Posted at 11:18 am on February 23, 2013
The playoffs are ready to go at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. The 1 vs. 2 page playoff game will feature the Jennifer Jones rink from Manitoba, sporting a perfect 11-0 record, facing off against second seeded Rachel Homan of Ontario. The 3 vs. 4 game will see defending champion Heather Nedohin take on British Columbia’s Kelly Scott.
When looking at the head-to-head match up, Jennifer Jones has the slight edge over Rachel Homan. When they met in the round robin, both teams put on an incredible display. They were equally effective in scoring big with the hammer, with a total of 5 multi-point ends. Jones’ rink posted the higher percentages, team total of 84% compared to Ontario’s 75%. But the most drastic difference came at the skip position. Jones herself posted an impressive 93%, more than 20 points higher than her counterpart who managed just 71%.
That was then, and this is know. Stats may rattle some teams, and going up against a powerhouse team like Jennifer Jones may psych some people out, particularly if they’re a young team. But Rachel Homan, Emma Miskew, Alison Kreviazuk, and Lisa Weagle are no ordinary young team. They are mentally strong, focused, and determined. Their loss to Jennifer Jones may actually be to their advantage: it allowed them the opportunity to see what went wrong, learn which type of strategy can beat them, and then develop a counter-strategy to prevent Jones from doing it again. If team Manitoba is going to topple Homan for a second straight game, they’re going to need to be flawless.
The 3 vs. 4 playoff game may be just as tough to call. Kelly Scott went on a roll towards the end of the round robin, building some crucial momentum. Team Canada, on the other hand, went in the opposite direction. After a strong start to the week, the defending champs suffered a number of losses clustered together. But as long as they’re able to shake off those poor games and refocus in time for the playoffs, they should be back up to form.
In their round robin meeting, Heather Nedohin won 7-5. While the score appears close on the board, Team Canada controlled the game and sailed to a relatively safe win. The defending champions also played a lot cleaner than the B.C. squad, posting a great team average of 89%, compared to B.C.’s 73%.
It is interesting to note, however, that their round robin meeting was actually the last game that Kelly Scott lost. She has been perfect ever since. Canada has lost a total of four games since last playing B.C.
These are two teams headed in drastically different directions. Unless Heather Nedohin and company can right the ship quickly, British Columbia has the advantage in this game.