'Roar of the Rings' - Men's Draw 2

December 7, 2009

Unlike the Women's draw, the opening day for the Men went pretty much as expected. All four of the direct qualifiers beat the four teams who got in via the 'Road', so I suppose everything went to form. Still, there were a few noteworthy items, including Stoughtons miss vs. Howard, and Gunnlaugson's vialliant fight against Martin.

Men’s Draw 2 – 3:00 PM

Gunnlaugson (0-1) v. Koe (1-0)
David almost slayed Goliath.

After opening up a 3-1 lead early, Gunnlaugson wasn't able to hold on versus Martin last night...eventually losing on Martin's last stone. The turning point came in the 8th, when Gunnlaugson missed a double for two...leaving Martin with a key steal of 1. It has to still be considered a moral victory for Gunnlaugson, who proved he can stand eye-to-eye with the world's best. The matchup this afternoon isn't any easier against Koe, but it provides a chance for redemption. If  Gunnlaugson can get out of the Martin/Koe matchups at 1-1, he'll be sitting alright.

For his part, Koe opened up with a solid win over Pat Simmons. Facing the youngster gives him an important chance to open up 2-0, giving him a buffer against the tough matchups still to come (Martin/Howard/Stoughton et al). Its not the end of the world if Koe drops this one, but it will make his week much tougher. Plus...nobody wants to be the first to lose to the kid.

Howard (1-0) v. Middaugh (0-1)
Former teammates under Russ Howard back in Ontairo, Glenn Howard and Wayne Middaugh face off today. Howard has to consider himself lucky. Tied 4-4 in the 10th last night, Stoughton came heavy on an open draw to the four-foot, giving Howard the W. I think Howard would have been able to recover from an opening loss without much trouble, but I'm sure 1-0 is much better than 0-1. He'll look to extend to 2-0 today in a game he really should win.

For his part, Middaugh looked pretty awful last night, getting picked apart by a clearly superior Ferbey team. Middaugh probably wasn't that likely to make the playoffs anyways, so starting off 0-2 would almost certainly seal his fate. After this one, Middaugh gets Martin/Koe tomorrow...so going into his Wednesday 0-2 is not a recipe for a playoff berth. Chalk this up as a must-win for Middaugh if he's going to play into the weekend.

Ferbey (1-0) v. Stoughton (0-1)
Ferbey looked very good last night, jumping out to an early 8-3 lead on Middaugh through 5. Although Middaugh hung around to keep it close (9-7) this one was never really in doubt. Ferbey gets a tougher matchup today in Stoughton. Winning this one would put Ferbey in a good spot for the week, especially given that it would push one of the prime competitors in Stoughton to 0-2...kick 'em when they're down...

Stoughton looked to have an important first draw win locked up over Glenn Howard last night. All that was needed was the open draw to the four-foot...

One draw to the back-eight-foot later, and Stoughton found himself at 0-1, facinging a tough Ferbey team, and a possible 0-2 start. Stoughton is capable of running the table if he gets down 0-2, but its certainly not what he'd like to be faced with. This is a big one, and he'll have to put last night's mistake behind him quickly.

Simmons (0-1) v. Martin (1-0)
Pat Simmons seemed to struggle at times last night. After getting down early, Koe was able to lean on him, and basically just run him out of ends. It can't be a good feeling to have to try and get that important first win against Martin. Like Middaugh, Simmons was never a favorite, so an 0-2 start isn't shocking. It is crippling though.

Martin got quite the scare last night from Gunnlaugson I'm sure. However, in the end experience won out, and Martin was full marks for the win. Even after Martin got down 3-1 after giving up a steal of 2, you knew that he'd work his way back into it. Expect Martin to put the gears to Simmons, and open up 2-0. After today, Martin gets Middaugh tomorrow morning, so it'll be important for him to get out to a 2-1 or 3-0 start before facing the toughter competition on the back-end of the week.


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This blog is the online chronicle of our adventures leading up to, and including, the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. We hope to give you a little insight into what went into planning our trip and a first hand look at the Games from the ground in Vancouver.

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