Friday, March 06, 2009

Brier: Hot Shot Highlights

by Dalene Heck

CALGARY – While curling fans across the country are resting up and getting ready for tomorrow’s opening draw, our Brier contestants were hard at work vying to bring home the bacon via the Ford Hot Shots competition. In this case, bacon = two year lease on a 2009 Ford F150!

All 12 teams were out in full force, none of them apparently subscribing to the Marla Mallet philosophy of skipping the Hot Shots in order to focus.

Several interesting things were seen and heard when hanging out at ice level for the preliminaries…

• When asked his strategy for the Hit and Roll shot, Yukon/NWT skip Jamie Koe responded with: “Well, I’m going to HIT that rock, and then ROLL to the four-foot.” Sheer genius! No wonder this is his third appearance at the Brier!

• It’s clear that Steve Howard inherited his dad’s lung capacity. Neither Steve nor dad Russ Howard seemed very concerned with saving their voices, as we were all treated to some vibrant bellowing. Steve showed some considerable on-ice skill, too, tying his Uncle Glenn (another Howard) with 23 points and was just shy of eligibility for tomorrow’s final.

• Referring to previously unsuccessful attempts at the Hot Shots competition, Alberta’s Kevin Martin turned to his teammates and said: “That might be my highest total ever already,” after he had made his third perfect Hot Shot in a row (scoring 15 points). Kevin did even better then that, finishing with a final tally of 25 points, qualifying him for tomorrow’s final.

• Ontario’s Craig Savill found himself on the right side of the inch. After it was determined there was a five-way tie for the last spot in the finals, the officials went to measurements taken during the Draw to the Button. Craig emerged victorious, beating out teammate Richard Hart and three others.

The eight finalists and their preliminary scores are:

Andrew Gibson (NS second) – 28
John Morris (AB third) – 26
Marty Gavin (Y/NWT lead) – 25
Joel Jordison (SK skip) – 25
Bruce Lohnes (NS third) – 25
Kevin Martin (AB skip) – 25
Jason Vaughan (NB second) – 25
Craig Savill (ON lead) – 24

Until tomorrow then. And hey... don’t forget that you can play the Hot Shots online, on your computer... and win a vehicle yourself!

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