A Good Run

It wasn’t quite what we wanted, but we returned from Schenectady yesterday with a trophy.
After struggling through our first game on Thursday, we hoped to play better the following day. Instead, we faced a team from Schenectady and lost a tough game in large part due to the home ice advantage. We were missing shot by inches, and they were making theirs by the same margin. Still, even after being down by 8 after two ends, we had a shot at scoring 5 or 6 in the third end and still missed by an inch again, and we weren’t able to recover. At least that team ended up in the championship finals, where they lost on their last shot when their rock took a bad turn, much like ours had against them. Poetic justice.
So we were relegated to playing in the tiny two sheet Albany club, which turned out to be great for us. The change of scenery took our minds off the previous loss, and we started to turn our game around. We won that game fairly easily and moved back to Schenectady on Saturday.
We controlled the first game Saturday by making sure that we scored multiple points with the hammer while forcing the other team to only one point when they scored. We really got it rolling on Saturday night and blew out a pretty decent team. That win ensured that, even though we wouldn’t win it all, we would at least be playing in a final on Sunday.
A couple of weeks ago, we went to Connecticut to play. Our Sunday opponents were from that club, and we had even played against two of them before. They were a good bunch of guys, so we knew we were going to have fun. We were led out onto the ice by the piper, and it felt good to be playing a meaningful game on Sunday again. After the traditional Drambuie shot, we got the game started. We kept the game close, but after a bit of a lucky bounce on one of the opponent’s shots, we found ourselves down by two point after 5 ends. Then we took a break for beer. We weren’t necessarily supposed to do that, but since we knew the other guys and we were just having fun, we decided to take the same break that we had gotten when we played each other in Connecticut. We came back from the break and quickly scored 4 points to take a two point lead. We traded points for a while and were tied after 8 ends again. In the ninth end, we had an open draw shot to score two points, but we came up two inches short, and took a one point lead into the last end. We were in good position going into their skip’s last shot, and he decided to throw a big takeout to try to blast our rock out and win the game. Unfortunately for them, he also blasted his own shot just too far, and they were only able to tie it up, forcing an extra end.
We absolutely controlled the extra end, quickly managing the get two rocks under cover while also leaving the middle of the ice wide open for a potential final shot. On our skip’s first shot, it was our turn for a lucky break, as we just ticked off one rock but still made the shot. Their skip’s final shot was too heavy, and we pulled out the win and took home the hardware.
It was a bittersweet victory for us since we had high expectations. But in the end, we held our heads high knowing that we were one of only 4 teams with one loss or less in a tournament with 40 teams, and knowing that we lost to a team that went all the way to the championship final before losing. We still think that if we had played any of those teams on neutral ice, we would have given them all they could handle. Alas, it was not to be, and my 5-and-under career has come to a close.