Poor scheduling for Canadian fans last weekend. Luckily, out west we were able to watch the Grand Slam Saturday during prime time (8 PM Mountain) but that's 10 PM Eastern, and even later in the Maritimes. The Women's World final was too late for me, so I got up early Sunday, added a splash of Bailys to my coffee and settled in for a PVR'd third battle between Jennifer Jones of Team Canada against a young Swiss skip who appears to be a recent graduate from the Disney channel. Alina Paetz (or Patz, depnding if you have umlauts I suppose) managed to defeat Jones a third straight time, winning her first World Championship and the Swiss third in 4 years, all with different skips. Ok, Alina also won as an alternate with Mirjam Ott (now the Swiss coach) in 2012, but this took a little more effort on her part to gain the victory.
Let's take a look at the game and see how it played out:
After a blank in the first, Alina misses a free draw for her deuece and settles for 1 in the second end.
In the third end, Jen first calls a freeze (blue line) but then decides to try a difficult double (green).
Jones is Red
Think I prefer the draw here. Looked impossible to keep the shooter in play and the triple is not possible. The odds of three seems very unlikely and a good freeze will force Alina into a very difficult shot where, even if she freezes back, Jen will likely have a chance at two or, depending how the rocks line up, maybe a chance at attempting this hit on her last for three or more. Jones then has her first bad miss, rolling away on a hit and stick attempt, handing a steal to the Swiss.
Jones is set up for a potential deuce in the 5th but an errant roll by third Kaitlyn Lawes and deep draw by Jennifer on her first leads to a blank.
In the 6th, Kaitlyn's freeze attempt comes up short of the rings and creates a Alina then guards, creating a mess. Jen misses an angle hit on her first. On her last she spends a long time looking at what appears to be an unmakeable shot for two. She ends up heavy on a draw attempt, steal of 2, score is 4 to zero for the Swiss.
These are the two ends Canada will look back on where the backend missed critical shots when in position to possible score two and tie up the contest. Instead they are down 4 points and have an uphill battle, which they nearly climbed. Two for Jones in the seventh is followed by a blank in eight but a steal in the 9th. In the 10th Canada is in position the entire end, even some potential to steal two and win it right there. With a path on her final shot, Alina calmly makes her draw, catching a small break when her shooter rubs a Canada stone and still spins to the button for the win. By an inch.
Tough loss for Canada but a well earned win by the Swiss.
Some Match Play comments coming soon and hopefully Part II of the Brier before long....