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09-25-17 09:54AM
Manitoba Legend is offline Click Here to See the Profile for Manitoba Legend Click here to Send Manitoba Legend a Private Message Find more posts by Manitoba Legend Add Manitoba Legend to your buddy list Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
Manitoba Legend
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Shannon Birchard

The young Manitoba skip certainly punched her card as another "Team to Watch" by delivering the scalp of Jennifer Jones at the Colonial event in Saskatoon this weekend.
Not only did Birchard subdue Jones in the event final - she also pushed her down in an earlier event meeting.
The first win was a low-scoring affair (for a Jones game anyways) - 4-2 for Birchard - in the event final Birchard exploded for a late 4-spot to ruin Jones 8-6. Two big wins over a Top 4 Canadian team - and a Top 8 world team is a nice result.
Jones, on the other hand doesn't want to peak early - but she was a surprise finalist, subduing the hottest team so far this year, Anna Hasselborg in their semi-final confrontation. If Birchard continues her rapid progression she'll be a force to reckon with in the pre-trials event.
Jones, obviously is Jones. She's the most mercurial player in the women's game but of recent she appears one perplexed ice general. Her big game hunter shots are getting further and further apart and her regular routine shooting is spotty (at best) and brutal (at worst).
I'm still convinced the Jones team is #2 in Canada overall - but without a consistent skip and also one who has continued problems with strategy, rock-positioning & line calls they are rapidly heading to also-ran status at Olympic trials.
And there's no easy answers. This is obviously JJ's last kick at the cat - and she's going in with only 3 legs; having to re-work her strategy and line-calling ability at this stage of the game might be an impossible ask. But a necessary one - if she wants to taste Olympic wine again!

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09-25-17 01:10PM
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Shannon has had my attention since her junior days. I've been convinced she I'll be the heir apparent to Jones in Manitoba for a long time. It's taken her longer to arrive than I thought. I hope this tournament is the tart of her rise an not just a one off

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09-25-17 03:36PM
Manitoba Legend is offline Click Here to See the Profile for Manitoba Legend Click here to Send Manitoba Legend a Private Message Find more posts by Manitoba Legend Add Manitoba Legend to your buddy list Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
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Right now there's only one SUPER MONSTER TEAM in Canada - of course that's Rachel Homan & Co.
Jones & Sweeting are Monsters to be sure - but not quite at the consistency level of Homan.

As for BIrchard - yes misty you correctly identified the young lady as the next one in Manitoba. Now, most would agree. Her progression certainly wasn't as rapid as Homan - who developed with Alison Kreviazuk & Emma Miskew in concert from about the age of 7. Mechanically, Shannon still is not as stable as the SUPER M, Homan or even Jones. Perhaps at Val Sweeting's level.
Can't remember who's younger Kelsey Rocque or Birchard - but its very clear Birchard was taking names and delivering lessons in Saskatoon.
The key for this year is just how good a 3rd she brings into the pre-trials or Manitoba championships. Haven't seen much about Nikky's success or even her percentages. Have you?

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09-25-17 08:11PM
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i dont know a lot about stats but from what i've seen when i've been able to watch them play i've liked.

This team has been together for 3 years as pros and this is the exact lineup that lost the 2013 canadian junior final. the chemistry is, obviously very strong and nicole works with shannon really well.

nicole really can hold her own against the top thirds and i think can join the elite 3rds in the world

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09-25-17 09:54PM
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Speaking strictly of throw 'n slide mechanics there's no one like Rachel Homan in Canada.

Even her great vice Emma Miskew has a few hitches and last second dumps to her throws.

I'd say Jones is still clearly #2 (she used to be #1). Jones is almost at the same throw 'n slide level as Homan - JJ's problem is more in ice-reading and hitting stick - she's got progressively worse last couple years.

After Homan & Jones I'd rate (skips & 3rds only)

3. Kaitlyn Lawes
4. Valerie Sweeiing
5. Lori Olson-Johns
6. Laura Crocker
7. Crystal Webster
8. Krista McCarville
9. McCarville's 3rd
10. Shannon Birchard

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