Thursday, February 7, 2013

14-0 win shows silly rules in Alberta

When is enough enough? Apparently the Alberta curling officials don’t know.

A rule in place that forces teams to play a minimum of six ends was shown to be painful on Wednesday at the opening round of the Boston Pizza Cup when Kevin Koe beat Matthew Blandford 14-0 in six ends. That's right. . . 14-0.

Norm Cowley of the Edmonton Journal has the deets:

 The reigning Alberta men’s curling champion scored three points in the first end, then stole 11 unanswered points until Calgary’s Matthew Blandford was finally allowed to shake hands with the score 14-0 after six ends Wednesday night at Sobeys Arena in the Leduc Recreation Centre. 
“It’s a dumb rule,” said Koe, whose Calgary Glencoe Club rink of Pat Simmons, Carter Rycroft and Nolan Thiessen was voted the No. 1 seed in the provincial championship.
“I don’t know why it’s in there. It’s no fun for the players and it can’t be fun for the fans,” he said. “I can see if it’s on TV, but there’s no reason at all for a rule when you can’t quit whenever you want.” 

The embarrassment of the Blandford team was evident in this Tweet from third Evan Asmussen.
You can follow the action here: 


 Glenn Howard suffered his first defeat on Wednesday but came up big in the big game of the week, knocking off John Epping 6-4 in the evening draw. Steve Green of the London Free Press has the story (and big kudos to the Freep for its coverage).

 “That was a huge game for us,” Glenn Howard said. “You get to that two-loss column and with Joe (Frans) beating us earlier today, it gets a bit tricky. But now we control our own destiny.” 

 The contest pitted the top two teams in the Dominion Tankard, but also father and son, as Glenn played Scott. However that only lasted half the game as Scott was forced to leave in the fifth end after a groin injury.

 “It was great playing Scott; I just feel bad about what happened and I hope he’s healthy for the rest of the week.”
 Scott Howard said his status for Thursday is uncertain.
 “I probably did the right thing in pulling myself from the game,” he said. “I mean, it’s a big game but it’s not the final. And the medical team here is fantastic; they’re doing a great job.” 

 Howard remains in top spot with just one loss while Joe Frans, who knocked of Howard earlier in the day is in second with a 5-2 mark. His rink won three times Wednesday.


 Great to see the top juniors in the land fighting it out up in Fort Mac and we have to give a big shout-out to Manitoba’s Shannon Birchard for locking up a playoff spot at the M+M Meats Canadian Junior, something she’s hoping to improve on today, she told Canadian Press.

 “It’s a great feeling and hopefully we can keep winning tomorrow and get to that first spot,” said Birchard, referring to the first-place bye to Sunday’s championship final. “It’s definitely nice to get that rest and not have to play that extra game. It’s good to have the time off to relax because this week is very long and tiring.”
Now if you’ve curled around Ontario for any length of time and that last name rings a bell, it’s because Shannon’s grandfather is none other than the legendary Peter Birchard, longtime competitive curler and co-publisher of the Ontario Curling Report. Good genes we say.

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