Eight Enders

The ultimate curling score is Eight in an end. In the history of the Potomac Curling Club, fifty years, we have had exactly six. They are that rare, six in fifty years. Four of them were in our (not so new any more) National Capital Curling Center.

If you are one of the lucky ones that scores an eight ender, there are procedures to follow to get your names and photos on the web and in newsletters. First and foremost, don’t move the rocks, and take pictures. The rest can be done later.

The first was scored in Cabin John by John Bittner’s rink in the late 1960’s.

The second was scored by the rink of Dave Thompson, Michael Fry & Patrick Doyle, in March of 1999, also at Cabin John. There are only three names because they were playing with just three curlers that evening. In the days before digital cameras and cell phones with embedded cameras, no photographs were taken, but they did return the following week and stage a photo.

The third is better documented. The rink of Mary McHugh, Allen Pickens, Tommy Hamilton, and Rick Casey scored an eight ender on Nov. 17, 2006. It was the first end of the Friday night Pizza League, Mary had the hammer, and was already sitting seven. All that was left, excluding some nerves, was just to draw in for eight. She did. And yes, also went on to win the game.

(L to R) Allen Pickens, Tommy Hamilton. Mary McHugh, & Rick Casey,
scored the first 8-ender in the National Capital Curling Center.

(click the thumbnails for full size pictures)

The fourth eight ender, March 11, 2009…

The Wednesday evening team of Bill McDonald, Lisa Andrew, Liz Andrew, and Becky Andrew scored an 8-ender, on the last end, to win their game. That makes two in the history of the NCCC. Bill’s fist rock (7th stone) was supposed to be a guard, taking care of the five he already had in the house. It didn’t quite turn out that way. He was just a bit heavy and drew into the 4 foot ring for six. His nameless opponent threw his final rock and results were less than spectacular. The two teams out on the ice (sheet A again, if you are curious) were shaking hands when several folks from the warm room erupted out onto the catwalk saying “you gotta ago for it!” After a few moments of hesitation, Bill and his team decided that the possibility was there and said … Why not? If you’ve hung in this far you already know he made it. Bill threw his final stone, chipped his guard into the outside, and rolled the shooter into the inside. The warm room erupted in cheers, applause,and general pandemonium. Pictures were taken with cell phones and at least one digital camera. Jeff Erickson sent in the cell phone picture below.

(L to R) Lisa Andrew, Becky Andrew, Liz Andrew, & Bill MacDonald

(click the thumbnails for full size pictures)

The fifth eight ender, December 16, 2009…

George Shirk was looking for a spare to curl a second game in the late draw. Ron Aubin volunteered. Best decision he made all week! George’s rink gave up two in the first and had the hammer in the second. They were sitting four in the four foot ring one in the top left eight, and two that were questionable biters. Stadnichuk had one in the back eight buried. Stadnichuk tried to take any of the mess in the four and crashed on the single stone out in front – his. Sort of like parking in an empty parking lot and hitting the only post. George played a double run-back off his four foot stones to take out and stick. We pulled out the biter bar and measured the two questionble stones. 8-Ender! I told George it had to be the Scotch. I poured him another shot.

George is quoted as saying “Please remember it is a team sport and I did not get an “Eight!”. We made eight shots and were lucky as hell. Barb curled 100% for the six ends we played, Ron was a take-out machine, and Kenny had his usual touch, like a blacksmith (just kidding, we all curled well last night).”

George Shirk (Skip), Barbara Shirk (lead), Ron Aubin (second), and Kenny Pellerin (vice)

The first cell phone photograph below and write up are courtesy of Bruce Black. The next two cell phone photos are from Courtney Shaw. The final pictures are with a real camera, from Sandra McMakin.

(click the thumbnails for full size pictures)

The sixth eight ender, October 15, 2011

During the Saturday 10:30 a.m. draw of the Inaugural Southern Comfort Bonspiel, the rink of Lisa Andrew, Laura Barrantes, Dan Kennedy, and Doug Andrew scored an eight ender. They were down 4 after six ends, when in the seventh they scored the eight. Lisa mentioned, after the vice rocks had been thrown, that they had both hammer and the possibility of an eight ender. That was because they were sitting with six rocks in the house and only one opponent rock in the house, and that lonely red rock could be removed. The shot Dan called was for a guard but Doug threw heavy, the pro side error, and hit out the lone red. Team Spartacus atempted to steal, ticked a rock and spilled out the back. No red rocks were left in play. Doug’s last shot was fine, no sweeping required, just a draw to anywhere in the house. They went on to win the game over team Spartacus. This was Lisa’s second eight ender. The first was Mach 11, 2009 (above).

Lisa Andrew (lead), Laura Barrantes (second), Dan Kennedy (skip throwing vice rocks), Doug Andrew (vice throwing skip rocks)

Thanks to Melissa Fox’s for the cell phone picture above, and to Scott Edie for the second picture below.

(click the thumbnails for full size pictures)

The seventh eight ender, November 20, 2014.

Congratulations to Jay Davies, Matt Wiles, James Carr and Kathleen Carr, for scoring an 8-ender during Thursday League on November 20, 2014.

The Receiving End

Of course for every rink that scores eight ends, there is a receiving rink that has eight ends scored against them. Perhaps the most famous is the “Hal McGrady” shot. Hal’s rink was looking at seven opposing stones in the house. All he had to do was hog his final rock, but instead he hit the opponent’s guard and accidentally promoted it in to the house for the eighth rock. Legend has it that it was in Cleveland, but even Hal don’t really remember the location, just the shot to be forever known as a “Hal McGrady”..

Bob Pelletier’s rink was also on the receiving end of an eight ender, one time in Chesapeake during the mid-1980s. Chesapeake’s team of Wick Dudley, Chet Whitlock, Ross Roloson and Brett Shortall will certainly remember the day they defeated Bob Pelletier. .

The names of whomever was on the receiving end of John Bittner’s rink has been lost to posterity. Dave Thompson’s opposing team was skipped by Keith(?) Eckstein, but the rest of the rink has been forgotten. For obvious reasons all of the rest would prefer to remain anonymous, but we can’t let that happen, can we?

Rachel Beyerle (skip), Jeremy Vandenhouten, Amelia Avdic, & Dennis Avdic were the (un)lucky ones on Nov. 17, 2006.

Scott Fairley (skip), Bob Pursell, D. Baxter, and David Bykowski were the recipients on March 11, 2009.

Derek Stadnichuk (skip), D. Baxter (for the second time), and KC McGrath, a three person team, were on the wrong end on December 16, 2009.

Team Spartacus (2010 Olympic year members), Jeff Lee, Kim Belf, Mark Lawrence, and Greg Traub had the unfortunate experience on October 15, 2011.