Originally posted to Windy City Curling Blog.

Once again we were up early to get over to the arena. Team Sidorova had to play Team Middaugh in a tiebreaker for the 6th and final playoff spot. The draw was free, and almost completely empty. We decided to sit right behind their sheet and cheer them on from up close.

Ice View

I took a lot of pics, being that close to the action with little blocking our view.

SVIIP WatchingDiscussion

Team Sweeting and Team Homan showed up, taking in a little bit of the action. Kevin Martin was hanging around again as well.

Sweeting Homan

ke any good rink, Team Sidorova are excellent at communication. In this video you can hear their distinctive sweep calls. If you’ve ever watched them play, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say SVIIIP!!!

Team Sidorova won! This meant that I was going to get to see my two favorite rinks compete to make it to the semi-final round the next day. The next draw was at noon, so we grabbed a quick lunch and headed back to the arena.

Flags Pete

Team Muirhead was once again taking on Team Nedohin, while Team Sidorova was taking on the reigning World Champions Team Paetz from Switzerland. Again, we got to see two great games.

Eve Planning Sid Planning

The highlight of this draw though was this incredible shot by Anna Sidorova. A triple raise to score 2! So glad I got to see a shot like this live, it was seriously incredible. Click on this link to see it, video at bottom of page.

Muirhead and Sidorova won! So now Team Muirhead was set to take on Team Homan while Team Sidorova was set to take on Team Sweeting in the semi-finals on Sunday.

We had a little more time before the men’s quarterfinal, and we felt like celebrating. Innis & Gunn (Scottish Beer) and a dram of Glenmorangie (Scotch Whisky) for Team Muirhead:

Drinks 1

And a shot of vodka for Team Sidorova…they didn’t have any Russian Vodka, so I made do with Absolut:

Drinks 2

Team Jacobs and Team McEwen had byes to the semi-finals, so we got to see Team Gushue take on Team Bottcher (with Wayne Middaugh subbing in as skip, Brendan Bottcher had to get back to school) and Team Kevin Koe take on Team Epping.

Koe 1 Koe 2

Epping and Bottcher won. Super-spare (his unofficial nickname for the weekend) made an incredible shot to win it for Bottcher. Click on this link to see it.

As soon as the draw ended we hopped in the car to head out to Mohawk (horse track) to catch some harness racing. Traffic in Toronto can be awful, and this was no exception. It didn’t open up until we were well onto the highway. We ate dinner there and bet on some races. It was fun, but we weren’t winning anything…the favorites were winning every race and if you know anything about betting on horses you’ll know that that isn’t usually a good thing. And if you didn’t know that now you do, ha ha.

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After that we stopped off at a grocery store to stock up on some Canadian candy and stuff to bring back with us. We would be up early to pack, check out, and get over to the arena for the semifinal draw!