Monday, March 9, 2015

Your morning Brier Round-up

In the Canadian Press, Donna Spencer said Pat Simmons had been preparing for that final shot in the 11th just as soon as the 10th end concluded.

"That's the shot I wanted, Simmons said. "I told the boys in between the 10th and 11th 'we've seen that in-turn path a bunch'. I knew the weight there."

The Calgary Herald’s George Johnson recounted the end of the game and how it seemed to put a soft ending on a crazy week.

After a week of such tumult, such upheaval, the surprise, wrap-your-head-around-it, fashioned-by-the-curling-gods ending delivered a lovely purity of line:A draw to the button.  
And the final red rock, slowing ever so slightly as it approached the desired destination, nestling in there light as a soap bubble.  
A moment to take itall in, then the joint exploded in celebration. John Morris danced a jig in the rings. Pat Simmons, at the far end of the sheet, raised his arms in triumph.  
Every skip’s dream shot to win a Brier.

The great Terry Jones in the Sun got Nolan Thiessen’s take on the week, a crazy one that ended with a game that started slow but finished fast.
“I can’t believe that just happened,” said Theissen said, seconds after they celebrated and gathered at the home end for the traditional parade down to the trophies at the other end of the ice.  
“We were 2-3. We changed our skip. And we just won the Brier!  
“I can’t believe that happened. We put a rock on the button on the 11th end to win the Brier. It’s every front-ender’s dream,” he said of Simmons giving the rock to his sweepers, Rycroft and Thiessen.

The Calgary Sun’s Todd Saelhof brought up the key ingredient to this year’s Brier winners – adding John Morris, whether it was at skip or third 

Turns out Team Canada didn’t need Kevin Koe to defend its title. 
All it needed was another local super-curler, some brash decision-making and a gutsy effort in Sunday night’s final of the 2015 Brier at the Saddledome.  
Adding Chestermere fire captain John Morris to the Calgary Glencoe Club lineup, Pat Simmons, Carter Rycroft and Nolan Thiessen completed the rare defence of the Canadian men’s curling championship with a 6-5 triumph over Northern Ontario. 
 “Hard to describe,” said an elated Simmons, rushing to hug his family in the stands immediately after the post-win party broke out with 11,846 fans. “That was pretty special.”

In the Globe and Mail, Eric Duhatschek praised the talent of Pat Simmons, especially down the stretch.

Simmons, curling beautifully, scored three in the ninth end and then made a pressure-packed shot to the button draw in the 11th end to squeak out a 6-5 win over Brad Jacobs’ Northern Ontario team, culminating a week of high drama and extraordinary shot-making at the Scotiabank Saddledome. 

He also added in the waning attendance figures, compared to the last time the big rock show was in Calgary.

Even with a hometown team in action twice Saturday and again in Sunday’s final, overall attendance was well down compared to the three other times the event had previously been held at the Saddledome. Sunday’s final produced the largest crowd of the week – 11,846 – almost 100,000 down from the 246,126 spectators that passed through the turnstiles back in 2009, or the last time they held the event here. 
The Brier attendance record of 281,985 was set in Edmonton in 2005during an NHL lockout and before the constantly improving television coverage made it easier for a lot of committed fans to stay at home and watch from their couches.

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