Quebec stays hot; Holland bounces back big

It was steal-and-steal alike at the Enmax Centrium in Draw 13 of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Red Deer Wednesday afternoon. Two of the hottest teams in the draw, Quebec’s Marie-France Larouche, coming off two wins Tuesday, took on home-province favourite Heather Nedohin, who not only won her two games Tuesday, she picked up another this morning against Saskatchewan’s Michelle Englot. Quebec stole singles in one, two and three.

Marie-France Larouche tosses a rock during Draw 13 of the 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. (Photo by Andrew Klaver)

Touché, said Nedohin, who stole two in four, one in five, and another in six and held a 4-3 lead heading into seven. Larouche would blank seven, take one in eight and forced the Albertans to take one in nine leaving Quebec down one with hammer coming home. “I don’t mind giving up steals of one when I’m looking at a chance for three or four, I’m going to be greedy every time,” said Nedohin, whose voice seemed less strained today. As has been the case for the past few days, Larouche and her crew have had draw weight in the hip pocket and did again today, leaving Nedohin two options with her last shot facing to Quebec counters. It looked like there was a thin double which at worst might have sent the game to an extra end, but Nedohin says she agreed with third Beth Iskiw’s call that the shot wasn’t there. (Continued Below…) Draw 13 Photos
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Instead she tried to draw around the junk to outcount at least one, but her rock moved over quickly and on top of rocks up front and the win was Quebec’s, 6-5. The grasp of the draw weight has definitely turned this team’s fortunes around, says Larouche. “I think so, and I practised yesterday after our game because I was not very happy with my technique, so I just practised a little bit and today it worked.” The win raised Larouche’s record to 5-3. They return to the ice tonight at 7:30 p.m. against Saskatchewan (4-4). The loss drops Alberta to 5-4. They have the night off. “We still control our own destiny going into the last day, so it’s thumbs up, that’s what we were looking for,” said Nedohin. Canada’s Amber Holland came off two sloppy losses in a row and unleashed curling wrath on Kim Dolan’s P.E. Islanders. After three it was 6-0. Dolan responded with a deuce in four to make it 6-2, but Holland turned around and put another three on the board and with the score 10-4, it was handshakes in eight. “We were very happy with our execution today,” said Holland, who says her team is looking forward the night off to put their feet up. “Feet are sore,” she laughs. The team was without second Tammy Schneider once again, another victim of the bug. Holland couldn’t put her finger on the reason for the turn around in execution from the past two games to this one. “I don’t think there’s a short answer, there’s never a short answer. We were a lot more loose this game, we kind of knew we were at the end of our four-in-a- row ‘cause everything is getting a little tired. So you’re out their focusing on the rocks and hitting the broom the right way,” she said.(Continued Below…) Draw 13 Media Scrum

The win lifted Canada to 6-3. They are off tonight. The loss dropped P.E.I. to 2-6. They are part of an east-coast clash tonight when they take on Heather Smith-Dacey’s Nova Scotians (3-5). B.C.’s Kelly Scott rebounded from a tough last-rock loss this morning against Manitoba’s Jennifer Jones, in trouble and in tough against the Territories’ Kerry Galusha (B.C. was down 5-2 heading into five), she put up a three-spot in five and then reeled off six more in the next four en route to a 11-6 win. “Yeah, it was a good day, we had a great game this morning and this game, scoreboard wise, we were battling for a few ends there but the girls played great,” she said. B.C. will now enjoy a much-needed night off, the bug running through their camp once again sidelining third Sasha Carter, after it appeared she was over her illness Tuesday. They are now 6-3. Scott was uncertain about Carter’s status and what the lineup will look like moving forward other than to say if Carter can play, feels well enough to go, she’ll go. “She’s worked so hard, she’s earned the right to make that call,” she said. No rest for the Territories, who have also been decimated by illness this week. They get the Manitobans tonight. In the other tilt, Ontario’s Tracy Horgan keeps hanging around at five losses. They raised their record to 4-5 with a tidy 7-4 win over Newfoundland/Labrador. “I think we had better execution today, our numbers were all up, we had a couple close games and we are happy the way it’s played out,” said Horgan. Ontario is off tonight, while Heather Strong’s crew (2-6) will play New Brunswick.