Early favorites challenged in Week 3, New faves enter spotlight with wins

With only nine draws on each team’s schedule and less than a handful of Playoffs spots available, every result seemingly has long-lasting implications. And while some mountains may look too high to climb already, some teams found out Thursday that a single win (even a tie) can go a long way toward keeping those postseason hopes alive and well.

Here is a recap of Week 3 in the Anthracite Curling Club 2010 Summer League:

Team RAMROD 6, Whippersnappers 6

It was looking like yet another Whippersnappers blowout.

The league’s only undefeated 2-0 team coming into action on Thursday jumped to an early and convincing 4-0 lead only to have the match come down to the last shot in the 7th end. Down by a point and with a rock biting the back of the house for nearly the entire end, RAMROD watched in peril as its comeback attempt rested in the hands of the Skips.

Team RAMROD skip, John King, missed his first shot, as did Whippersnappers’ Skip John Guttmann. When King barely missed his runback attempt, the door was open for the young Guttmann to take advantage and seal the victory. To the shock of the Ramrod team members, and anyone watching, Guttmann missed his second shot as well, leaving the Ramrod stone in the back of the house as the scoring rock, and ending the game in a 6-6 draw.

“To be able to be in the game with this team, who have been so very good the first two weeks of the season, and to have come back from 4-0 down, I’m proud of the whole team and the effort we gave,” King said. “This is one instance where a tie feels like a win.”

The tie gives a three-way share of the lead in the Buckwheat Division to Team RAMROD (1-1-1) and prevents the Whippersnappers (2-0-1) from creating a little too much space from second-place in the Steamboat Division.

“I think we just needed to relax.” said Ramrod’s Vice-Skip Russell DeHaut. “It looked like our skip was playing a little tight, and we all were still trying to figure out the ice. I think once we were able to relax a bit, we did a lot better”.

Cs+Ds 4, WINOs 3

When action begins to heat-up in the Chestnut Division, hopefully the results will be as intriguing as Thursday’s lone draw involving any of those four teams. Cs+Ds (2-0) exchanged one-point ends the entire evening with WINOs and was able to squeak-out a close win, 4-3 in seven ends.

WINOs (0-1) was making its league debut after sitting-out the first two weeks of the season. Cs+Ds is the only team in the Chestnut Division with two draws under its belt and is one of three teams in the league to start the season with two wins.

Stone Cold 6, Goody’s 3

Stone Cold (formerly Team IV) was able to seal victory in the 6th end as both teams were looking for their first victories of the young season. Cracked Ice’s Char Hick was a substitute for Paul Walker (Stone Cold). The win gives Stone Cold (1-1-1) a three-way share of the lead in the Buckwheat Division. Goody’s remains in third place of the Stove Division, two wins behind leading Lyons, whom they tied in Week 1 action.

Lyons 7, Team IX 6

Dan Kilker returned from injury for Team IX, but it wasn’t enough to topple Stove Division-leading Lyons. Lyons (2-0-1) has won two consecutive draws after being forced to tie Goody’s in Week 1 and is level with Whippersnappers for the league’s best record at three games played.

Fifteen 6, MLC 5

With its new nickname, Fifteen is suddenly making waves and challenging for top status in the league. After Thursday’s victory over a shuffled MLC squad, Fifteen is one of only three teams to start the season with a 2-0 record. The team is just one point behind Whippersnappers in the Steamboat Division, with one less game played than the young ones.

MLC (1-2) had a chance to take its own lead in their Buckwheat Division but instead, the team is just one point behind the other three teams. Cracked Ice’s Mariana Tardillo subbed for Russell Keeler and John Jagozinski played Skip for MLC.

Team XVI 8, Schoolhouse Rocks! 3

Team XVI used a convincing conclusion to its second league draw to keep Schoolhouse Rocks! winless on the season in a Steamboat Division match-up Thursday. Scoring three in the 7th end, Team XVI appeared to have  found the right lineup combination as it juggled the shooting order midway through the draw.

Before Team XVI scored five consecutive points to end the draw, the teams scrapped back-and-forth. Schoolhouse Rocks! Skip Alison Piatt managed to tie the draw, 3-3, with a pair of scoring rocks to finish the 4th end. The comeback was short-lived however, and Team XVI (1-1) clearly was bent on erasing the memory of a 12-0 loss last week.

Schoolhouse Rocks! (0-3) used JEMM’s Erica Snarski as a substitute for the truant Justin Nordstrom and played Second. Jen Fry was promoted to Vice Skip in Nordstrom’s absence and Barb Parzych stayed at Lead. Team XVI had Ashley Fetterman subbing for Monica Ogozaly. Matt Kuscavage started as Skip but was relieved by Ashley Fetterman during the draw.

Schoolhouse Rocks! may not have any wins through three games, and may lead the league in heart-breaking losses, but according to an optimistic Fry, “At least we lead the league in after-curling festivities.” The team is known to go broomstacking after its draws.

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