Monday, March 4, 2013

Martin finally wins, rocks still causing headaches

The Alberta squad finally got into the win column on Sunday at the Brier, taking care of Jean-Michel Menard and the guy with the bandana

When K-Mart was informed by Norm Cowley of the EdmontonJournal of the fact that no team has ever lost its first two games and gone on to win the Brier, he had a succinct reaction:

“It might be time (to change that),” Martin said after finally getting into the win column with a commanding 10-3 seven-end victory over British Columbia’s Andrew Bilesky on Sunday night.“It bodes well going forward. The team just came out with a little different step (Sunday night). Everybody seemed to be in a little better mood, ready to go. I told Jules (Owchar, the team coach) before the game started, ‘This is a different team out here tonight.’

Martin is still not overly confident in his rocks but felt the two he played with on Sunday night were better. And he learned which ones to throw from Glenn Howard, who shared information with his rival.

 “We did know going in that (it) is a pretty good set of rocks,” Martin admitted. “Glenn (Howard) had them earlier and he told me he really liked the 2-8.“That was good, to have agood set to be able to bounce back on.”

Things don’t get any easier for Martin on Monday, when his 1:30 game is against undefeated Northern Ontario. Two losses? OK, but three losses and you start to lose control of your destiny, falling into Kristie Moore territory

Speaking of rocks and Northern Ontario, Brad Jacobs had a few comments on the stones which every player is trying to figure out. Chris O’Leary of the Journal penned a nice piece on them, trying to illustrate the frustration the players are experiencing.
The new curling stones at the 2013 Tim Hortons Brier – the ones with minds of their own that are slower than the skip of the northern Ontario team expects them to be – are quickly becoming a big topic of conversation this week at Rexall Place.
“There’s a couple of pigs out there, is what we call them,” Jacobs said after his team topped Prince Edward Island 10-4 in Sunday’s afternoon draw.“Rocks on that sheet were tricky. I think that’s going tobe a common theme this week is you’re going to hear a lot of the curlers saythat the rocks are tough and they are.” 
And Jacobs said that even scouting the rocks a game ahead, isn’t easy.

“For instance (our) last game, we tried to chart the rocks from that team that was on that sheet before and what they had, compared to what we thought we had? Totally different.“It’s hard for everyone and I guess that’s a good thing.Everyone is on a level playing field that way.”

Donna Spencer of the Canadian Press also inked a story on the rocks, with Menard commenting that there is usually one oddball on every sheet.

"There's at least one rock per sheet that is way different than the others," he stated."You've got to stay big-time focused andcommunicate well with your teammates on which rocks they were throwing. As askip, it's very exhausting mentally."The CCA tested the new rocks first at anOttawa curling club and then at the Canadian junior curling championships lastmonth in Fort McMurray, according to the CCA's director of championshipservices."They were fast and swingy," DannyLamoureux said. "These are very good stones and (it was) recommended byour top icemakers that we make this deal."Every set in the world reactsdifferently. There's not a set in the world that are identical. I think one ofthe issues is, no one has ever seen these before. They don't have a book on them."

That’s right! These are not the MCA stones that every significant curler had a read one, knew which ones matched up and which pairs to throw. Now the guys have to learn all over. It’s just a shame that it has to happen for the first time at the biggest curling event in the world.

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