LEDUC, ALTA. - The Mighty Mouse has roared again.
Diminutive skip Jessie Kaufman earned a bye into Sunday’s 2 p.m. final of the Alberta Scotties with a hard-fought 6-3 win over Heather Nedohin.
“There’s nowhere else I’d like to be right now,” said Kaufman of the spot she’s sitting in. “It feels amazing.”
Kaufman pounced on a series of mistakes by her Saville Centre clubmate in the third end of Saturday’s A-B winners game, breaking a scoreless start with a trioka. She used that three-point advantage to fend off a Nedohin charge, salting the game away with a ninth-end steal when Nedohin’s slash double takeout attempt overcurled.
Kaufman said the was totally relaxed when she took to the ice.
“Really, calm, really relaxed, really focused,” is how she described her mood. “I have to admit, (Friday) morning when I woke up and realized we were in this spot and we still had a day and a half to wait, I was getting a little antsy, a little nervous.
“Working with our sports psych all day (Friday) and (Saturday) really calmed us down and we were ready to play.”
With that big of a layoff, Kaufman admitted she was somewhat surprised Nedohin didn’t go after her right away. Kaufman’s team were given the luxury of a couple of ends to get their ice legs back. And when they did, it didn’t take long for them to strike the killer blow.
“I figured it would be right off the hop she’d go for it,” said Kaufman. “It was nice. If there was any anxiety between us, we definitely got it out in the first two ends. We had good hits and were throwing them clean and got used to being out here again.”
It’s the second time in three days that Kaufman has beaten the 2000 Alberta champ. The Kaufman crew stretched its playdowns win streak to 10 games.
Nedohin drops back into Sunday’s 9:30 a.m. semifinal against Calgary’s Crystal Webster, who edged Val Sweeting 5-4 in the C winners game.
The winner will go on to meet a well-rested Kaufman.
“I’d have to say this is a real great place to be,” said Kaufman. “We have one game to focus on and that’s it. We’ll just come out here and play our best (Sunday).”
At the end of the day, somebody will be standing tall.
IN THE DARK: Like the rest of the players on the World Curling Tour, Kevin Martin remains in the dark about the status of future television coverage of the Grand Slam events.
When he arrived in Dawson Creek on Thursday for this weekend’s Grand Slam event, Martin talked with iSport Media and Management president Kevin Albrecht.
After CBC recently dropped coverage of the Grand Slam events, Albrecht issued a cryptic statement last week: “The final event of the season, the Players Championship in April, will have national television coverage but on another network.”
Since then, nobody’s been able to determine which network.
“I’m sure trying to find out,” said Martin Saturday, tuning up before his coronation as the 2012 Alberta men’s champion next month. “As far as I can figure it, its going ahead. It’s all happened so quick, it would be nice to be able to figure out.”
Although there had been speculation Sportsnet would haul in their cameras for the event in Charlottetown, that’s news to the network’s communications department.
An e-mail to the Sun stated: “I wanted to confirm that Sportsnet is not broadcasting the Grand Slam of Curling.”
“The two people who would know is Kevin Albrecht and the president of the network,” said Martin. “In the next couple of weeks, I’m sure it’ll come out.”