Alberta 6 Manitoba 5
For a Scotties Tournament of Hearts semifinal, this was one for the ages and definitely not for the faint of heart.
The Saturday early evening encounter was decided on a measure . . . in an extra end . . . with the eventual winning team and the gathering of 5,643 at the Enmax Centrium wondering if Heather Nedohin’s last-rock draw to the foor-foot was indeed a hair heavy, as the overhead camera seemed to suggest.
But the measure, and then a second measure, determined that Nedohin’s stone had a smidgeon more of the four-foot than the rock belonging to Jennifer Jones and her Manitoba foursome.
The result was a 6-5 win for Alberta and a spot in today’s 1:30 p.m. championship final with Kelly Scott and her B.C. crew.
“When I heard Laine (Alberta lead Peters) say my split (time), I thought that I would be back four-foot,” said Nedohin.
“Honestly, from the overhead I didn’t think it was us. Obviously from the measure it was that close, but I didn’t think it was us.”
And when the final call was made . . .
“I didn’t see it actually, I was in Amy’s (fifth Nixon’s) arms already,” said Nedohin. “She shook her head and said, ‘no, I don’t think it’s us’. I said ‘neither do I’, and then she goes ‘Heather, it’s us’.
“I just jumped into her arms and then she said ‘they’re re-measuring’ and I said ‘I can’t handle this’. And then I heard the crowd and I was on Amy’s shoulder.”
And then, finally, the Alberta skip was able to revel in the moment. It was awesome. I’m in shock right now,” said Nedohin. “I’m going to enjoy this . . . that roar of the crowd was pretty sweet.
“I’m so proud of the team. We battled against the number one seed in Canada. We played hard, and good on us.”
Alberta trailed 3-1 after four ends, but struck for three in the fifth when Jones was unable to execute a hit-and-roll and left her stone exposed for an open hit by Nedohin. From there, Manitoba scored one in the seventh to pull even at 4-4, gave up a single in the eighth and following a blank ninth end had to settle for one point in the 10th.
Jones had an outside chance of putting up a deuce for the win in the 10th, but her angle-raise to a small share of the button was heavy.
“It’s disappointing, but she (Nedohin) made a great draw to win,” said Jones, a three-time Scotties champion and the 2008 world champ. “It was an exciting game, it came down to a measure.
“I thought we played better in the second half. We fought to win the game but it just wasn’t meant to be today.”
All four members of the Manitoba squad were named to the 2012 Scotties first all star team based on their round-robin statistics. Yet Jones and her supporting cast, after finishing first in the round robin with a 9-2 record, came up short when it counted most, losing to B.C. in Friday’s 1-2 Page playoff and then again in the semifinal.
“We just didn’t play as well as we wanted to (Friday and Saturday) but we had a great week and I’m really happy with how we performed in the round robin,” said Jones.
“We were just a little flat in the playoffs, which is uncharacteristic for us. Hopefully we’ll learn from it and move on.” The loss put Jones into today’s 8:30 a.m. bronze-medal game versus Quebec.
The championship game, which will follow, promises to be a battle but will be hard-pressed to match the excitement of the semifinal.
However . . .
“If it’s anything like today, tune in people, because it’s going to be dramatic, it’s going to be good,” said Nedohin.
“I expect the same from Kelly and her girls, with rocks in play. This is the final and I wouldn’t expect nothing from the best from both teams.”