I was originally planning to write on the contrast between two of the contending teams at the 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. That contrast that had existed between Alberta and Team Canada up until yesterday. But I think I can still get my original thought across...
Heading into Tuesday's games Alberta had been receiving stellar play from the three supporting players (Lead - Laine Peters, Second - Jessica Mair, Third - Beth Iskiw) while Skip Heather Nedohin battled with inconsistency.
But that changed on what Nedohin referred to as "Turnaround Tuesday." She was superb in back to back wins, 7-4 over BC and 10-5 over PEI, as Alberta improved its record to 4-3. Nedohin's personal shooting only improved by three percent, from 76 to 79, but she climbed from sixth to third amongst all skips for the week.
One of the two skips she still trails when it comes to shooting percentage is Amber Holland. Team Canada came into yesterday with a 4-1 record thanks almost exclusively to her clutch play, leading the pack at 81%. (After Tuesday's games... Jennifer Jones leads skips at 83% while Holland sits second at 79%).
The big difference between Team Canada and Alberta... the supporting cast. Most notably, Kim Schneider has had plenty of ups and downs and sits 8th amongst thirds at 77%. Tammy Schneider (battling through a knee injury on her sliding leg) is 5th among seconds, and Heather Kalenchuk is 5th among leads.
That brings me back to my original thought... As a team, Alberta is now second only to Manitoba... curling at 83% for the week (Manitoba - 85%). Team Canada is fifth at 79%. You have to think that as the week rolls on Alberta would have the advantage based solely on overall team play.
Another big story at this week's Scotties is the bug story... the virus that is taking it's toll on a number of the players. Kerry Galusha was the hardest hit yesterday. The NT/YT Skip missed both of her team's games due to illness. In fact, the Territories were forced to play with just three players in their Tuesday morning game versus Quebec as Wendy Miller was also sick in bed. BC has been hit hard by the bug as well. Rock handles are now being wiped down before every draw and there are plenty of bottles of hand sanitizers in circulation. Players have also taken to giving fist and elbow bumps instead of the traditional handshakes. Here's hoping the virus is a non-issue by the time the playoffs come around this weekend.
The Red Deer Rebels have lost another point in their chase for a playoff spot. The Brandon Wheat Kings earned a single point in their 5-4 shootout loss last night to the Kootenay Ice. That puts the Wheaties eight points up on the Rebels for eighth in the WHL Eastern Conference. The Rebels kick off their four-game Saskatchewan road trip Friday night in Prince Albert (6pm Alberta time on 106.7 The Drive).
Meantime... the newest episode of 'Southside Dodge Rebels This Week' is now online. It feature highlights from all four games from the recent BC road trip as well as feature stories on both Charles Inglis and Cam Moon! Check it out... www.rebelsthisweek.com and follow us on twitter @rebelsthisweek