Canada Cup

This week was the Canada Cup, which has an important reward for the team that wins it: the team gets an automatic berth in the “Roar of the Rings”, which is the event that determines which teams will represent Canada at the next winter Olympics. Since Canada is a perennial medal contender in curling on both the women’s and men’s sides — the last Olympics, I believe, was the first time that neither team managed to win a medal, while the gold in the new event of mixed doubles was won by the Canadian team — it means that the teams that win this get themselves one step closer to winning an Olympic medal.

After not making the playoffs in her previous two Grand Slam of Curling events, Rachel Homan went 5 – 1 here and ended up in first place by virtue of beating the other 5 – 1 team, Tracy Fleury, a team that has been having an incredible season so far and had been running up the score against their opponents in the round robin. However, Homan managed to turn the tables on her in the game she won, beating her 10 – 7. Fleury then managed to keep up her stellar play in the semi-final, beating Chelsea Carey — who beat Homan in the round robin — 9 – 4 to set up what might have been another battle of the tremendous offenses in the final.

However, Homan was dominant, winning going away 9 – 4 in nine ends. Homan took 4 in the third end and 2 in the fifth end to run up the score, while Fleury didn’t manage to score 2 in any end in the game.

Homan’s team can be streaky. They tend to be streaky towards the “winning a lot” end of the scale, but they’ll perform relatively poorly in a number of events and then go through a stretch where they’re completely unbeatable, like last year where they struggled a bit at the start of the year and then won three straight Grand Slam events for the second time. I think the reason for this is similar to what cost them at the past Olympics: they play a very high risk game and demand that their opponents go along with them on that. When they’re on their game, few if any teams can keep pace, but when they’re off for any reason an opponent that is on their game can beat them and they can also beat themselves. They’re also skilled enough to be a bit lucky, as in this game alone there were a few triples and the like that were the ideal but not the expected result. In another game, they might miss one of them and then still leave some openings for their opponent, but when they make them as the commentators noted it becomes deflating as a situation that looks like it has promise suddenly goes to one where there’s nothing, and even to one where the opponent is now suddenly in trouble.

Still, Fleury did fail to take advantage of the times where Homan made a mistake, which was certainly enough to justify the score. Homan’s entire team played well, but Fleury’s didn’t.

I also watched some of the men’s games, and one thing that stood out to me about them is that so much of the time the men kept calling the sweepers on and off, which I didn’t notice much in the women’s games. With the new ability of the sweepers to impact the path of the rocks and how men are far better at sweeping than women, it likely is the fact that sweeping all the way down would have a huge impact that is causing the on and off of sweeping: they need to see what it’s done to the rock before they can decide if they need more sweeping.

The next event is actually next week, returning to the Grand Slam of Curling with the Boost National.


2 Responses to “Canada Cup”

  1. National | The Verbose Stoic Says:

    […] Homan, after dominating at the Canada Cup, went 1 – 3 here and missed the playoffs. Again. She has not done well at all on the Grand […]

  2. What the … ? | The Verbose Stoic Says:

    […] is having an … interesting season. On the Grand Slam, she keeps missing the playoffs. And yet she won the Canada Cup to earn a spot in the Roar of the Rings, which is what is used to select the team that goes to the Olympics. She missed the playoffs in the […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: