What's Buzzing:

Eh Game

A curling rarity: Eve Muirhead and Great Britain hang a ‘seven-ender’ on the United States in Olympic curling

Don Landry
Eh Game

View gallery

.

Eve Muirhead's Olympic curling team set a record in their game against the U.S. (CP)

As Olympic commentator Mike Harris put it, an eight-ender in curling is about as rare as a hole in one (I'd say even more rare).

A seven-ender is only slightly more likely. In other words, it is extremely rare that a curling team - at any level, never mind the Olympics - manages to score 7 points in an end. The most you can score in an end is eight.

In fact, in Olympic curling, a seven has never been scored (although Canada's Brad Gushue had a chance in 2006).

Until today.

That's what Great Britain, skipped by Eve Muirhead, did to the United States, skipped by Erika Brown, on the way to a 12 - 3 win.

Those seven points broke open a tight 2-1 game, sending Muirhead's squad into an insurmountable 9-1 lead, after the seven counters were factored in when the fourth end was finished. Muirhead had only to make a routine hit with her final stone to collect the seventh point. Lying six with your final shot to come? A dream come true for any skip. (Even more of a dream than lying seven with your last shot to come. With eight-enders being so, so rare, that situation would add a hole heap of pressure to a skip's shoulders)

How is it possible to score that many at this level?

Simply put, it happened because both teams decided to play it aggressively in the fourth end, with lots of stones in play. While Brown could have decided earlier in the end that there were just too many Great Britain stones in the house and that she needed to clean things out, she opted against it, mainly because the U.S. did have opportunities to negate all those stones with a nifty draw or two.

View gallery

.

.

Indeed, when you get as far into a bad situation like that in curling, you can't go pulling off quadruple or quintuple take outs in order to bail out of that bad situation. Drawing in and hiding somewhere is your best bet and Brown had a chance to hold Muirhead to just one point had she made her final shot.

Facing six, Brown tried to draw around a clutch of her own guards and Muirhead stones. Had the shot settled in where she'd intended, Great Britain would have had a tough time scoring more than one. However, Brown's rock clicked a guard and rolled wide into the rings, giving Muirhead an easy take out for seven.

Brown made the right call there, but that slight rub of a guard meant she gave up the disastrous seven-ender.

View gallery

.

.

First time in Olympic curling that a team has given up seven in an end, although it nearly happened eight years ago.

You may recall that Brad Gushue, skipping the Canadian team at the 2006 Olympics, had a chance to score a seven-ender against Finland in the gold medal game, but ended up with six, when his draw for the seventh point sailed though the house in the sixth end.

Gushue said at the time that the adrenaline rush he got from the possibility of scoring seven made him throw the stone much too heavily.

Gushue's six points, on the way to a gold medal, had matched the single end record for points in Olympic curling. Previously, Sweden's Peja Lindholm had scored six in a game at the 2002 Olympics.

Now, Eve Muirhead and her teammates, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Claire Hamilton have the record to themselves.

View Comments (6)
  • Wednesday's Sports in Brief

    The New England Patriots joined the latest ''Deflategate'' appeal to support Tom Brady, taking sides with their star quarterback in court for the first time in his fight against the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell. In an eight-page friend of the … More »

    AP - Sports - 9 minutes ago
  • French strikers seek to tighten grip on energy supplies

    French strikers seek to tighten grip on energy supplies

    The hardline CGT union sought to tighten its grip on France's energy supplies and transport network on Thursday as its stand-off with the government over planned labor reforms continued into a day of nationwide protests. French nuclear power … More »

    Reuters - 16 minutes ago
  • Fit-again Starc gunning for West Indies, South Africa

    Fit-again Starc gunning for West Indies, South Africa

    Fast bowler Mitchell Starc expects to need a couple of games to get up to express pace but is looking forward to coming back from injury on Australia's Caribbean tour next month. "Those 10 wickets might come, they might not. … More »

    Reuters - 18 minutes ago
  • Sharks head to 1st Cup final after 5-2 win over Blues

    Sharks head to 1st Cup final after 5-2 win over Blues

    Two years after their most devastating playoff loss, the San Jose Sharks held their most meaningful celebration. The franchise notorious for falling short each postseason will finally get the chance to play for the Stanley Cup. Captain Joe … More »

    AP - Sports - 28 minutes ago
  • Indy 500 champions choose the most important non-driver

    Indy 500 champions choose the most important non-driver

    Then came World War II and a four-year hiatus for the Indianapolis 500. A businessman from Terre Haute, Hulman was recruited by three-time Indy 500 winner Wilbur Shaw to purchase the track. For a purchase price reported to be $750,000, Hulman took … More »

    AP - Sports - 29 minutes ago