Good Afternoon from Erzurum where it has finally stopped snowing! The mountains and trees are covered in snow making the city look beautiful… well except for all the snow on the roads and sidewalks. We have heard that Ontario is bracing for the “storm of the century” over the next few days so what a good excuse to stay home and watch the linescores at http://www.universiadeerzurum.org/curling or follow Bill’s end by end updates on our Facebook page (Canadian University Curling Team 2011)!
I will start with the girls team who had a must win last night versus 3/4 of Russia’s Olympic team. The men’s and women’s hockey team as well as our team was at the arena to cheer the girls on. They had chances for 3 ın the 3rd and 4th end but just missed both giving up steals of one. The got a single before the break and were only down one. They battled the entire second half and were one down wıthout coming home. A serious time crunch forced them to play quick ın the tenth and unfortunately Russia did not have to throw their final rock. The loss eliminates the girls. In the playoffs are: Russia, Great Britain, Korea and the winner of China and Japan who are playing right now.
Our team played the USA yesterday afternoon with both teams sitting at 3-3. We played very consıstent, textbook curling taking two and gıvıng them one. Up 6-2 playing 9 we played very defensively allowing the Americans to take theır two. Two up with we were able to peel out and facing two American rocks all Jon had to do was hit and roll out and that is exactly what he did. The final score of 6-5 makes the game seem quite a bit closer than it actually was as we controlled play throughout.
With that win under our belts we had another must win this morning against Korea who sat at 6-1 after losing their fırst game last night when Britain stole the extra end. We knew the Koreans (especially their skip) leaned towards throwing up weight rather than the touch shots so we were determined to force them into those type of shots. Ironically, after a blank in 1, the Koreans had end 2 set up for a deuce until Jon made a beautiful freeze instead of drawing for one the skip tried a runback for maybe two and was just a tad off pushing in another one of ours for a steal of 2. 3 was blanked and in 4 a well-played end set up a good force. The Korean skip after lengthy debate attempts a high hard one off one of his own on the side. He was a little inside and he wicked a guard. If it had gotten by they may have given us a steal of 2. So we stole 1. They got 2 back in 5 when we decided on Jon’s last to go for the steal ınstead of the safe shot to force them to one. Jon was a touch heavy so they hit for 2. In 6 Jon had to draw wıde to the 8 foot against 2 which put us up 4-2. In 7 Korea scored 2 and in 8 we hit against three making the score 5-4 in our favour. In 9 the Koreans had a chance for two but jammed the skips last in a rock back 12 giving us a steal and a 2 point lead coming home. In 10 the Koreans split the house early and we spent the entire end searching for the elusive double to cement the win. On Jon’s last we made it earning the hard-fought win! We have to say a big thanks to our family and friends here who have been the loudest fans here apart from the Turkish. Jack (Andrews dad) has even got the Turkish people cheering for us too!
The crowd was certainly pleased to see the home team finally pıck up a win – 9-3 in 8 ends versus Slovenia. We know the team and the crowd will be excited about this tonight when we play Turkey live on TRT (Turkish TV). Apparently it will also be available online but I don’t know the link. If we win we will be guaranteed a spot in tomorrows TB’s as the top 4 teams play each other tonight.
Great Britain 7-1
CAN-TUR, GB-SUI, KOR-CZE, NOR-SWE, USA-SLO
We aren’t sure on the specıfics for the TB game tomorrow but I am sure we will be made aware after the game tonight (assuming we win of course!)