EDMONTON - CAMROSE ó If nothing else, this Alberta Scotties has introduced a rising curling star.
Dana Ferguson, a hired- gun skip one year out of the University of Alberta, rode a steady hand to beat Desiree Owen of Grande Prairie 8-5 in one of Saturday's C Event finals.
Heather Nedohin drew the button in the other C final to edge Grande Prairie's Renee Sonnenberg 6-5.
"This is great," said Ferguson, who agreed to take over the team while regular skip Bobbie Sauder took this playdowns year off to have a baby.
"I'm always excited when I get off the ice," said Ferguson. "We have a lot of patience when we have hammer."
Not much was expected of this team, which qualified out of the B Event at the northerns in Fort Saskatchewan.
They were the No. 8 seed and in a similar situation of having the luxury of flying under the radar, much like 2010 champ Val Sweeting did.
"There's no pressure on us coming into this event," said third Kara Johnston.
"We're just out here to have fun and play well. Our goal was to have fun and win a couple of games. Yeah, we wanted to make the playoffs and we thought we had the lineup to do it. Dana's been playing great. She's been finishing it off for us, game after game."
Skipping is a fairly new experience for Ferguson, who took her team to the CIS championships as skip last year.
"I don't skip, so I'm having the time of my life," said Ferguson. "I was in the hack ready to throw my last one and I said, ‘I don't know if this gets any easier.'
"I'm still shaking. I love it. I get a real thrill out of throwing a good shot."
PEACE OUT: There's a bit more parity in Alberta women's curling and two teams from each of the province's three districts were alive at the start of Saturday's play.
"It's such a long way for us to travel compared to the Edmonton and Calgary teams, but we do what we can," said Sonnenberg.
"It was great to see two Peace teams (Sonnenberg and Desiree Owen) out there playing (Saturday), but obviously disappointing that not one of us could carry on.
"This whole week has been great for women's curling. You still have the veterans like Kleibrink and Bernard and I guess I could fall into that category now.
"Then you've got Owen, Ferguson, (Casey) Scheidegger, (Val) Sweeting and (Jessie) Kaufman.
"The young ones are coming up, so it's great for women's curling in Alberta"