LETHBRIDGE, ALTA. - Seems like there’s no sense doing things the easy way.
Entering the last day of round-robin play at the women’s world curling championship, Heather Nedohin knew her team would be somewhere in the mix for a playoff spot.
After losing both draws Thursday, Nedohin assured herself she’ll have to do it the hard way again.
There’s never a good time for a team to go into the tank, especially when the next loss means sudden death. Nedohin and her Canadian crew were the authors of their own misfortune on that count.
Dropping a last-rock 6-5 decision to a Italy’s Diana Gaspari in the morning match was bad enough, but Nedohin totally lost her draw weight early on in a 9-3 loss to Scotland’s Eve Muirhead in the nightcap.
Neither opponent was in playoff contention.
“I wouldn’t be concerned at all,” said Nedohin, putting on a brave face. “Have you ever seen hungry Canadians? We’re feisty. We’ll be back.”
Nedohin shouldered the blame for both losses.
“I would say the skip didn’t show up today and I’ll be there tomorrow,” Nedohin said.
Nedohin will now take on red-hot U.S.A. skip Allison Pottinger in the 2 p.m. MT tiebreaker Friday afternoon. Pottinger has rattled off seven straight wins after dropping her first four games.
The winner goes on to meet South Korea in the Page 3-4 game Saturday at 1 p.m.
Sweden takes on Switzerland in the Page 1-2 game at 7 p.m. Friday night.
“I know we’re in the hunt,” Nedohin said. “Tomorrow I’m going to have a better day. I know I need to show up. If anybody needs to play well, it’s the person throwing the last shot. My performance was low. I’m very surprised that for two games I came out flat. It doesn’t happen to me and I’m looking forward to playing.”
The team was not particularly sharp with its setups Thursday and with the playoffs looming they need to find another level.
“I don’t think we had our A game,” Nedohin said. “I definitely think there’s more in our Canadian team to show up and play.”
Nedohin is finding out just how tough it is to represent the Maple Leaf and how much the opposition steps up its game when they face Canada.
“We always see teams that play well against us,” Nedohin said. “They’ve put some pressure shots. More than anything, I’m going to emphasize that we’re going to have to play better and your skip has to make shots to win.”
In any event, Nedohin is used to taking the tough route. She did it at the Scotties after ending up in the 3-4 game and she’s taking an even more treacherous route now having to play a tiebreaker this time.
Third Beth Iskiw believes the team can turn its game around.
“We have a lot of faith and trust in our ability and teamwork and we’re pretty determined,” Iskiw said. “I think we have enough fire under us.
“Going forward, we want to take advantage when we have a chance and really put it to the other teams.
“Typically, we’ve been able to come through at the end of the game and really put it together.”
There was nothing typical about this finish.
“It is what it is an tomorrow’s a brand new day,” Iskiw said. “We’re a great team in the playoffs. We’re a good team but we just came out a bit flat. I don’t think anything went wrong. We just had an off-day. Tomorrow’s a new day. We’ve had flat days like that and we bounce back real quickly.”