Undefeated teams keep momentum rolling

Undefeated teams Mike McEwen and Stefanie Lawton won in extra ends to keep the momentum rolling on the second day of round robin play at the 2012 Capital One Canada Cup of Curling in Moose Jaw. McEwen put the pressure on John Epping right from the start, with both skips having to pull out some big shots throughout the extra-end game. In the seventh, tied 5-5, McEwen was forced to skim a guard to remove an Epping stone almost hidden on the button to score a single. Two ends later, McEwen made another big shot, a finesse in-off on a rock in the four-foot to bounce to the pin and score his deuce. Epping scored 2 in ten to tie it at 8-8, but McEwen used hammer to put the game away in the extra end. McEwen now moves to 3-0, while Epping drops to 1-2. httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRazVSaN0BE Stefanie Lawton, also undefeated, eked out a 6-5 win over 2011 Canada Cup finalist Chelsea Carey, still winless. In a game that saw shifts in momentum throughout, Carey put pressure on Lawton early. Tied at 1 in the third end, Lawton was forced to make a draw to the button for a single. In the sixth, Carey drew behind cover and was able to sink another one when Lawton’s draw slid too far, taking a 4-3 lead. “I don’t know,” said a frustrated Carey after the game. “Starting 0 and 3 is the worst thing we could do. We played better today, at least. We didn’t play very well yesterday, so that’s progress. We’ve just got to do it again and hope we come out on top.” As for Lawton, the win puts her at the top of the leaderboard on the women’s side. “It was going back and forth, back and forth all the way,” she said about the shifts in momentum during the game. “It was a battle out there. They got the first two and we ended up getting the second one back, so we got the momentum shift back. Not until the very end did we know we were going to pull that one out.” In other women’s action, Sherry Middaugh and Heather Nedohin came into Draw 4 with identical 1-1 records. Middaugh started quickly, taking 3 in the first end with a precision draw that just skimmed the guard. But the momentum shifted throughout the game until the seventh, when Nedohin made a tricky raise to the button for 1 against a house full of opposing rocks, then stole another in eight to keep the pressure on Middaugh and go up 7-4. In the tenth, trailing 7-6, Middaugh wasn’t able to secure the point and take the game to extra ends. For Cathy Overton-Clapham and her young team, still winless coming into this morning’s draw, the struggles continued, this time against Crystal Webster. “I felt we had the momentum in that game until the ninth end when they had that steal,” said Overton-Clapham. “Crystal made a great shot with her last one and didn’t really give us any choice but to draw to the side of the button. But I felt we controlled most of that game.” “We’re getting better with each game. We’re not at our best yet and hopefully we’ll come out strong in the next one.”

(Photo CCA/Michael Burns)

In other men’s action, Kevin Koe and Brad Gushue played an aggressive game full of big-weight hits and finesse draws. Gushue, coming off two losses, came on strong, stealing 3 in the first end on a failed take-out by Koe that removed his own rocks. Koe was forced to make a clutch draw in the second to climb back. It was a game that saw lots of big-weight take-outs, including a triple by Gushue in the fifth to keep Koe from taking more than 1 point. This morning’s results move McEwen and Lawton to 3-0, while Webster and Nedohin move to 2-1, Middaugh falls to 1-2. Carey and Gushue are still looking for their first win. In Draw 5 action coming up this afternoon, it’s Webster vs Middaugh, Stoughton (2-0) vs Martin (1-1), Epping (1-2) vs Howard (0-2) and a battle between the two undefeated women’s teams, Lawton and Jones.