Monday, April 12, 2010

Curling Recap: 4/9-4/11/10

I curled with the Triangle Curling Club twice last weekend: once as a sub in the Friday league, and once with my regular Sunday League team. I'm going to talk about the Sunday game more because, well, here's how the Friday game went:

End............ 1234567 |TTL
K. Jackson..... 1111232 | 11
Jaun........... 0000000 | 00

(I played Vice for Team Jaun.)

Yes...that's a shutout. Think of it this way: the other team never had last rock the entire game. They never needed it.

This is the 3rd time I've been involved in a shutout in my curling career: one for, two against. Thing is, though, the one shutout for was a short four-end game, and the other shutout against was my first ever out-of-town game against a far superior team. This one...I don't really have a good excuse. What usually happens in games like this is that the game starts off close. The eventual winner catches a couple of breaks early (a kinda lucky shot in the 2nd end to keep us from scoring two, and a measurement that went against is in the 4th). Then, it kind of gets out of hand as the trailing team does everything they can to mount a comeback. Or something. Really, though, we had a hard time reading the ice, and we were just outplayed. I had some good shots, but the other team had better shots. It happens. It would have been nice to score at least one, though.

Also note that Amber sat this one out; she stayed home to rest up for a 10-mile race early the next morning (which she finished!). Amber was back on Sunday, though:

End......... 1234567 |TTL
Allen....... 010321i | 07
Cornel...... 101000i | 02

This match comes complete with player shot percentages! Now, I can't possibly keep player shot percentages while I'm playing - I have more important things to worry about, like zamboni lines - but Cliff Gray (who is on Injured Reserve with a non-curling injury) volunteered to keep the shot percentages for our game, in roughly the same manner that I did for a different game the week before. Thanks, Cliff!

Before I get to the numbers, first, a couple of notes. The game I scored the previous week was on notorious "Sheet 1", which is, shall we say, a bit off. And that makes shot making, shall we say, difficult. In other words, last week's shot percentages (almost all of which were in the 10 to 20% range) weren't all that great, through no fault of the curlers. Sunday's game was on the much more preferable "Sheet 2", which means we could actually throw some take-outs! Yay! Once I noticed how easy it was to get a stone to follow the center zamboni line, I called lots of take-outs, and my team executed on many of them. Same goes for the other team.

Unlike last week, I am going to attach names to the shot percentages, but I'm going to withhold last names for everybody except the skips and, of course, Amber:

--Team Allen--
Tabby V. (Lead): 40% (35% on 12 draws, 100% on 1 take-out)
Justin V. (Second): 46% (34% on 8 draws, 65% on 5 take-outs)
Amber Allen (Vice): 44% (36% on 9 draws, 63% on 4 take-outs)
Chris Allen (Skip): 25% (23% on 10 draws, 38% on 2 take-outs)
Team total: 39% (32% on 39 draws, 63% on 12 take-outs)

--Team Cornel--
Dan C. (Lead): 25% (20% on 16 draws, 88% on 2 take-outs)
Michael G. (Second): 43% (42% on 13 draws, 45% on 5 take-outs)
Tom S. (Vice): 13% (19% on 4 draws, 0% on 2 take-outs)*
Sarah Cornel (Skip): 21% (21% on 12 draws, N/A on 0 take-outs)
Team total: 30% (27% on 45 draws, 44% on 9 take-outs)

Game total: 34% (29% on 84 draws, 55% on 21 take-outs)

(* - Tom had to leave halfway through the game, and the shot-making was much more precise in the second half of the game once everyone figured it out, so if Tom had stuck around, his percentage would have probably been higher. This is also why Dan and Michael had more shots than everyone else.)

See what a difference a good sheet of ice will make? In the game I scored last week, the game-wide take-out percentage was 6%. Sunday, it was 55%. As for me, I was actually curling 0% after the 4th end, but I pulled it together to at least come home with a respectable percentage. The fact that we had a 4-2 lead before I even made a single shot says something about the rest of the team. I think the percentages tell the story: my team's pretty good. Thanks for holding us up, guys! (Side note: our lead, Tabby, was on the opposing team on Friday. Maybe that's why we lost by 11?)

Finally, I'm going to present to you the best curling shot ever made by Amber or me. Here's the setup: (our team = red)

The front yellow rock was on the "everything seems to be tracking along this line" zamboni line, so I called a take-out for Amber. Here is Amber's shot:

A double take-out, and the shooter stayed in the house! An outstanding shot that completely changed the end, and it couldn't have been more perfect. I can't remember either Amber or me making a better shot in our brief curling careers. I know I've never made a double take-out before. When I lined up the shot for Amber, I knew the double was possibility if we hit the front stone at just the right angle (we got close on one of Justin's shots earlier in the end), but Amber hit it at the perfect angle. Yes, this kind of shot happens all the time in the Olympics, but not on our ice.

Both Amber and me are also subbing in the Friday league, so it'll be another curling doubleheader this weekend. Actually, this week will be the second of four consecutive weeks with two or more games on our schedule. Good times. I think I kind of like this curling thing. Have you noticed?

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