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Day 5 of the Pacific Asia Curling Championships in Naseby produced mixed results for the New Zealand teams. The Kiwi women scored an important win against Australia to stay in playoff contention, but their male counterparts crashed out of the tournament.

The NUZ Men needed to beat Australia to keep their semi-final hopes alive, but they had a horror game where nothing went right and suffered an embarrassing 8-1 loss.

It all went wrong in the fourth end for New Zealand when looking to hit the side of an opponent’s stone and roll in for shot with their final delivery. It was just wide, Australia stole 4 points and didn’t look back. From there Australia ensured there were few stones in play, the Kiwis clipped guards when trying to draw behind cover to get back in the match, and the sides shook hands after seven ends.

In the other men’s matches China headed Korea 6-4 in a top of the table clash, while Chinese Taipei kept their playoff hopes alive when they overwhelmed Kazakhstan 15-4.

It has been a difficult week for Kazakhstan men, making their first appearance in the Pacific-Asia zone. Alexander Orlov, who has skipped the team for the majority of the week, believes the experience has been valuable.

“It was a great experience this week,” he said. “It has shown all of us that the other teams make very few mistakes. You have to play all your stones, if you are not going to do that it will be difficult to pick up more than one point with hammer. But if you have a look at all of our scores, we can score some points, we will learn from this experience and I think we will do better next year.”

China and Korea have secured their semi-final slots. Japan, Australia and Chinese Taipei are all in the mix for the other two places in tomorrow’s final round.

Women

The New Zealand women have played well through the week, but have had a number of their matches turn on just one shot. The same happened in their match against Japan this morning, when their last draw in the fourth end on lightning-fast ice was just heavy for them to concede a steal of 3.

NZ came back with a surgical takeout to score two in the eighth end, and went into the last end needing to steal one to level the scores. They did everything right to leave the Japanese skip needing a precision tap and roll to win, and she played it perfectly to earn a 7-5 result for her side.

Japan skip Satsuki Fujisawa said after the match, “We got a win today which is important as it makes things a little bit easier for us (having qualified for the play-offs). The fourth end was excellent because we made all of our shots perfectly.”

“At the seventh end New Zealand had a very good end but thankfully, in the eighth end, we recovered. New Zealand is a pretty good team, they have been getting better and better throughout this competition and they played very well so it was a hard game today.”

In the other women’s morning matches, Korea scored a well-executed 4 en route to toppling the previously unbeaten Chinese 8-6, and Australia needed an extra end to beat an injury-depleted Kazakhstan 9-8.

The local side finally earned some reward when they played Australia in the evening round. The Kiwis stole three consecutive ends in the middle of the game, and wrapped up a deserved 9-4 win with 3 points in the ninth end.

New Zealand skip Bridget Becker was understandably pleased after the match. “We played really well in both games today,” she said. “It was tough losing on the last stone (to Japan) this morning but tonight we just kept it going and we got the result. So it’s onwards and upwards we hope, and we’ll see how we go tomorrow.”

Japan’s women completed a good day with a 6-3 win against Korea, and table-topping China beat the plucky Kazakh side 11-3.

China, Japan and Korea have confirmed their semi-final places with one round to play. New Zealand will earn a tiebreaker against the Aussies for the other spot if they beat Kazakhstan and Korea can topple Australia tomorrow.

Standings after Day 5:
(Team won-lost)

Women (after 9 sessions):
China 8-1
Korea 7-2
Japan 6-3
Australia 3-6
New Zealand 2-7
Kazakhstan 1-8

Men (after 6 sessions):
China 5-0
Korea 4-1
Japan 3-2
Australia 3-2
Chinese Taipei 2-3
New Zealand 1-5
Kazakhstan 0-5

By Shane Jones News Staff

No other sporting standouts have done as much to put Sherwood Park on the map as the Ferbey Four.

The curling team of Randy Ferbey, Dave Nedohin, Scott Pfeifer and Marcel Rocque was quite steadfast in informing all those that would listen that they were a Sherwood Park team, not an Edmonton team, as they dominated the sport for most of the early 2000s.

Along with fifth Dan Holowaychuk and coach Brian Moore, the Ferbey Four won the Alberta Championship five times, the Brier Canadian Championship four times and the World Championship three times, in addition to a multitude of other tournament titles and honours.

As a result, the Sherwood sweepers could not have been more deserving of the honour when they were amongst a group of four to go up on the Millennium Place Sports Wall of Recognition earlier this month.

Ferbey, Nedohin and Pfeifer all reside in Sherwood Park and St. Paul native Rocque went to Archbishop Jordan Catholic High School for a year and lived with his aunt so he could curl at a higher level.

The Ferbey Four previously won the county’s highest honour, the Mayor’s Award, during the 2002 Pride of Strathcona Awards, but it was obvious being permanently enshrined on the Wall of Recognition was something even more special.

“I would like to thank Strathcona County for nominating us for this wonderful award,” Ferbey said. “It is an absolute honour to be included on this wall along with these other recipients. As everyone knows, you can’t achieve the goals that we did, or any other athlete in sports does, without the support of your family and friends. I’ve done a few good things in my life, but I’ve always said the two most important were to marry my wife and move to Sherwood Park. The support we got in Sherwood Park resonates and was second to none. It’s a wonderful place to live and to raise a family and I look forward to my kids looking at our picture up on this wall for years to come. Even though they won’t admit that and are probably quite embarrassed by it.”

Pfeifer said he is very familiar with Millennium Place and is looking forward to getting the added boost from seeing his picture prominently displayed in future visits.

“I moved here about 11 years ago when this facility was being opened and we’ve experienced how wonderful a place it is over the years,” he said. “I remember coming here many times and looking up at this wall and seeing all the people that have had a positive contribution on the county. I can’t tell you how honoured I am, and our team is, to be included up here. We still frequent this facility and every time we walk in here it will be neat to look up and be really proud of what we accomplished and think of how much Strathcona County supported us.”

Nedohin credited the strength of competitive curling in the region for driving his team forward to national and international success.

“There is an incredible curling community in Sherwood Park and the Edmonton area,” he said. “I probably should be thanking Randy Ferbey for letting me curl with him and all of our success, but I’m not. I’m actually going to thank Kevin Martin. That might sound weird, but the curling around here is so good that success inspires other people to be successful. It inspires you to work harder and to commit yourself. Kevin Martin set the bar when this team first came together. We knew he was the team we had to beat and we set our minds to doing everything possible to do that. We were able to do that. We had an incredible run of success and I know that has inspired other teams from the area as well. There are fantastic curlers from Sherwood Park like Olympic medalist Carter Rycroft and world champions like Don Walchuk. The list goes on, and on the women’s side as well. Having these pictures on the wall is just going to inspire more people to try and have similar success in their sports.”

It was only the second time new names have gone up since the initial 11 inductees in 2001.

Four additional names were added in 2007.

 

Luke Coley – Curling Examiner

As another calender year is set to turn the page, the curling season builds toward some major events in 2012. The month of January has many exciting events for curling fans to look forward to after another successful year of curling.

As another calender year is set to turn the page, the curling season builds toward some major events in 2012. The month of January has many exciting events for curling fans to look forward to after another successful year of curling.

The 2011 curling season brought us the trial of the five rock rule at the Canadian Open, the second grand slam of the event of the year, to try and create more scoring and excitement in games. The scoring went up but the jury is still out on whether the new rule will be implemented into more events in the future.

Before that experiment, the first two teams into the 2013 Canadian Olympic curling trials were declared at the Canada Cup of Curling. Kevin Martin topped Glenn Howard and continues to have Howard’s number in head to head battles. Martin will have the opportunity to play for another Olympic trip in 2014. On the women’s side it was Jennifer Jones getting the first spot when she beat fellow Winnipegger Chelsea Carey in the final. The 2013 trials will be held in Winnipeg.

With those events behind us, the focus is on January events which include the beginning of provincial playdowns in Canada and national playdowns all over the world. For provincial updates in Canada follow curling.ca.

Before some of the men’s teams get into the provincial championships, the third grand slam of the year hits Dawson Creek, BC beginning January 25th. Mike McEwen and his team will try to win their second straight slam after winning the Canadian Open in December.

The Grand Slam event will have some European teams taking part as they extend their stay in Canada after playing for the Continental Cup in Langley. In a tremendous field, Team World will look to make up for an embarrassing loss last year. The team features the recently crowned European Champions from Scotland skipped by Eve Muirhead. Joining Muirhead will be the team they beat at the Europeans in Sweden’s Anette Norberg along with China’s Bingyu Wang. On the men’s side, European silver medallist Niklas Edin will join Scotland’s Tom Brewster and European champion Thomas Ulsrud of Norway.

The team from North America tasked with trying to win in back to back years will be led by World Champion Jeff Stoughton, joined by the team he beat to win last season’s Brier, Glenn Howard and from the States will be Pete Fenson. On the women’s side of things it will be a Saskatchewan duo representing Canada in Canadian Champion Amber Holland and Stefanie Lawton. Joining them from south of the 49th will be Patti Lank. North America holds a 4-3 record over the World all time.

As we say goodbye to another great year of curling in 2011, 2012 is sure to have more memorable moments in the roaring game. January’s busy schedule will help to welcome in the new year, as we watch the rocks fly in 2012.

 

 

By Sandra Johnson – Yahoo! Contributor Network

Those in charge of USA Curling’s Sport Education program are taking strides to help novice and elite curlers alike improve curling techniques.

The book is designed to help coaches and athletes gain “world-class knowledge and expertise,” according to a press release from USA Curling. The book, which addresses the technical aspect of the sport, is the first in a series of books that will present five core components that are essential for curling success.

The Five Elements manual from USA Curling Sport Education is the most comprehensive technical manual on the curling delivery ever put together,” 2010 Olympian John Benton told USA Curling. “There is no longer one way to throw a curling stone. The truth is that there have been, and always will be, many ways to slide the granite down the sheet. But (co-author and coach) Roger Schmidt figured out that the best curlers, regardless of their delivery type, all had the same five principles or ‘elements’ in common.

“This manual explains those elements and helps us to understand how to teach and apply them in any situation with any curler. Breaking down the delivery process in this way is a groundbreaking method, which allows for differing ages, genders, and body types to have more immediate success delivering the curling stone. Not to mention that it gives coaches and instructors a common language and method for teaching a delivery to anyone who wants to learn.”

In the future, The Five Elements of Curling Techniques also will be used as part of the USA Curling certification program, according to the press release.

The book will be available on Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Google Books. The second part of the series, which will focus on shot-making, will be available in the fall of 2012, according to the press release.

Those wishing to read a preview of the book can do so by visiting usacurl.org.

Sandra Johnson is a long-time Olympic fan. She had the opportunity to learn about every Olympic sport while working for the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, Colo.

By Warren Henderson – Kelowna Capital News

January

• Kelowna junior curlers Justin Nillson and Jenn Gerow both place third at the B.C. Junior Curling Championships held in North Vancouver.

• Kelowna curler Bob Ursel is sidelined due to injury after a knee ailment keeps him from being able to curl. Jim Cotter replaces Ursel as skip at the B.C. Championships.

• Kelly Scott captures her fourth B.C. Curling Championship since 2005, winning the B.C. Scotties Championships in Cloverdale.

February

April

• The Garry Gelowitz rink wins the 2011 Canadian Masters Men’s Curling title with a 6-3 win over Manitoba in Winnipeg.