April 4, 2020

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Jones riding a roller coaster

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward</p><p>Team Wild Card skip, Jennifer Jones reacts to a shot during draw 3 against team Yukon at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, Sunday.</p>

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Team Wild Card skip, Jennifer Jones reacts to a shot during draw 3 against team Yukon at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, Sunday.

This much is certain, Jennifer Jones Team Wild Card’s run at the 2020 Scotties is already living up to its name. 

Jones barely escaped a roller coaster challenge from Prince Edward Island’s Suzanne Birt on Monday night, riding a stolen single in the extra end to a 9-8 win. It was a difficult game, studded with mistakes and changes of lead; in the end, Birt’s draw to bite the button with hammer slid just an inch deep to give Jones the win. 

That helped Jones (3-1) stay at just one loss on the week in a high-powered field. 

Meanwhile in their Pool B, Homan was tested by British Columbia rookie Corryn Brown, who has given other teams some fits this week. Homan’s 10th end steal of one sealed a 9-7 win, keeping her at just one loss in four games. 

So that sets their pool standings going into Tuesday as Nova Scotia (3-1), Ontario (3-1), Wild Card (3-1), British Columbia (2-2), Northwest Territories (2-2), Prince Edward Island (2-2), Newfoundland (1-3) and Yukon (0-4). 

Elsewhere in the evening draw, Saskatchewan’s Robyn Silvernagle thrilled the home crowd with a spirited 7-5 win over Alberta’s Laura Walker. It was Walker’s first loss of the week, leaving just one unbeaten team in the field, that being Manitoba’s Kerri Einarson.  

In Pool A, Einarson leads at 4-0, followed by Saskatchewan (3-1), Northern Ontario (3-1), Alberta (3-1), Canada (2-2), New Brunswick (1-3), Nunavut (0-4) and Quebec (0-4). 

 

‘Shut up’ he said

Dan Carey could be in hot water at this Scotties, after telling an umpire to "shut up" on Monday afternoon.  

Carey, the 1992 Canadian champion Vic Peters third who is here coaching his daughter Chelsea Carey’s Team Canada, drew the attention of Curling Canada and ignited a strong social media reaction when he told an umpire in Canada’s match against Manitoba to "shut up."

The exchange happened during a ninth-end timeout, when Carey went to talk to the team. Shortly thereafter, the umpire walked over to tell him that the time was almost up. Carey protested and the TSN broadcast picked up his side of the discussion: "I just got here," he said. "There’s no way. Then let me talk. Shut up." 

After the game was over, Carey spoke to reporters about the incident. 

"She told me I had 10 seconds left and I just got there," he said. "They start the clock as soon as they say ‘time out.’ I said ‘that can’t be.’ She said ‘five seconds’ and then started talking. I tried to talk to the team, she’s still talking at me. If I’ve got five seconds left, let me talk. So I said ‘shut up.’

Carey later issued a statement.

"Today, I used the wrong words to convey my concern during a timeout. And I am sorry. The particular official is a wonderful person someone I get along with very well and I had no intention of offending them.

"I do have concerns about timing, timeouts and how they are handled. I hope to have a discussion about those concerns in the very near future.

"This is all on me, not my team and shouldn’t reflect poorly on them in any way."

 

All-star teams

For years, national all-star teams were selected in a straightforward fashion: the players named to the first and second all-star teams held the top two shotmaking percentages for their position. That’s it, there were no other considerations. 

The problems with that approach were many. It didn’t take into account context, such as shot difficulty, strategy or the impact a player made on their team’s success. It didn’t measure for the most critical efforts of front ends, or the way brilliantly executed games might have lower stats by virtue of intense challenge. 

Over the years, that system produced a few quirky moments, including in 2017 when the lead on a Team B.C. that had gone 1-10 through the round robin was first-team all-star. 

At this year’s Scotties and Brier, Curling Canada has come up with an elegant fix. The all-star teams will be picked based on a combination of shooting percentage and votes from media and the championship round teams. Those three elements will each weigh 33 per cent towards the final result. 

That will make the all-star award actually mean something beyond a statistical thumbs-up. Now, it’s a recognition of both measurable performance, and the impact the player had as seen by observers and felt by opponents. It also ought to add a little bit of excitement to the reveal. Good work.  

melissa.martin@freepress.mb.ca 

Melissa Martin

Melissa Martin
Reporter-at-large

Melissa Martin reports and opines for the Winnipeg Free Press.

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