Saturday, April 19, 2008

Rock Report IV

by Dean Gemmell

ST. JOHN’S – The ice, swingier than it was earlier in the weekend, definitely had both teams vexed. For most of the first seven ends, the story was about crashes, half-shots and opportunities missed. But the game redeemed itself somewhat in the final end, as Amber Holland made a double to count two for the 2008 Tylenol Players’ Championship victory (Insight Sports photo by Anil Mungal).

Not the hardest double you’ll see but one of those shots that gets tough when it’s for a win. And, in this case, for a Pre-Olympics Trials spot. And nine grand. And 10 more CTRS points. And maybe a shot at Sport Canada funding.

It wasn’t the crowd I’m sure organizers were hoping to see. Unfortunately, I’m guessing the arena won’t fill up a whole lot more for a Brad Gushue-free quarterfinal draw on a night of nasty weather and playoff hockey on the tube.

The curlers who have played here in the past tell me there’s been a steady ebb in attendance at events in St. John’s since the heady days of the Gushue Olympic run. I know there won’t be a Capital One Grand Slam here next year and while it seems a shame – George Street being a big reason for that sentiment – you can’t bring an event to cities that don’t turn out for it.

But enough about that. A great night of curling is ahead of us, including a Randy Ferbey-Kevin Martin matchup. The men are stretching things out but not jogging on the spot. No jumping jacks either.

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