Monday, January 23, 2012

Curling Recap: 1/20-1/22/12

The Triangle Curling Club's winter hiatus of sorts is over. Time to get back on the ice! It's been so long, I had completely forgotten that in my last official game, my team lost 11-1.

I'd like to get as many reps in as possible between now and "The Dykes" bonspiel in February, so I played twice this weekend. Both games were pickup games - "preseason", if you will. (The spot in the second game was really Amber's spot, but she declined, so I went instead. Amber will be curling on Sundays once the league starts again, though.) The next round of leagues start this coming weekend.

Career game #162: Pickup - January 20, 2012
(Note: Game was a 3-on-3 game played with six rocks per end, instead of the standard eight.)

End.......... 123456789 |TTL
Allen........ 021202101 | 09
Foulger...... 400000010 | 05

Getting behind early in the game was a serious problem for me last season. Good to know I can still spot the other team a 4-0 lead after the first end! After that, we were pretty much in control, though.

But in all fairness, opposing Skip Andrew only has a few games under his belt at Skip. I've been there, and it takes a while to know what to expect with respect to ice conditions, etc. For instance, the ice did have a slight fall towards the center, but it was possible to get a rock to curl back from the inside out...if the weight was right. Rocks thrown at take-out weight fall and don't curl back, while rocks thrown at draw weight fall and do curl back towards the end. Andrew knew that, but there's still the matter of knowing where to put the broom to compensate for all of that, which...I have to say, that is the single aspect of Skipping that I think I've had the hardest time with, but I am getting better at it.

Since this was just a pickup game, I decided I'd try a "take out" strategy late in the game. On dedicated curling ice, it's standard protocol for a team with a lead to keep everything as open as possible and remove as many opposing rocks as they can. On arena ice, though, chasing take-outs can get you in trouble, so I usually just keep playing normally until at least the last end. But a preseason game offers a perfect opportunity to try a different strategy! Based on the final score, trying to remove every yellow rock I could worked out, but this isn't something I'll make a habit of.

Career game #163: Pickup - January 22, 2012

End.......... 1234567 |TTL
Allen........ 1100102 | 05
Jackson...... 0012010 | 04

The feel of this game was entirely different, because unlike on Friday, both teams had one or more practically brand new curlers. Priority #1: help them along, and make sure they have fun. But when my turn to throw came up in each end...of course, the idea at that point is to win the game. I think I just take these pickup games more seriously than most.

So I get pretty nervous when I have a big shot coming up in a league game, or better yet, a bonspiel. In a pickup game, however...hardly any pressure at all. I made some clutch shots in this game, including two last-rock-of-the-end draws to the button: one against two opposing rocks to score one (I think that was in the 5th), and then the game-winning draw for two in the 7th. (But that game-winning draw wasn't completely pressure-packed, because had I missed, we still would have gone to a shootout.) Taking six weeks off from curling clearly had no effect on my ability to throw draw weight when I needed it. In fact, it might have even helped. From the standpoint of the upcoming bonspiel, maybe I would have been better off not curling this weekend at all! But what fun would that have been?

I'm also drawing (no pun intended) close to 100 career wins. Sunday was my 97th; will my 100th career win come at "The Dykes"?

League play starts this Friday. Yes! Curling is back.

1 comment:

Adam said...

100th career win at the Dykes?!?!?!...way to put pressure on your teammates skip. ;-p I kid!

Interesting is if you get win 100 at the Dykes. I will be on the field/ice for two milestones.

Last fall when you set the Knightdale single season strike out record.

So yes let's get you 100 in a few weeks!