Saturday, February 21, 2009

Teams Canada at 5-1

by Paul Webster

The Canadian teams are 5-1 combined!

HARBIN, China – The Lady Canucks are definitely setting a tough road for the boys to follow so far in these World University Games... not only are they undefeated, they have so far scored at least 12 points in their three wins. The boys are falling a wee bit short of that, averaging around eight points a game, and are sitting at two wins and one loss.

The girls won a big one against Japan 12-2. I know the score seems like we knew what was coming but, seriously, we didn’t. Japan has an extremely great record in women’s play and we didn’t want to take them lightly... and it was, in the words of their coach, John Nicol, “the girls’ best game so far”... and the scoreboard was indicative of that.

The boys won a big game against pre-tournament favourite Norway, by a 10-2 count. Beginning with a point in the first and then a point in the second, Canada got off to an early 2-0 lead. Forcing Norway to one in the third end on a unbelievable shot by Norwegian skip Thomas Lovold, Canada broke open the game with a four-ender in the fourth... and the rest was history.

Norwegian third, Christoffer Svae, better known as second man for Norway’s national men’s team skipped by Thomas Ulsrud, left the game after six ends due to an injury, and we can only hope he gets better for a run at the Ford Worlds in Moncton.

So in the standings, the Canadian women sit in top spot with the Chinese team; in men’s action China and Sweden are tied with undefeated records of 3-0 and Canada is tied for second place, at 2-1, with Korea and Switzerland.

The guys have a big one-game day coming up against Great Britain. We have to say a big thank you to Great Britain – Scotland, really, but you know what I mean – for bringing back our third, Bill Francis, from the rink tonight... it seems that our buddy system didn’t work... or at least that is the excuse Bill would like us to use. Rumour has it he was hoping the Great Britain women’s team Alternate was on the bus and that, well, it would be a great chance to meet her!

Canada’s women’s team has two big games coming up, against Sweden and Poland.

If anyone associated with the Grand Slams knows the maker of the sticky mats that they are using at a number of high profile curling events nowadays, please email me at ... and let me just that say I’m quite amazed about the lack of concern here in regards to footwear worn onto the ice surface.

A number of teams, ours included, are wearing their street shoes out around the back of the scoreboards and changing into our curling shoes there... a number of officials, volunteers etc. are
simply walking in and around the building and then coming onto the ice-level carpet, and it is no wonder there have been a increasing number of picks in each of the games we have played.

I have ensured the guys check their equipement, but I hate seeing this become a non-issue for an event of this stature, as they have spent a lot of time and money ensuring the ice is top notch... and it continues to be so (thanks Scott and Doug!). But let’s take some time and ensure clean shoes are worn by all who enter the ice surface.

Off to bed!

Photo of Canada vs Japan (men) by Paul Webster

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