Thursday, February 23, 2012

Scotties Playoffs Looming, Rebels Heading East

Heather Nedohin says she wanted to be in a position to control her own destiny heading into the final day of round-robin action at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

To a certain extent she has done just that. Alberta sits at 5-4 (tied with New Brunswick) after splitting their games on Wednesday (9-8 win over Sask, 6-5 loss to Que). Manitoba leads at 7-2. BC, Canada, and Quebec are 6-3. That means Nedohin and crew likely need to win both of their games today to at the very least make it to a tiebreaker.

And the opportunity is definitely there for Alberta to do just that as they take on a pair of sub-500 teams today (2-7 Newfoundland at 8:30am and 4-5 Nova Scotia tonight at 7:30).

The key to success really will be the play of Nedohin. All three of her teammates are tied for either first or second when it comes to shooting percentage for their respective positions. Nedohin continues to hover in the top five or six.

Total Scotties attendance heading into Thursday - 55,114. An average of 3937 per draw (you can expect that average to spike this weekend)


Had a chance to speak with Jesse Wallin yesterday to get a quick Rebels update.

They practice once more today before heading out on a four game road trip through Saskatchewan...

Friday - at Prince Albert
Saturday - at Saskatoon
Tuesday - at Moose Jaw
Wednesday - at Regina

There isn't much of an update to the team's injury situation overall, but there is good news regarding Adam Kambeitz. The Rebels Captain is ahead of schedule with his recovery from a high ankle sprain suffered on January 27 vs. Tri-City. Kambeitz was expected to start skating again yesterday and will accompany the Rebels on their road trip. He won't play in any of the four games, but the fact that he is skating and travelling again is a big step for this club.

Other notes from the sick bay... Kayle Doetzel's recovery from broken ribs is unfortunately taking longer than first hoped. The rookie defenceman will not be going to Saskatchewan and is still another week or two from being ready to return to game action. Bartosak, Borejko, Mayor, Hamilton and Weller are all out with their various long-term ailments.

That means that once again the Rebels will try to call on some of their prospects to fill out their roster. It's a tricky time of year for that as midget teams everywhere are entering league playoffs. For example... Conner Bleackley, who has already played his 15-year-old maximum of five games with the Rebels, starts AMHL playoffs with the UFA Bisons. Scott Feser and the Red Deer Optimist Rebels have a bye this weekend, but Feser has only one potential game left to play for the Rebels, so we've potentially seen the last of him with the big club this season (the Optimists are in good shape to make a run at the provincial title and a Telus Cup appearance).

Dexter Bricker, Trace Elson, Haydn Fleury are potentially available to play. Elson is most likely to slide in as his St. Albert midget team is off this weekend. In fact, Wallin says they are already making arrangements to have him play Friday and Saturday.

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