REGINA – First of all, check out the stylin' Brad Gushue (CurlingZone photo)... resplendent in his Italian Olympic gear.
Gushue and third Mark Nichols threw their first rocks since Pinerolo this morning, prior to the Brier semi-final. More tales from their "official" appearance yesterday can be found here and here, with Gushue's thoughts (along with others) on the new 2009 Olympic Trials system over here.
Big Brier win – 7-6 – for Quebec's Jean-Michel Menard over Nova Scotia's Mark Dacey in that semi. Yes, sloppy to be sure, but now it's the battle of Canada's founding provinces – Upper and Lower Canada – in tomorrow's final, 7:00pm ET on CBC.
• Gold for Canada – Paralympic, that is – as Team Daw steals a 7-4 win over Great Britain in Pinerolo's wheelchair curling event. Don't forget the Canucks also stole the semi, too.
• Also, the finals are set for the World Juniors – both Canadian teams are set for action – with a summary here and more details – and photos! – located here.
• Not only is Pete Fenson's pizza business on fire, so is his sport of curling down Stateside...
• One last Brier thought... we missed this, and frankly we're glad we did!
• OK, we lied, we have one more Brier thought. We just saw the CCA stats – the players shooting percentages, and they look like this:
QUEBEC –– NOVA SCOTIA
Elmaleh–83 –– Gibson–91
Sylvain–83 –– Harris–81
Roberge–85 –– Lohnes–66
Menard–74 –– Dacey–74
The Curling News summarily declares just about all of these numbers to be complete and utter cowflop. That's right, cowflop. Perhaps we should call it "complete and udder cowflop".
What a pile that is. Almost as bad as what we witnessed in person in Pinerolo, where in just one example British lead Euan Byers – shooting 98 at the time – wrecked on his 19th rock of the match and his percentage suddenly plummeted to 89. Who let the inmates into the statistical asylum?
Here's CurlingZone's new Shot Tracker stats (click on the "final score" of the Game Day Scoreboard) on that same Brier semi, for comparison (includes degree of difficulty and tons of other logarithms and vectors and Houdinis and whatever else they've thrown in there):
QUEBEC –– NOVA SCOTIA
Elmaleh–79 –– Gibson–81
Sylvain–76 –– Harris–66
Roberge–76 –– Lohnes–74
Menard–70 –– Dacey–65
So... let the debate begin... which set seems to be more accurate, hmmm?