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2012 TSN Curling Skins – Koe victorious over Stoughton

Team Koe with the cheque they are trying to take as carry-on for their flight home ... seriously!

Words by TSN, Image by Anil Mungal

RAMA, Ont. – Alberta’s Kevin Koe added another victory to his impressive curling resume, as he hurried hard to win the 2012 TSN Curling Skins Game and take home $43,900 in prize money over the course of the two-day invitational at Casino Rama in Rama, ON.

Koe was crowned Skins champion after defeating Manitoba ’s Jeff Stoughton five skins to two in the final earlier this afternoon.

This marks Koe’s first victory at a TSN Skins Game and his prize money this year includes $23,600 from today’s final, plus $10,300 from yesterday’s semifinal and a $10,000 bonus for winning the entire tournament. With today’s win, Koe has now pocketed a total of $51,900 in TSN skins game prize money over the past two years.

Stoughton takes home $8,400 from today’s final for a total of $23,200 in prize money won over the weekend.

Koe was in control early in the game, stealing the first two skins worth $2,000 each and then stealing once again in the fifth following a carry over ($5,600) and in the sixth ($4,000) to take a commanding lead. Stoughton, who scored $2,400 in the third end, came back to take the big $6,000 skin with the hammer in the seventh end to stay in contention for the win heading into the final end.

In the eighth frame, it all came down to the last rock of the match – and Koe made a booming triple takeout to score two points and secure the victory, winning the skin (worth $10,000) and the winner’s bonus, worth an extra $10,000.

The overall money results for the 2012 TSN Curling Skins Game are as follows:

·        Team Koe: $43,900 ($33,900 in skins prize money + $10,000 winner’s bonus)

·        Team Stoughton : $23,200

·        Team Martin: $6,700 ($5,700 in skins prize money + $1,000 draw to the button bonus)

·        Team Howard: $1,200

 

 

 

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Radical revamp to TSN Skins Curling

Words by George Karrys, Image by Anil Mungal

Vic Rauter, George Cooke and Stewart Johnston (L to R)

RAMA, Ont. – Here’s the official word: The Dominion continues to ramp up its involvement in and support of the Roaring Game, and has been announced as the title sponsor of the “2013 The Dominion All-Star Curling Skins Game” at Casino Rama.

Chief Executive Officer George Cooke was on hand – along with TSN president Stewart Johnston – for the live announcement during the fourth-end break of the 2012 final between teams Kevin Koe and Jeff Stoughton, and was obviously delighted to reveal the news.

“We at The Dominion are excited to be the title sponsor of the THE DOMINION ALL-STAR CURLING SKINS GAME” said Cooke. “This event will raise the profile of curling in Canada, pushing it upward in the hierarchy of sport – parallel to that of hockey, baseball or basketball which all have All-Star game events.

“Enabling curlers and curling teams to take part in the team selection furthers The Dominion’s commitment to the growth of grassroots curling in Canada.”

And here’s the big twist: you, the curling fan, will be able to vote in advance – online – to decide the competing players.

Interesting stuff.

What’s unknown at this time is what this will mean for teams that have until previously been permitted to wear their own uniforms (atrocious or not). My guess is that each participating team will have to wear a special uniform prepared by the event – similar to CCA championship events – that will feature event logos, such as The Dominion, TSN etc. The alternative would be a cacophony of colours, designs and logos that even the most hardened fan of curling colour might find difficult to stomach.

I’m also guessing that the players wouldn’t be big fans of that – although they are no doubt aware that this is a third-party event which can pick and choose the rules (and the competitors) as they darn well like. A saw-off might see the event sew player sponsor logos onto the provided jerseys, once the players were confirmed.

But if the players were announced just as the All-Star Skins was due to begin – at a media launch the day before, for example – that could mean an all-night sewing session!

There’s no date set for the January 2013 reboot, and the early indication is that The Dominion is on board as sponsor in a multi-year deal, so there are many more details to come.

Johnston’s official quote was also interesting:

“TSN’s partnership with The Dominion extends to the insurance company’s extensive programs and platforms supporting grassroots curling in Canada , including The Dominion Curling Club Championship – the ultimate experience for club curlers”, said Johnston.

“Beginning in December 2012, TSN will air an annual one-hour special on The Dominion Curling Club Championship, as the country’s top men’s and women’s club championship teams are afforded the opportunity to compete not only within their province or territory, but also nationally in the CCA sanctioned event.”

All sounds great. Hearty congrats to the TSN Skins Game and The Dominion, loyal curling supporters… and also advertising partners with us here at The Curling News!

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Vote for your Skins curling teams

Words by George Karrys

RAMA, Ont. – As learned earlier today by The Curling News, TSN is making a live television announcement – right now – that The Dominion will become the title sponsor of the 2013 Curling Skins Game, and will radically revamp the way the four teams are selected for the competition.

We’ve heard that FAN VOTING will determine the four skips, but that’s not all… there is speculation that those skips will then DRAFT THEIR PLAYERS from another three teams (to be specified, somehow) to fill out their lineups.

The Curling News will confirm and post the details as soon as we receive them, and those details just might be online now, as you’re reading these words. Just click or re-click on the “BLOG” tab near the top of any page…

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Is this curling jersey atrocious?

Words and Image by Anil Mungal

Is that guy on the left a "sellout"?

RAMA, Ont. – According to my boss, The Editor, our status as the world’s greatest curling newspaper and overall source of curling news often results in people emailing or calling us with all kinds of questions or comments about the Roaring Game… and often these questions or comments are completely unrelated to anything we have published, tweeted etc.

Apparently, when major TV curling events are broadcast, our toll-free telephone line gets blasted by curling fans who either don’t like this, or don’t understand that, or whatever.

Back in the 2000s, most phone calls concerned women’s curling superstar skip Colleen Jones and WHY CAN’T SHE STOP CHEWING HER GUM IN SUCH AN UNDIGNIFIED FASHION??

NOTE: At this point, The Editor would like to point out that The Curling News has to pay for all of these long-distance calls you are making to our phone line, so folks, please do one of three things before calling us:

1) SUBSCRIBE. FOR GOD’S SAKE. It’s the least you can do, and you should be a subscriber anyway – because you love curling.

2) Please consider calling someone else. Like, for example, the Canadian Curling Association (you can find their toll-free number at curling.ca) or the World Curling Federation (you can find their really expensive not-toll-free number at worldcurling.org)

3) Send us a “free” message through our website. This very website, in fact. Just go to the “CONTACT” tab near the top of any page.

One such message was sent and received last night, sent from a curling fan to none other than Skins competitor Glenn Howard. Ordinarily we might not publish the message, but in keeping with the theme of this posting, and assuming that the writer was actually looking for a way to pose his question/comment/etc. to Glenn Howard himself, and because the message is not impolite in any fashion, The Editor has decided to publish it, in its entirety.

Here it is:

hey Glenn… you guys are so good at your sport & appear to be really nice individuals but “really” those sponsor shirts – they’re atrocious & make it look like your team really sold out….either tone them down or better yet get a new “dignified” sponsor…it can’t always be about the money….mark ward

Well now! With that message, The Curling News is now cleared to post yet ANOTHER image of Team Howard’s Green Machine jersey from yesterday’s action – just click on the image to increase its viewing size.

But we also want to ask you, the reader, some questions: do you agree with the writer that the jerseys are atrocious? Are they ugly? Are they indicitive of a sellout? Or do you think the jersey is attractive… perhaps even beautiful? Is it effective? is it necessary?

Let us know what you think via the “Comments” area below…

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2012 TSN Curling Skins – Stoughton into final

Tough night for Glenn Howard

Words by TSN, Image by Anil Mungal

RAMA, Ont. – Reigning world champion Jeff Stoughton swept up another curling victory, as the Winnipeg native pocketed $14,800 in prize money and secured his spot in Sunday’s final of the 2012 TSN Curling Skins Game. 

Stoughton moves on to the final after defeating Ontario’s Glenn Howard five skins to one in what was a rematch of last year’s Tim Hortons Brier final.

After forcing a carry-over with the hammer in the first end, Stoughton stole the skin in the second end worth $2,000 and never looked back.

Howard managed to pick up one skin early in the game, netting $1,200 with the hammer in the third end.

Stoughton won the skin in the fourth end with a final stone raise double takeout before going on to win the last three skins of the game, including stealing the skin in the seventh end worth $3,000 to secure his decisive victory over the hometown favourite. 

Stoughton now faces Alberta’s Kevin Koe in the final tomorrow at 1:00 pm ET.

(Click on image to increase viewing size)

 

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2012 TSN Skins Game – Howard vs Stoughton at the break

Where should we put it?

Words and Image by Anil Mungal

RAMA, Ont. – The first end comes down to a measure, and a resulting carry-over.

The second end has less rocks in play than the first and looks more like a non-skins curling end. Glenn Howard‘s first shot doesn’t curl as much as he anticipated, leaving him with a tough second shot – and results in a Stoughton steal.

The third end sees Howard with an open draw for two, which he makes to take his first skin.

The fourth end sees the runback king, Jeff Stoughton, make a raise double takeout to take the skin and lead $3,300-$1,200 at the fourth end break.

(Click on image to increase size)

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2012 TSN Curling Skins – Howard vs Stoughton

Team Howard is greeted by the fans at Casino Rama

Words and Image by Anil Mungal

RAMA, Ont. – This evening’s game features a re-match of last year’s Brier final with Team Glenn Howard facing off against Team Jeff Stoughton.

This is Team Stoughton’s first appearance here at Casino Rama, and they are very excited to be here.

Glenn Howard, who lives about 45 minutes away, can perhaps use the local crowd to his advantage.

A full house at the Casino Rama Entertainment Centre awaits some more Skins action.

(Click on image to increase viewing size)

 

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2012 TSN Curling Skins – Photojournalism

View from the media bench

Words and Image by Anil Mungal

RAMA, Ont. – Okay, so I’ve been asked: “What is it like being a photojournalist at the TSN Skins Game?”

Let’s start by answering the question of what a photojournalist does. The primary duty is to take photographs that tell a story. The photos themselves should be clear, concise, truthful images that easily convey a message to the readers. Along with the image, a photojournalist must also write caption information for each image to explain the “who, what, where, when, and why” of the photograph.

On a typical shoot, I usually arrive at the venue an hour before game time and remain until after the game is over. First, I setup my laptop at the media bench which is at one end of the curling sheet. I verify that I have an internet connection and that I can download and edit my photos from my camera. Next, I set up my two cameras and ensure that I can get good exposures based on the lighting for the venue. Here at Casino Rama the lighting is very good – better than most arena venues that I’ve encountered.

For the rest of the event I will spend my time shooting images, downloading them to my laptop, editing, cropping, colour-correcting, captioning and transmitting the images. I will move around the arena to get some different angles, but a lot of the time, I am sitting at ice level on a carpet directly on the curling sheet or on a cold concrete floor… so it can get pretty chilly!

A couple of things to keep in mind in creating good images is to use observation and pre-visualization. Keep a constant lookout to find a good subject with a good background. Have a good understanding of the event and its rules so that you know how the game will flow and what photo opportunities will arise (and when). It also helps to know your subjects so you can be prepared for displays of emotion which help to communicate your story. If you aren’t prepared for a broom smash, you’ll only get a photo of the pieces.

It can be quite exhausting once its over, but there is always that personal quest for a great image that can be the highlight of your portfolio.

As far as blogging goes, well, this is kind of new for me – after all, I’m an image guy, not a word guy. How do you think I’m doing? Rate my blog attempts below by choosing one through five stars!

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2012 TSN Curling Skins – Koe into final

Words by TSN, Image by Anil Mungal

Kevin Koe (foreground) defeated KMart

RAMA, Ont. – Kevin Koe scored $10,300 and a spot in the final of the of the 2012 TSN Curling Skins Game with a win over last year’s champion Kevin Martin earlier this afternoon at Casino Rama The highly-anticipated final gets underway tomorrow at 1:00 pm ET live on TSN and also on TSN Mobile TV. Curling fans can also watch the game on-demand at TSN.ca.

Koe and his Calgary foursome will face off against the winner of tonight’s Semifinal #2 at 8:00 pm ET live on TSN, as world champion Jeff Stoughton of Winnipeg takes on accomplished Ontario skip Glenn Howard.

In front of a packed house at Casino Rama’s world-class Entertainment Centre, Koe pocketed five skins, securing a place for his team in tomorrow’s final. Edmonton’s Martin won three skins plus the pre-event draw to the button and takes home $6,700. Martin remains the TSN Skins Game all-time leader in prize money with $419,850 won over 13 career appearances.

Koe was in control for the entire game, making a big shot with the hammer in the sixth end to take a decisive $5,300 to $2,700 lead over Martin.  With last rock, Martin made it close by winning the $3,000 skin in the seventh end, but Koe came back in the eighth and final end to make a double-angle raise to score two and take home the last skin worth $5,000.

Click on image to increase viewing size

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2012 TSN Curling Skins – Martin vs Koe

Words and Images by Anil Mungal

Whadda ya think, boys?

RAMA, Ont. – After a slow start, Team Kevin Martin gets on the board in the third end with a nice angle raise.

At the fourth-end break we have Team Kevin Koe ahead $3,300-$1,200 with lots of cash remaining.

Heading into the sixth end, Martin himself is being outshot by Koe – and by quite a margin, 76% to a whopping 96%, however, the Olympians are only $600 behind on the Skins scoreboard. TSN commentators Russ Howard and Linda Moore surmise that KMart’s team is playing well and bailing out their skip, who is struggling.

At the end of the sixth, Koe makes a beauty runback for his two points and another skin, and pads his lead! Boom!

(To view the image larger on your screen, just click on it…)