There really isn't much I can say about Alberta's win at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts that hasn't already been said. But let's quickly re-cap some of what Heather Nedohin and her crew went through on their way to their title win...
- the team struggled out of the gate, going 1-2 on opening weekend... many wondered if this team had what it took to even make the playoffs never mind win it all
- they flirted with the 500-mark all week long before winning both of their games on Thursday to claim the fourth and final playoff berth
- in the 3/4 playoff game Saturday morning vs. Quebec... Jessica Mair fell while sweeping only to have Laine Peters literally push her out of the way to avoid burning the shot
- we all saw the final measurement in the semifinal in which Nedohin beat out Jennifer Jones' shot rock by mere millimetres
- Mair had her stopwatch fly off her broom while sweeping during the final... luckily she was able to prevent it from touching the Alberta stone as it made it's way down the ice
- remarkably, Team Alberta avoid the devastating effects of the flu which ravaged a number of other teams!
A few things I really liked about Alberta's championship performance...
- they proved that one of my favorite theories does actually prove to be true at least once in a while... that all you have to do is make the playoffs and anything can happen
- the supporting cast of Laine Peters, Jessica Mair, and Beth Iskiw... outside of perhaps Team Manitoba... were the best crew throughout the entire Scotties. They were superb in every match and consistently set the table for Nedohin to come through with one of her big time shots when needed
- with their (specifically Heather's) use of some often colourful language... the Nedohin rink did what I consider a great job of representing our province... since that's what it sounds like at most local curling clubs anyway... s***balls... awesome!
Kudos to Chair Sherri Ryckman and her crew for doing a fabulous job of hosting the Scotties. Although they fell short of reaching their 100,000 attendance goal they came pretty darn close (the report for draw 22 has the final attendance listed at 94,997 but that number could end up being a bit higher). It ranks as the 5th-highest attendance total in the 31-year history of the event. Red Deer's '04 Scotties ranks second at over 115,000 fans.
Interesting note... as per Terry Jones' article in today's Edmonton Sun... the Canadian Curling Association is so impressed with Red Deer that they are now considering bringing the Brier back to our city. This was once considered to nothing more than a pipe dream after the infamous 'Redneck Brier' of 1994. But apparently it could actually happen as soon as in 2017. Stay tuned.
The clock continues to move closer to midnight for the Red Deer Rebels and their desperate chase for a WHL playoff spot.
After a 4-0 loss in Prince Albert and a 4-3 OT win in Saskatoon the Rebels still remain ten points back of the Brandon Wheat Kings for 8th in the Eastern Conference.
The Rebels have just 11 regular season games remaining.
They will receive a boost to their line up in the form of Conner Bleackley. His UFA Bisons were swept out of the AMHL playoffs over the weekend, making him available for duty. He will be in the line up for tomorrow night's game in Moose Jaw.
Speaking of Midget AAA... the Red Deer Optimist Rebels will take on the Calgary Buffaloes in second round playoff action starting tomorrow night...
Red Deer Optimist Rebels vs Calgary Buffaloes
G1 Feb 28 Red Deer Buffaloes Red Deer Arena 7:00 pm
G2 Mar 3 Buffaloes Red Deer South Fish Creek 6:45 pm
G3 4 Red Deer Buffaloes Red Deer Arena 3:00 pm
G4 7 Buffaloes Red Deer South Fish Creek 8:15 pm
G5 9 Red Deer Buffaloes Red Deer Arena 8:00 pm
Doomsday is also looming for the Bentley Generals. They lost twice in Horse Lake over the weekend... 3-0 and 6-3... and now trail the Chiefs in their best-of-seven Senior AAA provincial semifinal three games to one. The Gens six-year run as provincial champions is now in serious jeopardy. The winner of this series will take on the Stony Plain Eagles in the provincial final. The Eagles swept the Sylvan Lake Admirals 4-0 in the other semifinal series.
The Innisfail Eagles trail their Senior A/AA provincial series three games to none.
The Red Deer Vipers were knocked out of the Heritage Junior B playoffs by the Mountainview... who will battle the Blackfalds Wranglers in the North Division Final after the Wranglers knocked off Three Hills in the second round.
A pretty solid weekend for Red Deer College teams...
Kings Volleyball settled for silver... losing to Mount Royal in Saturday's ACAC Final... but they do still earn a spot at Nationals next month in Abbostford.
Queens Volleyball ended their season by winning bronze at Provincials in Medicine Hat.
Men's curling (Shane Parcells, Dawson Abraham, Stephen Hood and Dylan Hoarbeat) won gold at provincials while the women's team came in fourth.
Kings basketball swept their opening round playoff series... two games to none over Keyano College.
Queens Hockey trail their playoff series versus Mount Royal two games to none after a tough 5-4 overtime loss yesterday at the Red Deer Arena.