brier today, you needed 24!

Before he went out, Alberta lead Ben Hebert made an interesting and funny point… he says in the past if you scored six points you didn’t feel so bad, but now with sweepers if you hit a low score, he says “now I’d feel like I suck!” Hebert went on to score 25 on the opening shift and has made the playoff round that takes place tomorrow after the opening ceremonies.

And as a side note, there was no noticeable problem with the broken finger of Johnny Mo... he managed to help sweep Hebert into the Hot Shots playoffs.

B.C. second Kevin Folk and Ontario third Richard Hart were the top scorers today at a whopping 28 points! These two guys shared one of the best scores ever!

Here are the top eight players (and their scores) that will go for for the two-year lease on the 2008 Ford Fusion tomorrow:

Kevin Folk – British Columbia – 28 points
Richard Hart – Ontario – 28 points
Jason Vaughan – New Brunswick – 26 points
Ben Hebert – Alberta – 25 points
Brent Laing – Ontario – 25 points
James Grattan – New Brunswick – 25 points
Steve Laycock – Saskatchewan – 25 points
Brad Gushue – Newfoundland and Labrador – 24 points

Turns out there were a few other players at 24 points, but Gushue’s draw to the button was closer than the others.

And so day one of on-ice action is over but things are just getting heated up here in the ’Peg. Hometown rocker Burton Cummings is lighting up the stage to get the party going at the Patch tonight… and this is only the beginning.

1 comment:

nocurling said...

thanx, jillybean. looking forward to reading your posts all week.

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