Heather Nedohin had never beaten her Quebec rival Marie-France Larouche.
They played one another at the 1996 Canadian junior nationals. Larouche won. They played in the round-robin portion of the 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Larouche won.
They met again Saturday, in the 3 vs. 4 playoff game at the Enmax Centrium. And this time it was Nedohin, the Alberta champion from Edmonton’s Saville Sports Centre, finally taking a 7-4 decision to move one win closer to Sunday’s final.
Competing in her first Scotties playoff game as a skip, Nedohin, 36, made a double takeout with her first rock in the ninth end then, with the hammer, scored two to take control.
The Nedohin rink also survived a late scare when Jessica Mair fell while sweeping. Teammate Laine Peters used her broom to push Mair away from the stone to keep it in play.
“There was a little bit of drama in that game,” said Nedohin. “We’ve been working on this new sweeping technique and we’ve had a lot of falls. Honestly, head’s up for Laine to giving [Mair]the boot.”
Larouche had led 1-0 after the first end; Nedohin scored two in the third. The skips and their teammates went back and forth until it was tied 4-4 after eight.
“It’s really disappointing,” Larouche admitted. “We knew we were able to beat these teams but we didn’t play our best today,”
Alberta will now play Manitoba’s Jennifer Jones later Saturday (6 p.m. ET) in the semi-final. The winner of that game will face B.C.’s Kelly Scott in the championship final.
Quebec will play in Sunday morning’s bronze-medal game.
Larouche, from the Etchewin Curling Club in St-Romuald, lost in the final of the 2004 Scotties, which was also played in Red Deer.
Nedohin has been a fan favourite here for her antics and emotions. She’s celebrated good shots, cussed at bad ones and was dancing with a group of young girls during a break in play Saturday.
The last Alberta rink to win a Scotties was Cathy King’s foursome in 1998. Nedohin was a third on that rink.