Ne­do­hin com­ing up roses at Hearts tour­ney

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - DONNA SPENCER

ST. CATHARINES — Hold­ing Alberta’s broom at the Cana­dian women’s curl­ing cham­pi­onship made Heather Ne­do­hin re­al­ize how much she missed it.

The 41-year-old quit com­pet­i­tive curl­ing two years ago af­ter two decades and a pair of na­tional ti­tles.

But the emer­gency call-up by Shan­non Kleib­rink has been the busiest al­ter­nate player at the Scot­ties Tour­na­ment of Hearts in St. Catharines. Ne­do­hin skipped her sec­ond and third games for Alberta on Tues­day be­cause of Kleib­rink’s ail­ing back. Alberta’s record was 3-3 with Ne­do­hin in the house for two of those wins.

“I have to be hon­est. I never thought I’d be back,” Ne­do­hin said. “I’m go­ing to get emo­tional. It feels re­ally good to be back. For me, it’s harsh that’s Shan­non’s back is not feel­ing well, but at the same sense, some­thing was pre­sented to me and I’m just go­ing to roll with it.”

Al­ter­nates, or fifths, are in­sur­ance poli­cies against in­jury and ill­ness and don’t play much.

An­tic­i­pat­ing they would need her, Ne­do­hin played lead in Alberta’s sec­ond game so she could get a feel for the Merid­ian Cen­tre ice.

She and Man­i­toba’s Michelle En­glot locked horns Tues­day un­til the 10th end when Ne­do­hin missed her at­tempt at a deuce to send the game into an ex­tra end.

En­glot pre­vailed, 9-5, to stay un­beaten and even with On­tario’s Rachel Ho­man, who was also 6-0 with a 7-4 win over Kerry Galusha of North­west Ter­ri­to­ries.

Que­bec’s Eve Belisle got to 4-2, de­fend­ing cham­pion Chelsea Carey was at 4-1 and North­ern On­tario’s Krista McCarville was 3-2 all with games to play in the evening.

Galusha lost to both Man­i­toba and On­tario to fall to 3-3 along­side Alberta. PEI’s Robyn MacPhee and Sta­cie Cur­tis of New­found­land and Labrador were tied at 2-4.

Belisle downed Cur­tis 7-4 and MacPhee edged B.C.’s Marla Mal­lett 8-7, win­less in six games.

The top four teams at the con­clu­sion of the round robin Fri­day morn­ing ad­vance to the Page play­off. Ties for fourth are solved by tiebreaker games. The fi­nal is Sun­day.

Ne­do­hin won the Hearts for Alberta as a skip (2012) and as third (1998). Mar­ried to four-time Cana­dian and three-time world cham­pion David Ne­do­hin, she said in 2015 she wanted to spend more time with their daugh­ters and on her job as man­ager of the Sher­wood Park Curl­ing Club.

But two days prior to this year’s Alberta cham­pi­onship, Ne­do­hin got a phone call from Kleib­rink, who had in­jured a disc in her back lift­ing weights and would Ne­do­hin join them as their al­ter­nate?

Ne­do­hin skipped two of their first three games in the Alberta cham­pi­onship, and they’ve con­tinue play­ing as a five­some into the Tour­na­ment of Hearts.

Kleib­rink’s back hasn’t re­sponded to mas­sage ther­apy or phys­io­ther­apy as much as she’d hoped it would.

If Ne­do­hin can get Alberta on a roll, Kleib­rink may let her go the dis­tance in St. Catharines.

SEAN KILPATRICK, THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Alberta’s Heather Ne­do­hin re­acts to a delivery as her team bat­tled Saskatchewan on Tues­day.

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