Monday, November 21, 2011

Curling Recap: 11/18/11

Career game #160: 2011 Fall League - November 18, 2011

End.......... 12345678 |TTL
Allen........ 00212200 | 07
Chick........ 32000022 | 09 last week's recap, I went on and on about what we could do to avoid giving up a big lead early in the game. So what do we do this week? We go down 5-0 in the first two ends, again. Ugh! Then, we came back (again), and then lost it at the end (again). Didn't I learn anything from the previous game?
Well, I thought I did...but the ice conditions were challenging early on. The ice started out VERY slow, much more so than normal. And as evidenced by our weekly slow start, the slow ice conditions of the first two ends do not benefit our team's style. And while I said last week that take-outs in the first end might be a reasonable strategy because they're not as weight dependent, take-outs were simply impossible in the first end. I gave my first shot a HUGE push, one that would be classified as "crazy insane take-out weight" later on in the game, and it didn't even make it to the house. I also have zero confidence in the line early in the game. If there are guards in front, I kind of just shrug my shoulders and say "let's throw it and hope we either miss the guards or hit one of our guards on the nose, because I have no idea what the ice is going to do yet". Well, we'll try again next time, and hopefully we won't give up 5 points in the first two ends again.

Once the rocks cooled down and the ice sped up, we were able to get our weight dialed in, resulting in some extremely well-played middle ends. All of us were making our shots, and there was more than one occasion where the other team had absolutely no option on their final shot.

And we were about to head into the final end with a three-point lead, until opposing Skip Brian made this shot: (our team = red)

This might have been another one of those situations where the other team had no option on their final shot, but they did have one option: a long "raise take-out". Hit their #2 into our #1 and stick for a game-tying two points. Hey, it happens. Some of these guys are really good.

But perhaps the biggest strategy failure on my part is in the final end, more so than the early ends. This is the 2nd week in a row in which we needed to score in the final end, and did not. Last week, we did not have last rock; this week, we did. My general strategy was to keep everything as open as possible; the center line was very dependable and take-out friendly, so I was planning on having a wide open take-out for the win on my final shot. But in order to do that, I basically had to call a take-out on every shot. I think I called for a draw one time, and that allowed them to get a second rock in the house. And eventually, that led to this setup, prior to my last shot of the game:

So much for the open take-out for one. If I hit rock #1 on the nose, #2 scores, and vice versa. Or maybe rock #2 was well-guarded. I don't remember. Regardless, my ONLY play was the straight draw, out turn (right-to-left curl), to the left of #3 and the right of #1. I thought I had the weight perfect, but my shot didn't curl soon enough and nicked the #3 guard. Game over.

This stinks, because I feel like we wasted a very solid effort. This was the most frustrating loss of the season, for sure. Oh well - one more chance in a couple of weeks to try and finish the season at 4-4.

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