Twice on Ice!
Alberta goes back-to-back as U-18 girls champion
Usually a curling team with a five point lead in a championship game might sense the victory was in hand.
But Alberta’s Myla Plett doesn’t skip most teams.
“It was a lot closer in my mind than it was on the scoreboard, all game,” said Plett, who led New Brunswick’s Melodie Forsythe 6-1 after five ends. “Until we took the four in the sixth end, I just kept thinking that a team can come back from being down five or six, so I wanted to stick to my game.”
That focus to the mission at hand – and of course the steal of four in the sixth end – propelled Plett, third Alyssa Nedohin, second Chloe Fediuk, and lead Allie Iskiw to a 10-1 win, and a gold medal at the 2023 U-18 Canadian Curling Championships.
This was the second consecutive title for Plett, Nedohin, and Fediuk, who won last year’s U-18 national championship in Oakville, Ont. last May.
“It’s so unbelievable,” said Nedohin. “I knew that we had to work hard, because we knew we’d have a target on our back. It’s hard to believe what just happened.”
Alberta opened the game with hammer and blanked a fairly clean first end. After taking two in the second, they stole the third as well by leaving New Brunswick’s Forsythe with no chance to score. After a great draw by Forsythe secured a point for her team in the fourth, Alberta stepped on the gas and scored three in the fifth and four more in the sixth. New Brunswick conceded the victory with the scoreboard reading 10-1.
“We just stuck to our game,” said Plett. “The communication was good. We did a good job of figuring out the ice, and we tried to keep the attitude light out there.”
“We always said that we were nervous going into every game,” said Nedohin. “We put so much work into this season, and we knew that we had to work that much harder this year, if we were going to achieve this goal. We knew we had to put everything into it.”
In the bronze medal game, Nova Scotia #1’s Sophie Blades beat Quebec #2’s Anne-Sophie Gionest in equally convincing fashion. Quebec also conceded after six with a 13-2 loss.
The 42-team event hosted by the McIntyre Curling Club and Community Centre in Timmins brought together more than 170 curlers from across the country, along with family, friends, and supporters.
Pegged by Curling Canada as a developmental event, it’s safe to say this experience will shape the curling careers of some of the young athletes who participated.
“When you first come to nationals, it’s very intimidating seeing other provinces that we’ve never played before,” said Nedohin. “We know the Alberta teams, and how they play, what they call. We know each other so well… but getting to experience different provinces and other players and how they play; it really prepares us for the next step and the nerves of going to another national championship.
Nedohin, who takes off for Canada Winter Games in less than a week, is excited to build on the experience.
“When we go to our next championship, we’re going to be able to know what to expect and treat it like we’ve done it before.”
Twice, in fact.