April 6, 2009
World Championships in Moncton
At the World Championships in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.
Our journey to Vancouver next year began in earnest this weekend. We're at the Ford Men's World Championships of Curling.
New Brunswick is treating us well. Moncton seems to be nice city with that coastal flair you might expect. The whole town is abuzz with the curling event and we're seeing lots of coverage in the newspapers as well as television. It is not surprising being that there are over one million curlers in Canada and curling is much more of a mainstream sport here.
The World Curling Federation has us staying in deluxe accommodations at the Delta Beausejour in downtown Moncton. What a treat for us! We feel like kings having the four star treatment. Not that we stay in the dumps during the season, by any means, but it is nice to have an extra comfortable place to kick back and rest between matches.
The event venue is the Collessium in Moncton. It's a little older arena but still very nice. Seating capacity is around 5000 and the stands have been close to full for all of our games and the Opening Ceremonies. I should mention that the Opening Ceremonies were spectacular...albeit a little long (3 hours!). It's the 50th anniversary of the Worlds so the organizing committee put on an extravaganza. There were curling legends and past winners present. It was a real treat for a curling history buff like me. To not only see, but chat with four time champion Ernie Richardson, Ron Northcott, Randy Ferby and Peja Lindholm was nothing short of awesome!
On the ice, we've gotten off to a good start. Our first match on Saturday was against past champion Andy Kapp and his team from Germany. Despite the arena being about 20 degrees warmer than it should be, we played a solid game and came away with a one point victory by making our last shot in the final end. Our second match was early Sunday morning. Again we faced a past champion, David Murdoch from Scotland. We gave up 4 points early to go down by 3, which is usually bad place to start. But we bounced right back with four of our own and kept the game close until the 8th end when we didn't play very well and gave up a huge score of six! We conceded the match at that point. We were able to put that disappointing loss behind us and re-focus for our night game against the Swiss. Firing on all cylinders, we controlled the game in every end and sealed the victory with a score of four in the 7th end and Ralph Stockli's team conceded. A 2-1 start is very good for us.
Today we have Norway and China. It is another big day for us. We'll stick to our plan and take it "one game at a time".
There are 12 teams here so we'll play an eleven game round robin followed by a Page Playoff for the top four round robin records. The idea is to play well enough to make that playoff and then turn it up a notch and get on that podium!
So wish us well. It's been a pleasure to share some of our journey with you. Until next time...
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