March 19, 2012
Canada falters, but stays on top
By CON GRIWKOWSKY, QMI Agency
LETHBRIDGE, ALTA. - It was pretty certain that Heather Nedohin and her Canadian rink would lose a game at some point in the women's world curling championship.
After starting off with four straight wins, living off their pressure game that caused several opposition miscues, the inevitable happened.
The Nedohin suffered her first loss, a 9-7 extra-end decision to Lene Nielsen of Denmark in Monday's evening draw.
The loss dropped Canada’s record to 4-1 and into a three-way tie for first place with Korea and Sweden. Canada faces Sweden Tuesday night.
“We’ve got room for improvement, but it’s only Monday,” Nedohin said. “To have a split, we thought a split yesterday would have been good. So, we split today. We knew we weren’t going to go undefeated. I thought we battled and showed great character.”
Nedohin was unable to overcome an early 3-0 deficit after Nielsen stole singles in the third and fourth ends.
“It’s so funny,” Nedohin said. “It’s just a matter of inches. I was just a little deep on my one draw (in three) or else we were tied. That got us behind the eight-ball.”
Nedohin struggled with her weight control, missing another shot heavy later in the game, something that seemed to perplex her.
“I usually own the four-foot to the button,” Nedohin said. “Honestly, I surprised myself. I always make those, but I guess now not always.”
If nothing else, Nedohin once again proved there’s no quit in this Canadian crew. Neilsen had to make her last shot for the win after Nedohin made a great tap-back to lie shot.
Adding to Team Canada’s woes, second Jessica Mair pulled herself from the match in the seventh end after feeling sick. She was replaced by fifth Amy Nixon, who accounted for herself well shooting 98% in her brief appearance.
Earlier in the day, Nedohin did her Houdini impression when she escaped with an 8-7 win over Linda Klimova of the Czech Republic.
After surrendering a five-spot, Nedohin charged back with eight consecutive points, including six on steals to complete the improbable win.
“We’ve been looking at the way we’ve been starting our last few games and I would say we’re coming slow out of the gate,” Nedohin said. “So, I think we had to get mean there. We’re going to call it a Mean Monday because it looked nasty until five.”
Nedohin has seen a pattern of slow starts in which she has had to bail out her team.
“You look at the last few games, if I don’t make the shots we’re giving up two or three — five today.”
Now that Canada has five games under its belt, Nedohin is going to expect more.
“You’re going to see a different team out here — in the second end in particular,” Nedohin said.
A series of miscues in the second end by the Canadians, including a clear-out flash by Nedohin with her last rock, gave Klimova what looked to be a commanding 5-0 lead.
“I don’t know what happened,” Nedohin said. “I’d like to say I didn’t throw it that bad. It was a fresh spot. There definitely was more curl out there today.
“After that, it’s all about how you respond. We responded the way I’d like to see a team respond.”
Unfortunately, Nedohin and her team were unable to build on that momentum in the night game.
“We know we've got areas to improve on but we got tough," Nedohin said. "We've got to (be) grinding it out on every shot and be more precise. Sometimes it isn't pretty, but I like our work ethic as we don't give up.”