Nedohin breaks into playoffs
Canada skip Heather Nedohin (centre) watches the line of her shot as teammates Jessica Mair (left) and Laine Peters sweep during their tiebreaker game against the U.S. at the World Women's Curling Championships in Lethbridge, Alta., March 23, 2012. (ANDY CLARK/Reuters)
Heather Nedohin delivered on her promise.
After losing twice Thursday to end the round-robin portion of the world women's curling championship, Nedohin was quick to take the rap.
In the same breath, she said she would show up for Friday's tiebreaker game against the U.S.
And, so she did.
The Canadian skip was much sharper in the 9-8 tiebreaker win over Allison Pottinger of the U.S., and was full value for her 95% rating. Nobody in the lineup shot below 92% and the team graded out at 93%.
"The team as a whole played solid," Nedohin said. "The one thing I took away from all the e-mails and texts I got (Thursday) night is keep believing. We believed."
When the entire foursome came out blazing, it made Nedohin's job that much easier.
"I didn't have a good day on Thursday," she said. "I didn't show up. I just said I needed to play well (in the tiebreaker).
"As a whole, the team played really well. I had opportunities to make shots and I thought we nailed them as a team."
Nedohin's crew is in exactly the same spot it was in when it made a charge to win the Scotties.
The Canadians now advance to Saturday's 3-4 Page playoff game Saturday afternoon against a tricky Korean team.
"I found last time we were playing them, I literally had to go shot by shot," Nedohin said. "You can't anticipate what they might do, because they're not going to do what I think is typical strategy. They freeze to everything, they come around. It means we have to be much more precise."
Nedohin showed an uncanny ability to shake off a bad day -- in fact she even managed a little booty shake, dancing to the music before the decisive second end.
"There were a lot of good two-stepping songs out there," she said. "I was enjoying them. We were flowing out there as a unit and we were having some fun."
Even the bad moments turned to good. When third Beth Iskiw cracked a guard on a come-around attempt, it came to rest at a perfect angle in front of a U.S. stone on the opposite side of the house.
A couple of misses by Pottinger gave Nedohin a four-ender, a margin the U.S. was unable to overcome.
"When you get a four early, that ticks your heart and you just go whoof, OK," Nedohin said. "It's hard to maintain a lead, but four is a nice number in that end."
Second Jessica Mair was still battling effects of the flu Thursday and was happy she was able to bounce back in the tiebreaker, shooting 94%.
"It feels like the old team is back," Mair said. "We all put it together at once instead of one (person) at a time."
One bonus in making the final four is the fact Nedohin has now moved much closer to nailing down an Olympic trials berth. Nedohin moved into the No. 2 spot in the CTRS rankings earlier in the week and will solidify her trials chances with every win.
"We've positioned ourselves very well," Nedohin said. "What we do know is we have things in our own hands. If we accomplish our first goal (winning the worlds), that gets us closer to our second goal (Olympic trials). Absolutely."
First, though, Nedohin must fend off her rivals at the Players Championship in Summerside, P.E.I. next month.