Nedohin breaks American streak
By CON GRIWKOWSKY, QMI Agency
|U.S. skip Allison Pottinger shouts to her teammates to sweep during their tiebreaker game against Canada at the World Women's Curling Championships in Lethbridge, Alta., March 23, 2012. (ANDY CLARK/Reuters)
LETHBRIDGE, ALTA. - They came into the game as the hottest team in the world women's curling championship.
Allison Pottinger had skipped the U.S. squad into the tiebreaker against Canada riding high on a seven-game winning streak.
Apparently, all good things must come to an end and that's what happened to the Americans in their 9-8 loss Friday to Canada's Heather Nedohin.
Pottinger's fate was sealed in the second end when she was unable to recover after giving up a four-spot.
After a fortunate roll by Canada's Beth Iskiw, Pottinger's attempted takeout overcurled. Then, she hit nothing but air with her last shot, allowing Nedohin an easy draw for four.
"I don't know that there were nerves at play -- it was just that the ice was moving a bit more," said Pottinger, who was born in Brampton, Ont., and based in St. Paul, Minn.
"My first shot was the first one that sets it up where we curl just a bit much. All I had to do is be somewhere in the eight-foot. Then we're probably in good shape. It overcurled ... not enough broom.
"Same thing, broom placement on my second one. We needed more ice. I can't throw that in-turn that hard and make the double."
Pottinger tried to set up a steal in the eighth end but again was unable to find the range, giving up a crucial deuce.
"We could have hit and sit three, but we're not even in the four-foot with that one," said Pottinger, who decided to tuck one behind a corner guard. "Not that you can't be deep, which we proved, but we felt we had to steal. We took the risk, tried to draw under. I didn't think I threw that kind of weight and it just kept sliding."
The Americans will go home with nothing more than good memories and a bunch of confidence that they can play with the best in the world.
Despite a couple of recent podium finishes, on top of a gold medal in 2003, the U.S. came into this week as the No. 8-ranked curling nation in the world. That's sure to be upgraded after Pottinger's performance this week.
"We learned a bunch about ourselves as a team this week," Pottinger said. "We're real gritty. We want to come back and we want to do better. That's what's going to keep us fired up for the next couple of years."
If the worlds had all-star teams, all four of the team members -- from Pottinger to third Nicole Joraanstad, second Natalie Nicholson and lead Tabitha Peterson -- would have been selected.
"I'm incredibly proud of the girls," Pottinger said. "It was not them who let us down."