RED DEER, ALTA. - Heather Nedohin has proven to be one determined skip.
Facing a win-and-you’re-in situation in the last game of the Scotties round-robin, Nedohin’s crew got into Saturday’s 3-4 game against Quebec’s Marie-France Larouche.
Nedohin made the most of her chances in a convincing 7-6 win over Nova Scotia’s Heather Smith-Dacey to finish the preliminary round at 7-4.
“I’m so thrilled, so excited and so proud of my team,” said Nedohin. “They played stellar all week. Our goal was to make it to the playoffs and Goal 1 accomplished.”
With her playoff future on the line, Nedohin put up one of her steadier performances of the week, minimizing misses on key shots.
“Great,” said Nedohin, rated at 84%. “Neither did the team. I thought we had a real solid week. We made a couple of misses throughout the week where the other teams capitalized on it and that’s our sport.
“We’re celebrating right now and the moment is we made the playoffs.”
This moment is something Nedohin’s been waiting for since she missed a playoff spot at the Prince George Scotties by one game.
“Right now, I’m over-the-top proud,” said Nedohin. “We made the playoffs and we did it in Alberta.”
Nedohin just missed out on a chance to play in the 1-2 game against Jennifer Jones. Had New Brunswick last-rock thrower Andrea Kelly been able to pick out Kelly Scott’s rock, Nedohin would have had the extra playoff life.
“To be honest, I don’t think our team has ever made it easy on ourselves, so we’re just keeping the faith like we normally do,” said Nedohin, accepting her fate. “Whatever team it would have been was great. We’re in the playoffs.”
Alberta lost a close decision to Quebec late in the round-robin right in the middle of Larouche’s hot streak.
If nothing else, after a long, hard week, Nedohin is looking forward to having Friday off as she gets ready for Saturday morning’s matchup.
“Well, look out Heart Stop Lounge,” said Nedohin. “Team Alberta’s having a round. Right now, we’re going to enjoy this moment. We’ll take a breather. We’ll be out practising.
“We just played 11 games. I think a day off is A-OK for my front end and A-OK for my back end.
All week, Nedohin has been pumping her supporting cast. It wouldn’t surprise anybody if at least two of her setup gals were named all-stars at Sunday’s closing banquet.
Based on the numbers, on paper this should have been a team that’s consistent enough to be a playoff team and is probably scrappy enough to make a good show of it.
There’s no question Nedohin’s supporting cast has picked up its game since arriving in Red Deer.
“At provincials, we had some rocky games up and down,” said third Beth Iskiw.
“By the end of the provincials, we definitely had a level of consistency. Here, we wanted to continue on and build on that. We definitely can play better.“
EXTRA ENDS: After Nedohin’s team went up 4-2 at the fifth-end break and the Maritime music started playing, fifth Amy Nixon broke into a jig. That may have been in honour of third Beth Iskiw and lead Laine Peters, transplanted Nova Scotians now playing for Alberta.