Today was the last day of the Players’ Championship. The morning draw featured the men’s and women’s semi-final matches: Team Jacobs vs Team Bottcher/Middaugh, Team McEwen vs Team Epping, Team Sidorova vs Team Sweeting, and Team Muirhead vs Team Homan.
We got to the arena area early, in case there wasn’t much parking. Luckily the lot was empty and we grabbed breakfast nearby. I was beyond nervous, as I was so close to getting to see my two favorite curling rinks face off in the women’s final. I couldn’t wait to get inside and for the matches to get underway.
As usual, I had my flags with me to show my support for Muirhead and Sidorova.
Sweeting and Homan are two of the top Canadian rinks, and fan favorites. So we were definitely in the minority.
Soon all the teams were out on the ice, and it was obvious they were anxious to get play started.
Of course, they had to wait for introductions, courtesy of the always entertaining MC Peter Steski.
Being a big TV event for Sportsnet, the broadcast at times will dictate the pace. Such was the case as the teams had to wait for the go-ahead to start playing.
McEwen-Epping was the featured match on the middle sheet, so they had to wait a bit longer to get going while the other matches started. Pretty soon though things were underway. We had a great view of all four matches, and we were treated to four great ones.
At this point it’s win or go home for all the rinks, with money and prestige on the line. Lots of great shots were being made, and nobody had it easy.
Sidorova fell behind 0-3 after a few ends, and for awhile things were looking bleak. They managed to battle back and make it a game though.
Jacobs and Bottcher were having quite the battle as well. It came down to the last stone for Brad Jacobs.
In the end, Muirhead, Sidorova, McEwen and Jacobs all won! These were the four teams I wanted to see, so needless to say I was excited. We weren’t going to be able to make the men’s final, as it started to late and we had an eight-hour drive home.
We would get to see the women’s final though, and I was getting exactly the matchup I wanted…I couldn’t wait for it to start.
While leaving the arena, we saw some folks from Hollywood Curling hanging out with Team Tirinzoni. We stopped by to talk with them for a bit, since they’re an arena club with less-than-desirable ice time as well. It was really cool meeting them, and hopefully our paths will cross again in the future sooner rather than later.
Phil Darin is Windy City’s resident armchair curler who even plays from time to time. He often loses on the ice, but he always wins at broomstacking. Would you like to hear more about curling, whisky, or gambling? Are you Eve Muirhead?
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