Things started well for us in this year's Holiday Inn Challenge on Friday night, even with the game getting underway well past my bedtime, at 9:30pm. We ended up winning a low scoring affair 4-2. Normally, hitting is not a game we like to play, but it turned out alright this time.
Saturday was a different story. The first game started poorly, when we had a hit to score five, and ended up wrecking on a guard to give up a steal of one. We walked that off, and played well for the next few ends. Playing the sixth end, we were up by three, without the hammer. The plan was to give up one, score one (at least), and then run the other guys out of rocks in the eighth end, up by three. The plan started well, we gave up one in the 6th. Then they stole one in the 7th. Not bad, we figured. We're up one coming home, with the hammer. What could go wrong? Well, they stole another one. Ok, now we're fine. We're tied, with the hammer in the extra end. What could go wrong? Well, they stole another one. Crap.
Now we come off the ice with a whole twenty minutes to kill before the next game. We were looking forward to a four hour layoff, but instead we have just enough time to down a couple of Advil and off we go. That game went better, but we still ended up in another extra end game. Once again, twenty minutes to kill before the next game. I'm going to petition the nice folks who make Advil to sponsor a curling team...
In the evening game, at least we didn't go to an extra end. I think we'd had our fill by then, and we only managed to keep our heads above water for six ends, and we got pasted.
It's interesting how much this event has changed since we won the zone two years ago. There were some damn good teams playing this weekend. It looked a lot more like the Colts than the Holiday Inn Challenge. I think if we'd taken our second game we would have had a decent chance in the evening game to make it to the A final. Who knows what would have happened then, but we'll have to wait until next year to find out, I guess.
The ice in Fergus was not too bad - fairly quick, with some curl, although less than we're used to. The only bad thing I can say about it was how many picks there were. Every team in the event had each player with at least two picks through the first couple of games. I think I've had one rock pick all season in Elmira.
Worst thing I saw all weekend was the guy who screamed at his sweepers the entire length of the ice, then when his takeout whiffed by the rock he was aiming for he slammed his broom on the ice, then threw his broom, then sat down and started crying. Buddy, two things: 1) You're the lead - nobody will remember that shot two minutes from now. 2) It's a game. Walk it off.