One down and one to go. Yesterday, Cheryl Bernard finished off what’s been a great week for her Calgary squad by winning the Olympic berth with a victory over Shannon Kleibrink.
For the first five ends of that game, it looked like no one wanted to win. It was among the sloppiest big contests I’ve ever seen. I’m sure somewhere, Bingyu Wang and Anette Norberg were smiling watching the two teams make mistake after mistake.
But the second half was much better, or at least a lot more exciting. Right down to last shot, just like it should be.
To me, the difference seemed to be just how mentally prepared the Bernard team was. I mean, they were laughing and smiling throughout the match, no matter what the situation. They really seemed to be handling the situation with calm. Kleibrink looked tense to me, so did Amy Nixon, but she’s almost always wound up.
Interesting to note that after the game, you could see just how PO’ed Nixon was at the loss while Kleibrink, in the media scrum seemed to be “Oh well, we tried our best.”
I’d prefer an attitude like Nixon’s personally.
From a purely selfish point of view, Bernard is a better winner. She gives better quotes than Kleibrink, who is nice but usually a bit stilted in the scrums.
On the men’s side, I don’t think you could draw it up any better. The top two teams in the world going for the biggest prize. What’s the difference here? Probably just a shot somewhere along the line, either one made or one missed.
I think you had to be impressed with the Howard team’s performance in the semi against Jeff Stoughton. They were very, very good. For that reason I’m going to give them the edge today even though the record favours Martin.