by Erin McLaughlin
OSHAWA, Ontario – Were you surprised by the scoreboard this afternoon... or did your predictions come true?
It was certainly a breeze for Kevin Koe, who had stolen five from Pat Simmons by the start of the third end and continued snatching up points before clinching the win in the sixth for an 8-1 finish. Glenn Howard only scored in two ends in total but still racked up a 5-2 result against Rob Fowler, and Mike McEwen continued his flawless winning streak with a game 7-3 over Dale Matchett.
In an interesting rematch for Kevin Martin and Jeff Stoughton – which was the featured game on television – the Alberta skip dropped two points in the first end and slowly chipped away at his opponents, finally managing to tie the score in end five. However, his team couldn’t recover from Stoughton’s unbelievable double-takeout in the seventh end, which gave them an insurmountable 5-2 lead.
Congratulations also go out to Teri Schiman from Vernon, B.C. who won the finalist competition for the Capital One Million Dollar Button! Out of four semifinalists who entered the contest to draw a stone closest to the button, Teri made an amazing delivery with the crowd cheering her on and ended up only 14 inches away from the pin. She will move on to Sunday's final, at halftime of the BDO Canadian Open championship game, with a heavy decision to make – throw the stone by herself for $1 million, or choose help from two sweepers and a skip to hold the broom (all of her choice) for a chance at $100,000?
When asked on live TV what she would choose, Teri said "I don't know, I'd be afraid of the sweepers just standing there and not sweeping!" Good luck, Teri!
While Teri's nerves might not let her eat much in the next 24 hours, I was almost as starved as Koe was in eating up all those rocks out there. During dinner in the Player’s Lounge with Jeff Stoughton, his teammates Jon Mead and Steve Gould, and CBC commentator Mike Harris I had the privilege of listening in on some shot talk, some stories from the days of curling past (circa 1980s!) and some all-around friendly banter. Jeff was also complimenting Martin and his team on their close quarter-final and demonstrated, once again, the good nature of this sport.
What’s dinner like in the Players Lounge, you ask? Well, it’s no colossal sandwich, but tonight it was a seriously filling hot buffet of Basmati rice and chicken stir-fry, salad, and another table of small desserts. Now that I’m finally remembering to eat again through all this excitement, it’s fun to sit and mingle with different crowds of staff and players over brownies and cakes. My kind of gathering!
The semi-finals are halfway finished and the four remaining teams are all filing out on the ice to for the second half of their matches. Check out what I found in one of the player’s broom bags in the second photo... who knew, eh? Do you have any suggestions for what other objects the players could toss around during pre-game practice? Share them here, via the Comments below!
Don’t forget you can catch live streaming of the semi-finals going on now at this page at Grand Slam of Curling website and feel free to let us know your thoughts on the finals tomorrow at 1:00pm as the semis rage on!
Anil Mungal photos copyright ® Capital One