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The Road to Red Deer: Alberta Update

She came close last year, but this year Heather Nedohin was not to be denied.

By claiming the Alberta Scotties women’s curling championship with a convincing 8-5 final game victory over Jessie Kaufman on Sunday, January 29 in Leduc, Nedohin and her Edmonton Saville Sports Centre team of Beth Iskiw, Jessica Mair and Laine Peters instantly became home-province fan favourites for the 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, when it’s held in Red Deer from February 18-26.

She's going back to the Scotties: Heather Nedohin in action at the 2011 Capital One Canada Cup of Curling (Photo Michael Burns)

After losing the provincial final in 2011 to Shannon Kleibrink, Nedohin led her team to this year’s title by qualifying out of B Event play. Jessie Kaufman and her Saville Sports Centre team of Nicky Kaufman, Amanda-Dawn Coderre and Stephanie Enright had beaten Nedohin earlier in the A Event final to qualify. Val Sweeting, also of the Saville Sports Centre and Crystal Webster of Calgary’s Glencoe Curling Club claimed the last two playoff spots by qualifying out of the C Event.

In the first round of page playoff games, Webster ended Sweeting’s hopes by using the hammer in the tenth end to score a 5-4 victory in the 3 vs. 4 contest, while Kaufman moved directly to Sunday’s final game by scoring a 3 in the third end, 2 in the eighth and stealing 1 in the ninth in downing Nedohin in the 1 vs. 2 matchup.

In the Sunday morning semi-final against the Webster rink of Erin Carmody, Geri-Lynn Ramsay and Samantha Preston, Team Nedohin trailed 5-3 after eight ends before scoring 1 in the ninth and then stealing singles in the tenth and eleventh for the 6-5 win. The team’s championship dreams remained intact as they headed to the Sunday afternoon final game showdown with Jessie Kaufman.

Heather Nedohin won the Canadian women’s curling championship, then known as the Scott Tournament of Hearts, in 1998, as vice for Cathy King who was then known as Cathy Borst.

The 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts takes place February 18-26 at Westerner Park in Red Deer, Alberta.