Candace Wanechko of Team Wanechko lines up the shot for her team during a match against Team Nedohin in one of the four matches in the first draw of the Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts at the Leduc Recreation Centre (LRC) on Jan. 25. Team Nedohim ran away with the match, winning 14-2 in just seven ends. (QMI Agency)
A steal! A steal!
Candace Wanechko will take any moral victory she can, like any rookie would at the Alberta Scotties.
Even though the Ellerslie foursome got eliminated in three straight games, Wanechko still had a smile on her face when she walked off the ice.
Wanechko posted her first career steal in Friday morning's game against Desiree Owen and managed to avoid being the first team eliminated "¶ by two rocks.
"Definitely, we all came out here expecting to do good," said Wanechko. "We tried our best. We can just take what we learned and hope for next year."
Wanechko came out of nowhere to qualify for the Scotties with her B Event win in the northerns.
Her crew were basically club curlers when the season started. They decided to enter the Dominion playdowns, an event created for curlers who had minimal competitive playdowns experience.
When the team lost out in the Alberta final in November, they figured their combination may have a shot in the playdowns.
Walking into the Sobeys Arena turned out to be an experience in itself.
"I remember our first practice," said Wanechko. "We were quite amazed at how much the ice curled. Once the weekend progressed, we got used to it, we adjusted. It was just a learning experience.
"It was a big eye-opener for us."
There's no guarantee Wanechko can repeat her miracle run again, but having a chance to experience the atmosphere at this level makes her hungry for more.
Look out Edmonton Super League. Candace and her crew may be coming your way.
"We're definitely going to come back, play harder and go for it," said Wanechko. "We're going to try to get into more of a competitive league, practise a little more and try a few more things to get ready for next year."