Measure for measure, it was the best game on the ice Sunday afternoon in front of packed Enmax Centrium in Red Deer at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts for Draw 4.
Manitoba champ and event fave Jennifer Jones was 2-0 coming into play and facing the home-province’s Heather Nedohin who was 0-1, having lost her opening draw to the Territories.
It was a see-saw affair. Nedohin had Jones on the ropes early forcing her to draw for one against four stones in the second after a first-end blank.
In the third end, after some early-end misses by the Manitobans, Nedohin was left with a hit for four, but in the first of two measures in the contest, Jones outcounted the fourth Alberta marker and Nedohin settled for three.
“She didn’t leave us much of a shot there, a draw or a hit, we’re actually pretty fortunate we didn’t give up four there,” said Jones.
Nedohin then forced Jones to another single in four, then blanked five, before scoring her deuce in six to go up 5-2 and take control of the game.
The teams exchanged deuces in seven and eight (Nedohin got the measure there) and Jones put the pressure on with another deuce in the ninth.
But Nedohin, up one with hammer coming home, left Jones a soft bump on her last shot and she could not outcount an Alberta stone biting the button. Hence Nedohin’s last rock was unnecessary in an 8-6 win.
“I thought the team, as a whole, curled solid all game. Anytime we had an opportunity, we tried to capitalize on that,” said Nedohin.
“Jennifer has her draw weight, she typically does, so we knew we had to take advantage of our chances.”
“If you have her facing three or four of your colour, obviously that’s a good thing.(Continued Below…)
Draw 4 Photos
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Despite the setback, Jones is happy with where her team is now.
“They (Nedohin) curled really well, and overall, I’m happy with the way we played. Still, we’re 2-1, so we’re happy with that.”
“They played great, it was a really fun game to play, lots of rocks in play.”
Canada’s Amber Holland stayed unbeaten with a 6-5 win over Rebecca Atkinson of New Brunswick, but it looked like it would be easier than it turned out.
Holland came out of the gate with a steal of two, forced a single, then scored another deuce in the third for a 4-1 lead.
Queue the comeback for the New Brunswickers — scoring one in five, stealing another in six, forcing a Canada single in seven, then scoring one and stealing another to force Holland to break a 5-5 tie with coming home.
The Canadian champ made no mistake running her record to 2-0, with a marquee matchup on tap later today when she plays Alberta.
New Brunswick was 1-2.
“We didn’t execute real well towards the end of the game and let them come back,” said Holland. “Kudos to Andrea (N.B. last-rocker Kelly) though. She played some great shots and positioned the rocks really well.” (Continued Below…)
Draw 4 Media Scrum
For Nova Scotia’s Heather Smith-Dacey, last year’s bronze medallist, the week has barely started and it’s already become a long one. The Bluenoser dropped to 0-3, missing several shots along the way in a 10-3 thrashing at the hands of Tracy Horgan of Ontario who is at 2-0.
It was handshakes in eight.
Despite being a rookie skip, Horgan says nerves haven’t been a big factor.
“I think we’re just getting a lot more comfortable here and we’re playing well,” she said.
“The (N.S.) are a great team for sure with a lot of experience. I think we were able to put some early pressure on in certain situations and it worked out for us.”
The other contest featured two crews expected to factor this week — Saskatchewan’s Michelle Englot and B.C.’s Kelly Scott, both undefeated going in.
The game went back and forth with teams matching deuces and singles along the way. Scott was down one with the hammer coming home and managed to put up a three-spot and a 10-8 win.
“No team was out of it throughout the game, and last night’s game was kind of the same,” said Scott.
“But we made some real quality shots at the end. I always like coming home with the hammer and I thought the team set up the deuce (three) nicely,” she said, adding the swing on the ice remained consistent but had a little more slide late today requiring a weight adjustment.
She’s 2-0 and on the ice against Horgan in Draw Five while Saskatchewan has the night off.
Nearly 5,200 people were on hand for the afternoon draw marked by the annual Sandra Schmirler Foundation telethon. Four-draw total attendnance was 18,764.