Alberta’s Nedohin advances to semi-final

It ended with a near-miss for Marie-France Larouche but, otherwise, Saturday’s mid-day Page Three-Four sudden-death playoff match at the Scotties Tournament Of Hearts always seemed heavily weighted toward the home-province entry. Alberta’s Heather Nedohin guided her Edmonton team to a 7-4 conquest of Quebec, cracking three deuces during the match while Larouche never was able to mount a multiple score. The Albertans out-curled their adversary 85-76 in team percentage with Nedohin outpointing Larouche on last rocks by 87-70.

Heather Nedohin at the 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. (Photo by: Andrew Klaver)

“I think we need to work on the beginning of our games,” said Larouche, who was directing a brand new team this season. “I think we have to be more ready at the beginning. “It was very disappointing because we know we are able to beat this team. But we don’t play our best game today so we lost.” Quebec defeated Alberta during the Scotties round-robin preliminaries. Nedohin, with third Beth Iskiw, second Jessica Mair and lead Laine Peters, moved on to the championship semi-final later in the day. The Quebec team will play the loser of the semi in a bronze-medal argument Sunday at 8:30 a.m. “Brenda (third Nicholls) wants her jewelry so we’ll try to win that because a bronze medal for us is big,” said Larouche, a phys-ed teacher. “I think that, for sure, we’ll be ready for that.(Continued Below…) Page Playoff 3 vs 4 Photos
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“When you are out there you want to win but when you look at the whole week, there was no disappointment at all. And if we can win bronze tomorrow that would be a very great win for us.” Her team of Nicholls, Amelie Blais and Marie-Anne Filtreau was put together this season after Larouche failed for the only time in six Scotties visits to reach the playoff round at Charlottetown. Will the team stay together? “We’ll try because we love each other and I think we make a great team,” said Larouche. “But we don’t know yet because there may be babies. “I would like to have another baby. But maybe I can talk with my teammates and just say, ‘maybe later’. “I don’t know how it’s going to be next year but if I play, for sure it will be with this team.” Larouche missed a last-rock double takeout for an opening three-ender and settled for one. That set a trend that saw the Quebec skip score mostly near-misses. After a blank second end, Alberta deuced in the third. Larouche nosed trying to blank the fourth and Alberta fashioned another pair in the fifth for a 4-2 advantage. (Continued Below…) Page Playoff 3 vs 4 Media Scrum

Quebec never was able to recover but the team came close, squaring the account after eight ends. Larouche was forced to one in the sixth, Nedohin blanked the seventh but was an inch light trying to bump a Larouche counter off the button in the eighth. Another deuce in the ninth lifted the Alberta troops and deflated the Quebeckers. Larouche was heavy there on a four-foot bury attempt. Alberta stashed two in the four-foot again on the home end and Larouche’s only last-rock alternative was to attempt a long angle-raise double-kill. It was close, but she left one Alberta stone counting. “There’s was a bit of drama there,” admitted Nedohin. “You know what? On her last shot it looked decent coming in there but, obviously, it was an extremely difficult shot.”