Since 1982, Alberta has won the Scotties Tournament of Hearts a total of one time. The year was 1998. The 90s. It’s been a while since a province with so much pride and love for the sport of curling has been able to truly cheer. Yes, we’re all patriots, but come on, we love our province. And Alberta can stand tall as Heather Nedohin has won the 2012 Scotties.
Her main supporter and husband David Nedohin, a former Men’s Team Alberta member, four-time Brier winner, and three-time Men’s World Curling Champion is likely the proudest.
“This is some of the best curling that I’ve seen in the Scotties for a long time, and the whole team was absolutely on fire. They’re completely fearless”
The newly-crowned Team Canada Skip Heather agrees.
“I am so proud of my team, I thought our composure was outstanding,” she exclaimed. “We held our composure and I think we took the energy from the crowd and just kept going with it.”
There’s no doubt the locals helped with her spirit not just early but throughout the tournament. “No matter whether we were on the ice or off the ice, people are just saying ‘Keep it going, believe in yourself, we’re behind you.’
“And what else do you do, just keep trusting yourself and I think it showed. I’m going to say I think we were all-stars.”
Curling an 87% most would agree they did play like all-stars. B.C.’s team skip feels it wasn’t their day. “You can’t say they were a better team or we were a better team, it’s just who played better today and that was them.”
The entire tournament, B.C.’s rink was strong finishing the round robin play at 8-3. They defeated Manitoba in the first vs. second draw. That put B.C. in the final.
But being in the final is not enough, says Kelly Scott. “We’re very disappointed in how we came to play today.”
The game was close but really it was in the sixth end where Heather gained a three point lead, on a shot that was really tight and ill advised by her husband David. When Heather heard he didn’t think she should take the shot, her response was
“What does he know,” she joked.
The almost 6,000 in attendance erupted. The attendance for the entire Scotties tournament was actually well attended according to Sheri Ryckman, the Scotties chair.
“Although the weather didn’t cooperate and there were no tie-breakers. We do have the fifth overall attendance in Scotties history and it’s something to be very proud of. So Red Deer has number two and five. I’m very happy.”
Heather is also very happy, mainly to play in Red Deer, her sweet spot when it comes to winning. She won the world junior title in Red Deer in 1996. “Red Deer is always a warm spot for us and it will always be.”
And the crowd loved her. Not only because she is from Alberta, but also because she is easily the most animated women’s curler out there. She’s notorious for using an expression that’s more appropriate to describe rabbit droppings.
She makes no apologies. “That’s who I am, I’m an intense player with emotions. I don’t think I hold anything back.”
Of course playing in a nationally televised event, Heather has learned to keep her emotions going, and her language PG.
“It’s humour. It is what it is. I don’t mean to offend anybody. I don’t know what to say. Now I say sugar balls because I know my girls are watching.”
Heather now goes onto Lethbridge to play in the world championships March 17th – 25th. Alberta and Canadian pride will shift to another area in Alberta but hopefully a world title stays here.